Hayes & Yeading United were soundly beaten by high riding Kidderminster at Church Road although the final scoreline did somewhat flatter the visitors in a game that was fairly even until Chris McPhee's first strike on 65 minutes.
A lively opening to the game saw both keepers getting their gloves to the ball in the opening minutes, firstly United's Lee Harrison picked off a Keith Briggs 20 yard effort and almost immediately at the other end Elliott Buchanan saw the same result as Harriers keeper Daniel Lewis grabbed his effort after he had been set up by Jefferson Louis.
Harrison was soon in the action again as a teasing free-kick from Dave Hankin was met by Matty Blair six yards out, the United keeper did well to block his header and then as the Harriers man followed up a further touch gave the returning Lee Brown time to clear off the line.
After the brisk start the two teams then started to size each other up in midfield with little being created until the 24th minutes when a Peter Holmes run from halfway saw him slide in Louis but he shot at Lewis who was also on hand a minute later to grab hold of a 30 yard effort from Ben Wright.
Just after the half hour mark it was the visitors who got a lucky break which opened the scoring as Tom Shaw was given space to line up a shot from outside the area, the ball took a deflection off Charlie Wassmer which wrong footed Harrison and ended up in the bottom corner of the United net.
It was United however that finished the half the stronger
and should really have gone in level as three chances came their way in the closing minutes. Louis headed down a Wright cross to Buchanan but his volley bounced into Lewis's arms. Minutes later Buchanan ran into the Harriers area and despite being dispossessed, Bradley Pritchard quickly regained possession and hit a shot that went narrowly wide of the far post.
United were soon on the advance again as Brown's headed clearance from Lewis's goal-kick found Buchanan who turned superbly before sliding the ball in to Wright's path but his shot was pushed away by the diving Lewis to keep the visitors ahead at the break.
United showed good intention at the start of the second half and could have troubled Lewis within seconds of the re-start but for an excellent interception from Michael Briscoe. Direct from the centre spot, Wright found Webb, he in turn exchanged passes with Buchanan whose shot was blocked to Holmes in the Harriers box but his shot was well charged down by Briscoe and danger was averted.
Harriers then started to push forwards looking to double their advantage. Mike Williams flicked on a corner that was collected by an unmarked Briggs at the far post, his shot from an acute angle was blocked away by Harrison. Briggs again caused problems minutes later when he hit a free-kick from 25 yards that seemed to slice through the wall and Harrison did well diving to his right to push the ball away.
Around the hour mark Wright fired over when well placed and Lewis gathered a volley from Louis before the visitors went straight down the other end and doubled the advantage. Lewis's goal-kick was twice headed in the air by Adam Bygrave which allowed Briggs to loft the ball over Wassmer giving McPhee time to calmly lift the ball over Harrison into the net.
United almost replied straight away when Buchanan got his head to a Holmes cross but his flick was plucked out of the air by Lewis. Adam Bygrave's challenge on 74 minutes did well to keep the score down as McPhee played Hankin through on goal and minutes later Louis had a great chance to bring United back into the game when he controlled a ball inside the area only to be denied by Lewis at point blank range with a fine one handed save.
With Manager Garry Haylock pushing United into a top heavy attacking formation in an effort to pull something out of the hat, it was the visitors who were to strike twice more to give them a flattering final scoreline.
First to take advantage was McPhee. Hankin picked up a loose ball in the United half and picked out Nick Wright who into turn lofted the ball into McPhee's run, the striker cleverly clipping the ball over Harrison with his right before quickly getting his left foot around the defender to stab the ball home.
The final nail hit the coffin two minutes from time when Callum Gittings beat Harrison to a throughball on the bye-line before sliding the ball across the face of goal to fellow substitute Jack Byrne who could not miss from two inches at the far post.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Elliott Buchanan.
Highlights courtesy of FC Video here.