Hayes & Yeading United finally earned a first home maximum of the campaign with an excellent all round performance against last seasons beaten play-off finalists Cambridge United.
The action started quickly and Hayes & Yeading could have snatched the lead as early as the 35th second when a curling Dale Binns cross just evaded Sean Canham but still drew a dive from Cambridge keeper Danny Potter. Minutes later it was once more Hayes & Yeading moving forwards, Sean Canham won possession before the ball found its way to Dale Binns via Scott Fitzgerald and James Mulley, the winger's effort being well blocked by Paul Carden.
The visitors quickly responded as Chris Holroyd went on a surge past all and sundry before unleashing a shot that Simon Overland did extremely well to push over the bar. Cambridge continued to push on and Tom Cadmore
did well to block a Dan Gleeson effort before the ball found it's way to Jai Reason on the edge of the area but his effort was also charged down.
On 18 minutes the visitors did have the ball in the net when Danny Crow fired home from ten yards only for the assistants flag to be raised against Holroyd who was standing in an offside position right in front of Overland. Just seconds later Crow was again in the thick of things as he forced a reaction save from Overland that the United defence then scrambled clear.
Hayes & Yeading
almost broke the deadlock three minutes later when Cadmore met a Binns corner, Potter pulled off a fine reflex save to push his header out, Cadmore despite being on the ground dived to head back at goal but this time Courtney Pitt was on hand to clear off the line. The lead however was just another three minutes away when a poor backpass by Brian Saah was chased by Fitzgerald, Potter reached the ball first but Fitzgerald got a block in that enabled the United striker to roll the ball into the gaping Cambridge goal.
Ten minutes from the break it was a chance apiece within seconds, first fell to the home side as Mulley won the ball and found Sean Canham who in turn sent Fitzgerald through only to be denied by a fine Potter save with his trailing leg. Play immediately switched to the other end where Holroyd led a counter attack that needed a well placed Overland to save low down.
The closing minutes saw more chances coming the way of the home side. Binns found Toby Little with a crossfield ball, Little's cross in turn found Mulley at the far post but Potter was equal to his effort. Fitzgerald then crossed from the left, Saah misjudged the ball and Sean Canham headed wide when he really should have done better.
Hayes & Yeading were out of the traps quickest again after the break, Mulley moved forwards through the centre before finding Sean Canham, as the defence backed off the striker fired across goal but wide of the far post. Canham made amends seconds later when he picked up a ball over the top before finding Fitzgerald who calmly lofted the ball over Potter's dive to double United's lead.
Cambridge almost pulled one back in the 54th minute when a quick free-kick caught the United defence napping and Robbie Willmott chipped the ball to Crow at the far post, his diving header being superbly turned away by Overland.
Victory was almost assured on 63 minutes when Hayes & Yeading scored a third when Adam Green touched a free-kick to Cadmore fully 30 yards from goal, the United skipper hitting a rocket into the bottom corner of Potter's goal.
Cambridge however didn't give up and had two good chances to reduce the deficit. Wayne Hatswell found Crow from a free-kick, the striker showing excellent touch to bring the ball under control before firing over with his volley. Gleeson then slid a neat pass into the stride of substitute Lee Phillips but he fired wide as Overland came out to narrow his options.
Hayes & Yeading had a late chance to put even more gloss on the result, Binns chipping to Little at the far post but he took a touch too many and Carden was able to block his effort.
Report by Kevin Watts. Photos by Ray Peploe.
Highlights courtesy of FC Video
Scottish & Newcastle Man of the Match:
Scott Fitzgerald (pictured right).