Hayes & Yeading United survived a real battle with Sun Postal Sports to extend their unbeaten league sequence and bounce back from their league cup defeat.
Although the United team pressed hard early on, they were unable to unlock a stubborn Sports defence and it was the home side who had the first decent chance when Joe Kelly fired a free-kick just over. Moments later, Kelly cut the ball back for Terah Best whose 20 yard volley was acrobatically tipped over by Simon Grant.
United came back like a wounded animal. Daniel Wishart skipped over two challenges to advance towards goal but found the angle too tight to get his shot on target, instead finding the side netting. He wasn’t to be denied for long however, as he finished off a smart Untied move to put his team one up. Reece Fleary threw the ball in to Abdula Nsubuga whose long cross field pass was instantly controlled by Ashley Barnes. Barnes squared the ball for Wishart who couldn’t miss from point blank range.
A smart turn from Ludovic Erhard wrong footed two Sports midfielders and his pass found Ivan Dju in space. The Portuguese forward was unlucky to see his long range shot deflect inches wide of the foot of the post.
After such a dominant first half, United were stunned by an equaliser just 68 seconds after the restart. A long ball completely caught the United defence out and Jamie Harper held off Nathan Webb before firing the ball past the exposed Grant. Just a minute later an almost identical chance fell to Nick Holden but under duress from Charlie Wassmer, he ballooned his shot well over.
This really did galvanise the home side who were now playing with a lot more confidence, enjoying their best spell of the match. Harper’s throughball to Cary was misjudged by a hesitant Grant and as the ball ran past him it seemed certain that Cary would score but he hurried his shot and it hit the post.
United steeled themselves and sheer determination turned the tide back in their favour. In the 71st minute, a moment of individual brilliance earned the winning goal. Josh Andrew played the ball into Wishart’s feet and in an instant, he’d turned his marker and was bearing down on goal, with nimble footwork, he cut inside Matt Byrne’s challenge before planting his shot just inside the far post.
United almost extended their lead when Fleary’s cross drifted across goal but was turned back into the danger area by Andrew. Both Wishart and Goodman had close range efforts but Dan Noble denied both of them with brave blocks.
Soon afterwards, Webb survived a scare when he fouled Harper inches outside the penalty area with Grant already rounded. Thankfully for him, the referee was not close enough to the incident to spot how good an opportunity it was for Sun Postal to score and no card was produced. Harper’s resulting free kick was blocked by the United wall.
Towards the end, Harper had an identical chance to score when Webb was again involved in an altercation with him. This time the United defender was booked and Harper got closer with the free kick which fizzed just wide.
Grant came to United’s rescue late on with a smart diving save to deny Harper following Cary’s square pass and United had survived a tough examination to extend their lead at the top of the Allied Counties League Premier Division.
Report by Nick Bell.
Website United Man of the Match: Ashley Barnes.