Two first half strikes from play-off chasing Fleetwood Town was enough to hold off a second half fight back from Hayes & Yeading United who fell to defeat despite a cracking free-kick from Steve Masterton that reduced the arrears early in the second half.
The visitors started well with the wind to their advantage and with ten minutes played a long ball forwards cleared Adam Bygrave and allowed Sean Clancy to strike the ball past Lee Harrison but a well placed Tom Cadmore blocked the shot and the United keeper swept up gratefully. The opener was only minutes away though and was somewhat fortunate as Clancy's header into the ground bounced up off Lewis Ferrell's face to Nathan Pond who looped a header over Harrison to give Fleetwood the opening goal.
United's first look at goal came on 23 minutes when a quick Lee Brown throw was left by Peter Holmes for Ben Wright who hit a first time volley that forced a diving save from Fleetwood keeper Danny Hurst, pushing the ball away to safety.
On the half
hour mark United had another scare when Jamie McGuire and George Donnelly combined on the left, the latter's shot being touched wide by Harrison. The resultant corner kick from Barry was met by Pond but a well placed block from Bygrave took the ball wide of the target.
Having been through 40 minutes with very few chances, the final five minutes of the half were to provide four openings and sadly for United, a second Fleetwood goal. Donnelly collected a long throw in the United area with his back to goal, his shot on the turn failing to trouble Harrison.
United then had a brief spell of pressure. Masterton played in a free-kick from the right of the area, Elliott Buchanan flicked on to Bradley Pritchard who under pressure from McNulty volleyed over. Buchanan then found space on the left to cross, Shaun Beeley's weak clearance finding Wright who volleyed at full stretch but could not get his shot on target.
Then in stoppage time United were struck a cruel blow as a Junior Brown pass was deflected straight to McGuire who returned it to his left-back who thumped a shot across Harrison and despite getting a touch he could not keep it out.
Chances were not to be in abundance in the second half either, it did however take United just five minutes to reduce the deficit though. Bygrave picked up the ball on halfway and advanced right to the edge of the area before being upended by Sean Gregan, who deservedly received a caution from referee Berry. Despite the position looking perfect for a left-footer, Masterton stepped up and curled a perfect free-kick into the top corner despite Hurst getting his fingers to the ball.
Seven minutes later United had the ball in the net again, Masterton fired in a free-kick that appeared to be helped on by a defender before being bundled home by Pritchard, only to be ruled out by a raised offside flag against the United man.
Just after the hour mark a long Fleetwood throw-in was headed goalwards by Donnelly, Ferrell cleared the the ball on the line but it was quickly back in the mix and Clancy tried an overhead kick that looked to have gone over Harrison but the United stopper did superbly well to stretch up and tip it over.
Chances were few and far between for the home side with the visitors going for a third on the break and on 68 minutes substitute Keigan Parker found space on the right and fired the ball across the six yard box to Clancy who slid in at the far post but found the angle too acute to hit the target.
United own substitute Pierre Joseph-Dubois did manage to break the Fleetwood offside trap but having been forced a little too wide he fired across the face of goal and out of the reach of Buchanan.
The only real effort on goal in the final ten minutes again came from Fleetwood as Brown crossed from the left, Cadmore in attempting to clear only found Alex-Ray Harvey on the edge of the box but he volleyed over the top of Harrison's goal.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
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