Hayes & Yeading United got their first win int heir Allied Counties League Premier Division title defence with a 3-2 victory over Sun Postal Sports.
The match was very entertaining with no little effort and skill displayed from both sides. Inside four minutes, United went inches from opening the scoring as Joakim Ehui burst through on the left hand side and his low centre found Jamie Enver who crashed a shot against the bar. Just a minute later, Sun Postal responded as Omar Vassell wass found by Jude Bell's long pass and his shot tested Rourke Pickford's reflexes.
Cameron Gilmartin headed Ehui;s cross just over but it was Sun Postal who took the lead on 17 minutes. Nelson Santos put Vassel in on the right flank and his pinpoint cross was headed home by the onrushing Bradley Wadkins.
It was almost 2-0 five minutes later as Vassel fired inches wide of Pickford's far post but United levelled matters on 28 minutes. Gilmartin's shot was beaten away by Luke Carney after good forceful attacking by James Nortey-Silke and Jack Todd. The resulting corner caused confusion in the six yard box and Gilmartin was on hand to turn and volley just inside the post.
Seven minutes later, United took the lead. Nortey-Silke dispossessed Owen Smithon the right flank and his cut back was perfectly weighted for Jamie Enver who this time found the back of the net.
A misplaced Andre James backpass caused panic as Pickford was beaten to the ball by George Sanders. His lay off found Wadkins but with Pickford stranded, Wadkins failed to hit the target as he attempted to curl the ball around the retreating United defenders.
The second half was even more action packed. Pickford pulled off a great save to prevent Jack Lupton's free kick from curling in. Then Lupton was just off target with a header. Sun Postal continued to press as Sanders dispossed James. His shot was pushed away by Pickford and Cyrus Longdon-Hughes was able to get a sliding block on Wadkins's follow up.
Play quickly switched to the other end and Enver found Todd in space but Carney bravely blocked his shot. However, Pickford denied both Wadkins and Vassel with decent saves to show off his agility.
Agaisnt the run of play, United stretched their lead with a fabulous goal from Tomas Jansons. The midfielder picked the ball up some 35 yards out and hit a scorching volley well out of reach of Carney and right into the top corner of his net.
Sun Postal were determined not to let their heads drop and Pickford was again required to block two efforts from Wadkins. He also watched as substitute Callum Willmott looped a header onto the roof of the net.
The visitors' endeavor was rewarded five minutes from the end when Willmott put fellow substitute Charlie Munro through on goal and he slid the ball past Pickford. But apart from gathering in a weak Wadkins shot from Vassel's clever backheeled lay off, Pickford had nothing else to do to preserve his team's slender advantage.
Report by Nick Bell. Photos by Ray Peploe.
Website United Man of the Match: Rourke Pickford.