Another solid defensive display by Hayes & Yeading was enhanced when substitute Craig Watkins fired home five minutes from time to make it a fifth consecutive Blue Square Premier victory, this time away at Kettering Town.
Garry Haylock made one change to Saturday's line-up as Marc Canham returned in place of Scott Fitzgerald who took Sami El-Abd's place on the bench.
On a wet and windy evening in Northamptonshire both sides saw plenty of early ball without making inroads into the opposition defence. It actually took in excess of 15 minutes for either side to have a shot whereby one apiece followed in quick succession but both off target, Danny Thomas for the Poppies and Marc Canham for United.
As the wind continued to blow from corner to corner across the pitch it was difficult to judge the flight at times which kept chances to a minimum. Midway through the half a neat United move saw Marc Canham and James Mulley involved before the latter squared the ball left to Toby Little who came inside onto his weaker right foot and fired across goal but just wide of the far post.
The home side, with the wind advantage, created a couple of chances next. Jean-Paul Marna crossed from the right but from ten yards Anthony Elding fluffed his shot and Simon Overland gathered simply. Elding should have had another great chance minutes later when he rose un-opposed for a centre but appeared to misjudge the flight of the ball and totally missed it, the loose ball eventually being returned to the edge of the area where Patrick Noubissie fired over.
As the half came towards its conclusion a wind assisted Little cross from the left just cleared Sean Canham only to be collected by Esmond James who fired into the side netting.
Kettering were quickest out of the blocks in the second half and less than 60 seconds in a hanging cross from James Dance fell to Elding but he volleyed wide when well placed to trouble Overland.
United soon settled and with the wind in their favour started to press the home defence with James giving the left-back a particularly torrid time. In fact it was James who came closest to opening the scoring in the 56th minute when his cross caught the wind and bounced into play off the top of the Kettering crossbar before being cleared.
United continued to press the high flying hosts, James and Justin Cochrane combined to release Sean Canham who saw his shot touched wide by Lee Harper before a multi-pass advance saw Marc Canham play the ball to Mulley who turned his marker before seeing Harper dive to save his effort right at the foot of the post.
In the 71st minute Overland came to United's aid as Marna beat the offside trap and bore down on goal, his shot was pushed away by the United stopper with Danny Allen-Page doing enough to stop Thomas from sliding in the loose ball at the far post.
Play immediately switch to the other end and again Mulley tested Harper, his left foot shot being pushed wide by the Kettering player-manager. Marna shot wide from 20 yards for the home side before United substitute Craig Watkins hit his maiden goal to claim all three points, the striker racing onto a pass before curling a shot into the top corner of Harper's goal, just out of the keeper's reach.
A minute later Kettering’s Elding tried a lob, but Overland stretched up to collect over his head and the final attempt of the game saw Ian Roper fire over the bar as Harper had joined the attack for a corner.
Report by Kevin Watts. Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Tom Cadmore.