Hayes & Yeading United overcame a spirited and enthusiastic Harrow Borough side to put more pressure on the Ryman League West Division leaders by claiming another three points.
The match was played on a bumpy pitch and in a gloomy light after the failure of one floodlight and it took a while to get going. It was a quarter of an hour before the first significant effort, a shot from Daniel Wishart which Harrow keeper Joshua Mangan dived to his left to stop.
Soon afterwards, Alex Tokarczyk made his first stop for United when a stray Leo Cunningham pass was seized upon by Peter Morales and he seeing the keeper off his line, he tried his luck from long range, only for Tokarczyk to recover and catch his goalbound shot.
Harrow got the ball in the net on 27 minutes when a Tomasz Wachnicki shot deflected off Cunningham into the path of Ronan O’Rourke who rounded Tokarczyk before finishing only to see the assistant’s flag up for offside. This signalled a remarkable spell in the game when play switched fast between both ends. Cunningham headed a Joel Jacobs corner just wide before Wishart collected a Mitchell Dunstall pass, turned and shot against the post. At the other end, Jonathan Walsh fired over after good work from Jean-Phillipe Kima but United then carved another opportunity when Bobby Cumber and Josh Christopher exchanged passes in midfield before setting up Wishart, who shot firmly but straight at Mangan.
United took the lead with three minutes remaining in the half. Jacobs collected a loose ball just inside the Harrow half and advanced before unleashing a fierce long range shot which cannoned in off the bar for a wondrous goal.
Cyrus Longdon-Hughes had a good chance to double the lead before the break but he shot weakly at Mangan following George Isaac’s lay off.
United started the second half strongly and soon got a second. Longdon-Hughes progressed down the left channel before laying the ball off to Isaac. Although his shot was blocked by Tyrone Calender-Edwards, Wishart was on hand to fire the ball in at the near post, just out of Mangan’s reach.
United continued to pressurise the home defence and Isaac capitalised on a mistake soon afterwards to burst through on goal. Mangan did well to send him wide but from his cross, Wishart shot and the Borough keeper pulled off an outstanding save to tip the ball onto the bar. Longdon-Hughes then shot wide from a promising position after he’d dispossessed Wachnicki.
Kima shot straight at Tokarczyk as Harrow counter attacked, but United were generally on top and Wishart hit the woodwork for a third time with a rasping free kick.
A goal to almost surpass Jacobs’s earlier strike put the result beyond doubt in the 73rd minute. Isaac fed the ball to Longdon-Hughes and although the winger was held up by the Harrow defence, he managed to get the ball back to Isaac who with little backlift, hit a rising shot which flew into the corner of the net.
The game was won, but Harrow managed to produce their best spell at the end of the match. Kima again shot straight at Tokarczyk from outside the area, but when Harrow got closer, they earned a penalty when Tokarczyk tripped Romaine Walker, the forward sending him the wrong way with the resulting penalty.
Walker came close to making a game of it but his shot from the edge of the area was blocked by Cunningham and his follow up volley looped just over the bar. However, time ran out for Harrow, who almost conceded another on full time, but Mangan was able to stop Isaac from scoring again.
Report by Nick Bell. Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: George Isaac.