Hayes & Yeading suffered defeat at Kingfield for the first time this season as former United man Andy Yiadom came back to bite the hand that used to feed, scoring once and being the standout player for the visitors.
It looked so different early on though as it was United who dominated the early exchanges with the first opening coming in just the third minute when Iron defender Adam Bailey-Dennis totally misjudged a Steve Arnold punt in his own area, the ball falling to Richard Pacquette who fired way over the visitors goal.
Braintree keeper Nathan McDonald was soon in action though, Pierre Joseph-Dubois played the ball across the park to Daniel Wishart, the United FEDO product beating his man before forcing a diving stop from McDonald.
The same pair combined minutes later, this time Joseph-Dubois forcing a diving stop from McDonald that saw him grasp the ball at the second attempt. United’s early pressure paid off in the 13th minute when a superb cross-field pass from Luke Williams was collected by Louis Soares who in turn found Joseph-Dubois in the box and he fired across McDonald into the corner of the Braintree net to register his first goal in United colours (below).
Sadly for Nas Bashir’s side the lead was to last less than ten minutes as a long ball up over the defence to Sean Marks saw him hold off Mark Bentley’s challenge before squaring to ball to former United man Yiadom who had the simple task of beating Arnold to bring the Iron level.
Almost twenty minutes then passed without a testing effort on goal however in the final five minutes of the half both sides could have given themselves the edge. Hayes & Yeading were the first to go close as Bentley stooped to head on a Ryan Crockford centre with the ball just evading Pacquette’s slide before going wide of the far post.
The half closed with a good chance for the visitors falling to another former United man in Ben Wright, the striker firing over after Harrison Bayley had been dispossessed.
United again started quickly after the break, Williams racing up the right side before cutting inside and picking out Soares who saw his shot from just inside the Braintree area go just wide of the upright.
Arnold was soon in action at the other end as Wright powered a free-kick past the wall from 20 yards forcing the United keeper into a full length dive to keep the ball out. Sadly two minutes later United seemed to switch off having conceded a throw, Wright quickly found Jai Reason who burst past Bentley and into the six yard box before powering the ball home off the far post from the acutest of angles.
Having gone behind the game seemed to open up again and chances were being made at both ends. A well constructed passing move from United started by Bentley ended with Crockford firing over from 20 yards and then at the other end Yiadom played the ball forwards to Wright who advanced into the area before firing across the face of goal and wide of the far post.
Reason then set up Wright who having switched the ball neatly to his right foot saw Bayley take some of the sting off the shot which allowed Arnold to comfortably gather.
A Williams forward surge saw him pick out Soares but again the target was missed and then at the other end Marks got his head to a Reason centre but put his header, albeit powerfully, straight at Arnold.
With the visitors constant time wasting being taken into account referee Davies signalled for a minimum of 6 additional minutes. During this time both sides created excellent openings which could have seen them increase their goal tally.
The biggest chance fell to the visitors two minutes into stoppage time when Diak John was adjudged to have brought down Chib Chilaka in the box. Reason stepped up only for Arnold to maintain his 100% record, saving his fifth spot kick of the season.
Sixty seconds later came United’s best chance of a point when a low centre from the right fell to an on-coming Bentley who could only steer his shot at McDonald and the Iron keeper held on to give his side the three points.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Luke Williams.
Highlights courtesy of FC Video here.
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