Hayes & Yeading United’s under 18s stretched their lead at the top of the Allied Counties Premier to nine points with a comfortable victory over a very defence minded Didcot Town side.
United were to dominate from the off, going in two goals to the good at the break. Early chances for the home side saw Ivan de Silva Dju volley just over the bar closely followed by a tidy link up between Nathan Webb and Jake Lovell with the latter also firing over.
Charlie Wassmer had a great chance to open the scoring midway through the half when he rose highest to a Josh Andrew free-kick but his header went across the face of goal and wide of the post. The lead was only minutes away though, Lovell found Andrew in the area, his drive was parried by Didcot keeper Tom Buckner but Webb was on hand to ram home the loose ball.
United going ahead forced the visitors to come out of their shells finally. Dom Barnes advanced down the right and played the ball inside to Luke White, his shot aimed for the far corner was touched around the post by United custodian Alex Tokarczyk.
United were soon back in full flow though, Dju was again just off target after good work from Reece Fleary on the left and then Abdula Nsubuga got his head to a Daniel Wishart corner only for White to clear off the line. Number two was only seconds away, Andrew found Lovell on the left bye-line, he whipped in a low cross that was left at the front post enabling James King to fire home his first goal of the season despite a valiant attempt from Buckner to keep it out.
The second half was not to be a whole lot different as United dominated possession while adding a solitary goal to the tally and missing a penalty into the bargain.
Chances started early in the half, Wishart slide in to volley an Andrew corner wide and Wishart then found Wassmer with a free-kick but again the target was missed. Lovell then started a move with a quick throw to Dju, he helped it on to Andrew who drew a fine diving stop from Buckner.
In the 77th minute United found the net again, somewhat surprisingly from about 50 yards. Mitchell Dunstall played a free-kick from the touchline a few yards inside the Didcot half, Buckner called “keepers” and his defenders left it alone only for the keeper to do the same and the ball nestled in the corner of the net.
Didcot got themselves onto the scoresheet in the final minute of the game when Tokarczyk tripped Adam Bruce in the area. Michael Hopkins stepped up and showed how it should be done as he sent the United keeper the wrong way.
Still chances came and went for United as Wassmer, Andrew and Dju were all off target. With six minutes remaining Lovell was tripped in the Didcot area and a penalty was awarded. Lovell and skipper Nsubuga jostled childishly over who would take the kick, the striker won but then saw his kick saved by Buckner although how referee Redmond failed to see three defenders at least two yards inside the area when the ball was kicked baffles me.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Website United Man of the Match: Mitchell Dunstall.