As the snow began to fall onto the Church Road pitch, Hayes & Yeading United and Hanwell Town finally got to lock horns to see who would provide the opposition for Ashford Town (Middlesex) in the Middlesex Senior Youth Cup Final.
It could not have been a better start for United as it took less than three minutes to find the back of the Hanwell net. Jake Lovell turned his marker inside out by the right side corner flag before picking out Josh Andrew in the centre and he rose to head beyond the grasp of keeper Rhys Marshall.
They response however could have been instant but for a wayward finish. A long through ball saw Saffi Falli in a race against the on-coming Simon Grant, the keepers slight touch gifted the ball to Decland Speede but with the goal gaping he shot wide from 20 yards out.
Chances were still being created by both sides and we were still inside the first ten minutes. For United, Lovell was twice denied by Marshall and at the other end Grant had to be sharp to save a Bradley Stylianou volley as latched onto a Speede free-kick.
For twenty minutes not a whole lot happened apart from the pitch getting whiter by the minute. United were then back pushing for that vital second goal, Daniel Wishart found a forward running centre-back in Charlie Wassmer on the left flank, his centre found Andrew but Marshall got a touch to his shot that took it wide of the target. The resultant corner kick was met by Wassmer and while everybody seemed to stop assuming it was going out of play, Joakim Ehui chased and crossed into the middle where James King saw his shot deflected wide off the foot of a post.
With General Manager Derrick Matthews and his trusty band of helpers clearing snow off the lines at half-time we were able to continue into the second half, and sadly for the visitors they were soon even further up against it when a moment of madness saw Harry Hopkins kick out at a United player and he was promptly dismissed by referee Mark Sennett.
Minutes after the visitors were reduced to ten men they were indebted to keeper Marshall who went full stretch to tip over an Andrew volley that appeared destined for the top corner. Lovell then had a shot saved before the Hanwell keeper again proved his worth by pushing away a Wishart effort after the forward had outpaced Connor Duffy.
United’s second goal finally came on 74 minutes, Andrew slipped the ball neatly to Lovell and United’s top scorer coolly slotted into the bottom corner.
Three goals in the final few minutes wrapped up a 5-0 victory for United. The third came after 89 minutes, substitute Jack Todd advanced into the area and found Andrew in the six yard box. His first effort was blocked at point blank range by Marshall only for a defender to gift the ball back to Andrew who fired home on the turn.
Two more followed in stoppage time, another substitute Mark Goodman charged down a Marshall clearance before winning the ball from the keepers grasp and sliding it in from an acute angle. Less than a minute later the third United substitute got in on the act as Daniel Blackwood was put clean through and he slotted the ball under Marshall’s dive to round off a successful evening for United.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Website United Man of the Match: Mitchell Dunstall.