Hayes & Yeading United got off to a winning start to the new campaign despite having eight of the starting XI making their United debut's.
As the August rains began falling at Church Road, Hayes & Yeading United's new look side kicked off the new season in the Blue Square Bet Premier against newly promoted Bath City. United were quickly into their stride and Bath's Gethin Jones was needed early on to block a Peter Holmes drive after he was set up by Elliott Buchanan.
Two minutes later a long free-kick from the visitors was met by Jones, his attempt just evading the outstretched leg of Danny Webb as Lee Harrison gathered the ball in. Harrison needed his full height minutes later when a neat chip into the United box saw Scott Murray attempt to lift the ball over the on-coming United stopper, Harrison making a fine catch.
Adam Green and Holmes both went close just after the midway mark with shots from distance as did Lewis Hogg for Bath. Last chance of the half fell to the home side with six minutes to play as Buchanan controlled the ball on the right before picking out Ben Wright at the far post, the Peterborough loanee's header being held by keeper Ryan Robinson.
United could not have made a better start to the second half as the deadlock was broken with just over two minutes played as Ahmed Deen picked out Wright in the area, his close control and neat turn giving him the chance to place his shot beyond Robinson from eight yards.
This goal seemed to disrupt the visitors flow as United really got a grip on possession. Holmes sent Lewis Ferrell away on the right, his centre was headed downwards by Wright to James Mulley who was just off target. Bath did carve out an opening minutes later at the other end when Hogg's centre was controlled by half time substitute Kaid Mohamed but his shot was weak and easy for Harrison.
United were soon knocking on the door again. Mulley worked his way into the area only to be denied by the strong arm of Robinson and within seconds the Bath stopper was in action again clawing away a Buchanan effort that looked destined for the top corner. Still United pushed for a second, Buchanan flicked on neatly to Wright who advanced on goal only to be denied by an outstretched boot from Robinson.
Just after the hour mark United were indebted to full-back Ferrell. Former United man Marc Canham's corner saw a Jones header blocked at point blank range by Harrison, the loose ball running to Lee Phillips only for his shot to be blocked on the line by Ferrell's left foot. This near miss seemed to fire the visitors and ten minutes later it was the woodwork that came to Harrison's rescue when Hogg crashed a free-kick against the underside on the bar, the ball striking the United keeper as it came down and he was able to scramble it wide.
Minutes later United earned a free-kick of their own when Mulley was pulled down on the edge of the box by Canham. Wright stepped up and curled a perfect free-kick around the wall and the ball flew past Robinson off the greasy surface.
Bath gave themselves hope in stoppage time when Canham fed the ball to centre-back Jones who advanced into the United half before letting fly from distance, Harrison managed to get his fingers to the ball but could do nothing to stop it flying into the top left hand corner of the United net. There was still time for the visitors to launch one further assault on the United goal as Mohamed found space on the left only for his path to be blocked by Ferrell and his defensive cohorts and the ball was cleared and the final whistle blown.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Ben Wright.
Highlights courtesy of FC Video here.