Hayes & Yeading United came back from behind then survived a late barrage to become the first team to take Ryman League points off Staines Town this season.
It was a very strong start from the home side who got an early goal to reward their forceful approach play. Azainia Brown passed the ball to Bradley Murray and although Alex Tokarczyk was able to stop his shot, Callum Chickah was on hand to ram home the rebound from close range.
Daniel Wishart fired an angled shot just over the bar following good work from Joakim Ehui. However, Tokarczyk was required soon afterwards to save a Liam Devine volley after he was picked out by a Tom Kanek cross.
United gradually gained momentum with Nathan Webb pulling the strings in midfield. His throughball was seized upon by Maccabee Thomas and although Wishart got in the way of his strike partner’s shot, the ball almost spun in and Daniel Sonner did well to push it away.
Then from Mitchell Dunstall’s corner, Leo Cunningham headed towards goal but straight at Sonner.
On 29 minutes, United had their equaliser as Wishart ran at the home defence before turning Victor Martin and sending in a shot which looped in off Alfie Arthur’s boot.
For Staines, Brown and Frazer Douglas combined to find Devine in the left hand channel just before half time, but Tokarczyk was equal to his shot.
At the start of the second half, Josh Christopher’s throughball was headed on by Wishart and Thomas ran at goal only to find his near post shot saved by the diving Sonner. However, Staines continued to press and Kanek crossed for Devine whose header was pushed away by Tokarczyk. The lively Kanek then collected Murray’s pass before firing in a shot which deflected wide off Reece Fleary, before Douglas picked out Devine whose long shot was just past the angle of right hand post and crossbar.
However, it was United who were to take the lead on 64 minutes as Dean Worman’s quick thinking from a free kick caught the home defence napping and Cyrus Longdon-Hughes capped a fine individual performance by smashing the ball into the top corner of the net.
Staines certainly were in no mood to relinquish their 100% league record and they created several opportunities to equalise in the closing stages. Devine’s shot was caught by Tokarczyk while Douglas was just off target from the edge of the box. A long throw in was flicked on by Marcus Clarke and Kanek latched onto the loose ball but fired it across goal and wide. Then another long throw in was again flicked on by the tall frame of Clarke and Martin just failed to capitalise behind him, his volley pushed wide by Tokarczyk. From the resulting corner, Devine picked out Brown but he fired just wide of goal.
Going into stoppage time, Staines were even more urgent. Kanek burst through before hitting a shot which came back off the post and into Tokarczyk’s hands. A minute later, he was through again, but hit another shot which clipped the other post on its way wide.
Just when it looked like the pressure was easing, with virtually the last kick of the game, Staines went desperately close again. Ehui was dispossessed by Devine and although Tokarczyk misjudged his spinning throughball, the keeper was able to recover in time to comfortably gather in Clarke’s shot.
Report by Nick Bell. Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Cyrus Longdon-Hughes.