A fine second half performance saw Hayes & Yeading United eventually stroll out as comfortable winners over Maidenhead United side which featured 59 year old Peter Upton as a substitute.
There was a slow start to the match as play remained in the middle third for much of the first half. Hayes & Yeading’s Scott Fitzgerald hit a half volley just wide after a good forward pass by Jack Pattison and a fierce volley from the impressive Scott Orphanou tested Maidenhead keeper Steven Smith’s handling.
Maidenhead went close when Mustafa Dumbaya’s free kick was headed from close range by Dominic Rhone towards goal but Aaron Howe pulled off a fine point blank save for Hayes & Yeading.
Fitzgerald thought he’d scored in the 31st minute when he headed in from Ray Curtis’s inswinging cross but he was denied by the offside flag. Jermeel Baptiste’s cross was half cleared by Aga Briandt into the path of Maidenhead substitute Fred Okyere who hit a long shot just wide. However, it was the introduction of his fellow substitute Upton which raised the interest levels just before half time.
Within a minute of the restart, it became clear that Colin Davis’s half time team talk had strengthened Hayes & Yeading’s resolve. Curtis’s throughball was chested down by Maidenhead defender Steve Badu into the path of Charles Adeyemi. His powerful shot being gathered in by Smith.
Just minutes later, United took the lead. Ollie Fayed swung in a free kick which evaded everyone in a crowded penalty area and although Adeyemi touched the ball into the back of the net at the far post, it seemed as though the ball had already travelled over the line.
Fitzgerald was denied by the offside flag for a second time soon afterwards after burying the ball into the goal from six yards. Maidenhead rallied and Howe was again required to keep out Karol Derewenko’s glancing header from another Dumbaya free kick. Howe then prevented a certain goal when Briandt’s stray header was seized upon by Richard Shittu and Howe bravely blocked at his feet.
After these defensive scares, Hayes & Yeading settled and extended their lead. Curtis fed the ball through to Adeyemi whose pace took him away from Upton, he rounded Smith before applying a classy finish on the turn.
Orphanou continued to torment the home defence and he laid the ball off to Henry Attu whose 20 yard shot was tipped over by Smith. From the resulting corner, Orphanou found Fitzgerald in front of goal and his shot deflected in past Smith.
Malakai Bulley, Jake Lovell and Mohammed Dikuiza all tried their luck from long range to extend the visitors’ lead, but to no avail. As there was no further threat to Howe’s goal, they managed to see out time for a comfortable win.
Report by Nick Bell.
Website United Man of the Match: Scott Orphanou.