A classy Daniel Wishart double earned Hayes & Yeading United a victory in their first Allied Counties League Premier Division match, although Didcot Town pushed Simon East’s men all the way.
United pressed strongly to begin with, Josh Andrew forcing Tom Bucknor into a diving save from Mitchell Dunstall’s lay off.
Tom Peace’s shot was pushed away by Alex Tokarczyk for the home team’s first attempt at goal but they were left reeling by a very swift United break which resulted in the opening goal. Jake Lovell ran forcefully at the home defence before threading the ball through to Wishart who finished sublimely.
Lovell almost doubled the lead minutes later but Bucknor blocked his snapshot. He was inches wide with another effort a while later but as the half wore on, the home side came out of their shell. Dominic Barnes broke clear but Tokarczyk kicked away his shot. Then Peace really ought to have scored but skewed his shot wide of a half open goal following Ollie Barnes’s cut back. Sam Bishop then sent a half cleared corner back with menace but Tokarczyk again pulled off a fine save.
Somewhat against the run of play, United doubled their lead before the break. Dunstall found Wishart on the left and his shot was pushed wide by Bucknor. The resulting corner was cleared but Dunstall picked up the loose ball, cut inside and centred for Wishart who fired in an unstoppable shot off the crossbar.
Didcot continued to assert themselves at the start of the second half, with Ollie Barnes’s low centre just evading the onrushing Peace and teammate Adam Bruce. They did get a deserved goal back when United failed to clear Tim Doran’s free kick and Ollie Barnes finished from close range.
Both Bruce and Ollie Barnes had headers which went close, Tokarczyk diving full length to keep out Bruce’s, as Didcot looked increasingly likely to find an equaliser.
However, as the game reached its latter stages, United rallied and turned the momentum back in their favour. A Charlie Wassmer interception followed by a clever throughball put Lovell clear, but Bucknor blocked his shot. Then Wishart narrowly missed out on a hat-trick when Nathan Webb floated a free kick into the danger area and his header hit the bar. Bucknor caught Andrew’s follow up header.
Didcot had a late chance to steal a point when Andrew was dispossessed and a quick breakaway led to Peace’s shot being brilliantly tipped wide by Tokarczyk, a save which confirmed United’s first three points in the first game of their Allied Counties campaign.
Report by Nick Bell.
Website United Man of the Match: Daniel Wishart.