A Hayes & Yeading side devoid of suspended trio Marwa, Allen-Page and Fitzgerald were put to the sword at Broadhall Way by high flying Stevenage whose striker Charlie Griffin became the fifth opposition player to help themselves to a hat-trick against United this season.
The game started at a frenetic pace and United could have easily been two down in as many minutes. From the kick-off former Oxford man Yemi Odubade was a handful, less than sixty seconds had been played when he broke on the right and found Joel Byrom in space, the midfield man's shot from 18 yards being held in Simon Overland's midriff. Just a minute later a superb throughball from the middle of the park sent Andy Drury through on goal only for his drive to be blocked away by a diving Overland.
At the other end and still in the first two minutes Toby Little, playing in an unfamiliar central midfield role, tried his luck from the edge of the box but Borough keeper Chris Day easily held his effort. Six minutes later United again tried their luck from range when Sean Canham nodded the ball down to Dale Binns but again Day saved comfortably, diving at the foot of his post.
The home side took the lead after 17 minutes when Drury found space on the right before picking out Griffin in the area, the striker given time to turn and place a perfect shot into the far corner of Overland's goal.
A long range effort apiece was to follow before Borough scored a controversial second. Odubade was given far too much space inside the United area and his miss-hit shot towards the far post was inexplicably left to go wide by James Mulley only for Griffin, who appeared very much to be offside, to tap in on the goal-line.
United came back from this with a quick Tom Cadmore free-kick that saw Marc Canham try his luck from 30 yards with no success as Day scooped the ball up comfortably. A minute later Sami El-Abd knocked down a Binns corner and Cadmore fired goalwards from eight yards only to be denied by Day's outstretched left leg (below).
Borough could have swept to a three goal
lead in stoppage time as a fine passing move involving Eddie Odhiambo twice, Byrom and Odubade set up a chance for Griffin to complete his hat-trick but the striker snatched at his shot and cleared the bar easily from just inside the area.
United had a few glimmers of hope early in the second half. An El-Abd header was sliced out of Day's hands by his own defender, going just wide, before Esmond James and Little combined, the latter finding Binns with his cross but his shot was caught by Day. Mulley then advanced from the back and fed Sean Canham but the strikers shot was deflected wide by a defenders boot.
At the midway point in the half Overland had to be sharp to push away a Darren Murphy drive but six minutes later the United stopper twice failed to take control of a bouncing ball and as Odubade won possession Overland tripped him and referee Adcock pointed to the spot. Griffin stepped up and smashed home his third of the afternoon.
Two minutes later United should have found pay dirt themselves as home skipper Mark Roberts sliced a clearance straight to George Daly, the Wycombe loanee ran at Day who threw out a strong hand to keep his shot out, the rebound hitting Binns and going over with the goal gaping.
Now in the final ten minutes, Stacy Long fired over for Borough when well set by Lee Boylan and at the other end Binns played the ball to Adam Green who drilled the ball through a crowd only for Day to palm it out with Roberts clearing as Daly arrived.
The final two chance again went to the high flying home side. Overland did well to block Odubade's effort as the pacey winger made his way into the box, Overland was to be beaten for a fourth time in stoppage time as a short corner was played to Michael Bostwick who had time to pick his spot from 20 yards as he gave Overland no chance with a fierce low drive.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Sami El-Abd.