Hayes & Yeading United earned three points at Beaconsfield Road this evening in a second consecutive Allied Counties fixture where the result was in the balance up to the final whistle.
As both sides sized themselves up early on, it was United who struck an early blow with just 13 minutes played. Jake Lovell came backwards to pick up the ball in midfield and sent a willing Ashley Barnes away down the right flank, his cut back fell to Josh Andrew who took a touch before firing past Sports keeper Stephen Bourke.
While not dominating time on the ball for the remainder of the half, United did have an almost exclusive right to the chances as Sports struggled to make any headway against the home defence. Andrew could have scored his second minutes later when a patient build up involving Lovell and Nathan Webb saw the latter cross to Andrew but this time Bourke was equal to his strike. Lovell then volleyed inches wide of the post after a pacey run and cross from Daniel Wishart, the same player then fired just too high from the edge of the area after good work by Andrew.
Chances still came United's way as the break approached, Barnes' free-kick was weakly punched by Bourne but he reacted quickly to gather Andrew's shot from just inside the area.
The second half was reversed a little as again possession was pretty much even but Sports had the better chances only to be repelled by some excellent goalkeeping from United's Alex Tokarczyk. A long punt by Bourke was flicked on by Sam Younes to Ryan McMahon but Tokarczyk easily fielded his effort. Midway though the half Jamie Harper ran from distance at the United defence before letting fly from 18 yards, again Tokarczyk showed safe hands.
Twenty minutes from time Andrew went on a mazy solo run from his own half, leaving defenders in his wake, he chose to fire at goal and was just a fraction too high, sadly a glance and pass to his left would have seen Lovell with just Bourke to beat.
Ten minutes remained on the watch when Tokarczyk made two excellent saves to keep his side ahead. Harper broke into the area from the left and fired low at the near post, the United keeper diving smartly to touch his effort around the post. When the resultant corner fell to the feet of substitute Matt Knill just 8 yards out hearts began to beat but with great agility Tokarczyk kept his shot out as it came through the crowd.
Two minutes into stoppage time the visitors could have taken a point from the game, Reece Fleary misplaced a clearance straight to Harper, the defender did however atone for his error by throwing himself in the way of the drive that careered off for a corner that thankfully came to nothing.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Website United Man of the Match: Charlie Wassmer.