Holders Hayes & Yeading United were pushed all the way by a hard working Tokyngton Manor side in the quarter-final of the Middlesex Senior Youth Cup on a soft and bumpy Avenue Park pitch, the visitors needing a late Dean Worman penalty to see off Manor's challenge.
The action had been going 20 minutes before we were to see an effort on goal as top scorer Daniel Wishart
got his head to a corner from the left, despite beating keeper Mohammed Kamal his attempt was cleared off the line by a covering defender on the goalline.
With United still pushing for the opener it was Kamal's turn to deny Wishart as he touch wide the United striker's shot on the turn after he had been found in the box by Mark Goodman. Wishart was not to be denied though and 60 seconds later he opened the scoring. George Isaac broke down the left flank before setting up a shooting chance for Mitchell Dunstall, his shot was charged down but fell nicely to Wishart who coolly beat Kamal from eight yards.
United appeared to take the "job done" attitude because in the next 15 minutes they were outplayed and conceded twice. The first, and equaliser, came just two minutes after Wishart's strike when a long punt from the back saw Bolaji Balogun outpace his marker before slotting the ball through Rourke Pickford's legs as the keeper advanced.
Five minutes later Manor went close to a second when a snapshot from 20 yards only just cleared Pickford's crossbar. On 38 minutes Manor did strike again as Joshua Cooper was allowed to dance through tackles before finding the far side of the net from the tightest of angles.
United at this point finally seemed to wake to the fact that they were in a game and started to push for a quick reply. Goodman crossed to Wishart but Kamal comfortably held his header and then on the stroke of half time Wishart played a corner to the near post where Isaac out-jumped his marker to power a header past Kamal
to restore parity to the scoreline at the break.
Not sure what was said at the break but United were to be the dominant force we expected in the second half with the home side seeing very little time in the visitors half, it was however a long wait for the winner with the overworked home defence remaining solid, especially the impressive Daniel Akande.
The opening 15 minutes of the half saw a long range effort apiece, Dean Worman just missing the target for United from 30 yards and Cooper going closer for Manor with an audacious 40 yard attempt that Pickford had to touch over or it would have nestled in the top corner.
The arrival on the hour of United substitutes Nathan Webb and Joakim Ehui gave an impetus that was to eventually create the winner. Midway through the half an intricate string of passes from United ended with Worman again trying his luck from range, going inches wide of the target.
Webb went close on 74 minutes although it would have been a fluke I'm sure, his low corner from the left side smacking into the base of the near post and coming back into play away from any attacking boot. Just three minutes remained and while the home side had a player down with cramp, referee Richardson chose not to stop the game and United duly played on with a long ball from the left finding Ehui whose burst into the area saw him up-ended by a mistimed Kazibine Moses tackle and a penalty was duly awarded.
Worman stepped up and despite going the right way, Kamal could not get his hand to the ball and a semi-final visit from Uxbridge was secured.
Report by Kevin Watts. Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: George Isaac.