Paul Hughes’ Hayes & Yeading reserve side arrived at Stag Meadow to face Windsor & Eton with no fewer than six debutants in the starting XI.
On a drizzly evening it was to be a goal fest from the start as United took a fifth minute lead only to see it cancelled out within 3 minutes by the home side. United’s opener came on five minutes when Dean Worman fired the ball low across field to Bruno Luz, he moved inside and fired the ball across goal and Sean Sinclair slid in at the far post to net despite a desperate dive by keeper James Larkin that saw him down injured for a while after colliding with the post.
Although three minutes had passed, in playing time it was less than a minute before the Royalists pulled level as a weak clearance fell nicely to Dan Simmonds who fired past Simon Grant from 12 yards.
Larkin was quickly in action again as he touched a Paul Robinson drive around the post before the United striker was just too high from close range having met a Jack Pattison centre.
John Critchley for the home side and Worman for United both went close before former United striker Miles Jones scored a fantastic goal for the home side when he controlled the ball 30 yards out and hit a dipping volley that flew into the top corner leading to his usual somersault celebrations.
United were denied a couple of minutes later when Larkin did well to push away a close range Robinson volley after he was sent through by Worman. The leveller was only a matter of minutes away though as Worman spread the ball left to Luz, he cut inside and fired in a low drive that went in off the far post.
Although the equaliser came in the 42nd minute, three more openings were created before the break. Simmonds almost netted a second when he toed the ball inches wide of the post before Windsor keeper Larkin did well to push a Worman drive around the post at the other end. Last chance of the half again fell to the home side, this time it was Grant doing well as he pushed away an angled drive by Tom Collins.
There were not to be so many openings in the second half however the goal tally almost matched that of the first. United started quickest and just six minutes were played when Robinson found Luz who beat his marker before hitting a shot from an acute angle that came back off the face of the crossbar.
Just before the hour mark a goal apiece within a minute continued the quick scoring. United found the net first when Phil Appiah raced past Elliott Woodham on the right before cutting the ball back to Luz on the edge of the area and he fired low into the bottom corner from 20 yards. Sadly the lead lasted all of 45 seconds as Ben Clisby crossed from the right, Cameron Gilmartin missed his clearance and Simmonds fired home from close range.
Five minutes later came the final and decisive goal, for United. Sinclair showed great speed down the right-hand side, his cut-back was poorly cleared by Clisby and the impressive Appiah drove the ball past Larkin from the edge of the box.
Eight minutes later the scores could and maybe should have been level once more as Jones beat the offside trap and slid the ball under the on-coming Grant with insufficient power which allowed Pattison to chase the ball down and clear comfortably from inside the six yard box.
Robinson and Clisby went close for their respective sides during the last ten minutes and home keeper Larkin was lucky to stay on the field when he came racing from goal as Sinclair ran free and as the United man tried to lob him a clear case of handball was flagged for by the assistant referee but his signal was totally ignored by the man with the power in the middle.
The win moves United back to the summit of the Capital League with 13 points from our 5 games played.
Report by Kevin Watts. Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Phil Appiah.