Nas Bashir’s Hayes & Yeading side pretty much dominated the chances against Ebbsfleet United at Kingfield but still came away on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline despite a superb 35 yard strike from Louie Soares that levelled things up just after the break.
The Fleet were however the first to create an opening in just the second minute when a swinging Craig Stone cross was sliced towards his own goal by Phil Walsh, Carl Pentney made a block and when the loose ball fell to Ricky Shakes, his effort was blocked away by Jordan Rose.
United were quickly on the front foot though and in the sixth minute a Pentney goal kick was flicked on by Julian Owusu to Louie Soares who moved forwards and hit a 20 yard shot that was fielded by Fleet keeper Preston Edwards. Minutes later a Soares corner was headed back towards the post by Tom Cadmore and the ball fell to James Folkes who volleyed over from close range.
Around the 20 minute mark Soares centre saw Owusu nip in front of his marker but Edwards was sharp enough to grab the ball. Minutes later a quick throw-in for the visitors picked out Nathaniel Pinney who cut inside and hit a dipping shot that just cleared Pentney’s crossbar.
United immediately switched onto the attack and Jordan Rose picked out Soares, his shot from the edge of the area was initially fumbled by Edwards who then quickly grabbed the loose ball as Rose arrived.
A bit of a lull in proceedings then occurred before the Fleet took a surprise lead on 41 minutes. A long ball forwards to Calum Willock saw Walsh caught out by the bounce and the Fleet striker moved past him and fired past Pentney.
An injury to referee Rob Whitton which resulted in assistant Mark Tweed taking over in the middle was the last real action of the first half.
The second half could not have got off to a better start for Hayes & Yeading. Nas Bashir sent on new signing Pelé in place of Folkes but it was other recent arrival Yassin Moutaouakil who played the ball diagonally to Soares, United’s top scorer unleashing an unstoppable shot from in excess of 30 yards that flew past Edwards into the top corner of the Fleet net.
Right on the hour mark United should have gone ahead, a ball up field to Owusu saw the United striker loft the ball over the advancing Edwards and wheel away in celebration, however defender Yado Mambo gave chase and got under the bouncing ball, smashing it off the underside of his own crossbar and out to safety.
Just three minutes later Owusu flicked the ball neatly into Jamie Hand’s run on the right, his low centre was met by Rose but at full stretch his effort went over the bar. Rose was again soon in the action, this time screwing the ball wide from 15 yards after receiving a Soares corner.
The killer blow was struck in the 77th minute when the visitors took possession from Hand in midfield and played the ball forwards into Willock’s run, his perfect lob over the advancing Pentney finding the United net to again give Fleet the upper hand.
A stoppage time scramble was the closest United came to an equaliser as Soares cut back was fired goalwards from close range by Walsh only for Edwards to block superbly on the line and the ball was punted clear.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Louie Soares.
Highlights courtesy of FC Video here.