Hayes & Yeading United bounced back from last weeks FA Cup shocker with a superb performance at Tamworth that saw three points return to Middlesex courtesy of first half strikes from James Mulley and Scott Fitzgerald.
Garry Haylock went with the same eleven from the previous week and after an even start where neither keeper was tested due to diligent defending it was a neat passing move that not only gave United the first clear chance of the game on 16 minutes but also the opening goal. Marc and Sean Canham exchanged passes outside the Lambs area before the latter slid the ball into Mulley's run and the midfielder took a solitary touch before placing his effort past keeper Danny Alcock and into the Tamworth net for his first of the season.
The home side came straight back at United and just minutes after creating the opener Sean Canham was on hand in his own six yard box to hack clear an awkwardly bouncing cross from the left wing. Minutes later a Michael Blackwood deep cross from the left saw Seb Lake-Gaskin rise above Adam Green but his header was too high to trouble Simon Overland.
Another cross from the left needed a vital Green interception as Lake-Gaskin tried to pull his side level but just four minutes later the tide turned and United were two ahead. Danny Allen-Page cushioned a long ball into his own stride before racing forwards leaving some four or more Lambs in his wake, then having reached the right corner of the Tamworth area he played the ball into the stride of Scott Fitzgerald whose first time strike curled into the top corner of Alcock's net.
United were having a good share of the ball with the cushion of a two goal lead but it was the home side who were next to create two good chances without success. Just after the half hour mark Bradley Pritchard flicked on to Lake-Gaskin who had beaten the offside trap, his lobbed effort as Overland came forwards going wide of the upright. Just a couple of minutes later a partially cleared corner was controlled by Simon Russell whose dipping volley just cleared the United crossbar.
Hayes & Yeading very nearly had a third just a minute later when Esmond James found Sean Canham who in turn found fellow striker Fitzgerald who saw his angled shot pushed away by the diving Alcock who sprang to his feet in time to gather the ball as it rolled towards the Lambs goal.
The half closed with a glaring miss by the home side's Neil MacKenzie that could have put such a different complexion on the second half as he blazed over from eight yards with an almost vacant net in front of him after Overland had touched on a Russell cross.
Tamworth were out of the traps quickly after the break and when Overland failed to get distance on a punch from Russell's centre a goal looked on for the home side only for Tom Shaw to lift his lob too high and the crossbar was cleared. Chances came and went for the home side with United content to control things defensively and play on the break. Russell volleyed over when well placed and skipper Michael Briscoe headed into Overland's grateful arms before a very late tackle on Danny Allen-Page by substitute Gohkan Ulker saw tempers fray a little, the home player seeing yellow where on another day it could have been red.
Things soon calmed down and it was back to the football, ten minutes remained when Overland came from goal to intercept a throughball aimed for Ulker, the loose ball running to Russell who managed to clear the crossbar from 20 yards with Overland beaten.
Having failed to brake the United defence, Tamworth seemed deflated and the last ten minutes belonged to the visitors. Mulley broke away on the right and crossed deep to Sean Canham, his cross-shot beating Alcock before being headed out by Michael Wylde. Mulley was soon on the run again, this time his travels took him across the front of the area from the right wing, a neat back-heel to Toby Little followed but he could not keep his shot down.
United were denied a third in the fifth minute of stoppage time when Toby Little beat off the challenge of Richard Tait on the left before finding Sean Canham in the centre, the Notts County man hitting a goalbound shot that Alcock amazingly managed to divert onto his right-hand post and the ball was hacked clear.
Report by Kevin Watts. Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: James Mulley.