Hayes & Yeading ended 2011 with a rather disappointing performance at Ebbsfleet as the hosts took all three points to leave Nas Bashir's side in the relegation zone at the turn of the year.
It could however have started so well for United as
an attack within the first 60 seconds saw Louie Soares feed the ball right to Pierre Joseph-Dubois, the United man outpacing Joe Howe before firing the ball across and although it appeared too near keeper Preston Edwards, he fumbled it but no United player was near enough to capitalise.
In the 10th minute a fine sweeping move from the home side between Michael West, Tom Phipp and former United man Liam Enver-Marum saw the latter denied by a last ditch Ryan Crockford tackle that took the ball off his toe as he was in the process of shooting.
Daniel Wishart then chased down and collected a wayward pass on the left, he cut inside past Craig Stone and picked out Soares who switched feet and hit a shot that went agonisingly wide of the upright.
The Fleet were having an awful lot of possession as the half progressed but seemed lacking in ideas up front. A right side corner was met by Fleet skipper Paul Lorraine but his header was easily dealt with by Carl Pentney in the United goal and with ten minutes to go to the break a quick throw-in was hit first time by Phipp and forced a dive from Pentney but the ball went into the side netting.
Four minutes from the break the home side went close when a West free-kick was inadvertently played up in the air to defender Yado Mambo who despite catching the ball sweetly on the volley, saw his effort just clear the United goal. The opener for the home side was however only a minute away, and again it had a touch of fortune in the creation. Phipp played the ball wide on the right to Nathaniel Pinney, he beat Wishart to the bye-line and cut the ball back to Enver-Marum who totally miss-hit the ball in front of goal and it ran straight to West who netted from close range.
Buoyed by the goal just before the break, the Fleet came out all guns blazing and should have scored a second just two minutes in when Lorraine came onto a West corner but couldn't keep his powerful header down. Goal two came soon after however when a thumping clearance from right-back Stone went straight to Phipp just outside the United box and he took one touch to control the ball before advancing and placing his shot past Pentney's dive and into the bottom corner of the United net.
Minutes later a Howe cross was met by Pinney who saw his header go just wide and then just after the hour mark Phipp got on the end of a Pinney centre, his hooked shot going up in the air before looping neatly into the top corner of Pentney's goal (right) for the home side's third of the afternoon.
United substitute Corey Gameiro twice went close as Hayes & Yeading sought to get back into a game that was really already gone away from them. Firstly the Fulham loanee hit a first time effort wide and then after Tom Collins had run onto a throughball only to be tackled by Mambo, the loose ball ran to Gameiro but Edwards was quickly off his line to block.
Ten minutes from time United did get a surprise consolation goal when Crockford played the ball forwards to a rather offside looking Toby Ajala, the United man however played to the whistle, which never came, and advanced into the area before setting up Collins to tap home his 7th of the season.
A minute from time Gameiro broke away and pulled the ball back to fellow substitute Mo Bettamer but his driven shot was well charged down by Lorraine on the edge of the area and the game was over.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Daniel Wishart.