Hayes & Yeading's relegation battle received another massive boost on Saturday as Nas Bashir's side put together back to back Blue Square Bet Premier victories for the first time this season with an excellent performance at a rain soaked New Lawn.
Fit again Stevenage striker Michael Thalassitis returned to the side to form a new up front partnership with Aiden O'Brien who made his debut in the previous game while Tom Collins dropped to the bench.
It was however the home side who started the game quicker and sharper than their Middlesex based opponents with Steve Arnold's reflexes being needed just 5 minutes into the game. Matt Taylor collecting the ball on the left of the box before cutting inside and hitting a fierce cross-shot that the United stopper did well to push out to safety.
O'Brien then shot wide for United before Dan Spence's speculative shot from distance took a deflection which brought Rovers keeper Sam Russell into the action for the first time as he had to touch the ball around his post. Having nearly given United the lead, it was Spence minutes later who stopped the home side taking the lead. Chris Stokes and Yan Klukowski combined on the left before the later picked out Liam Henderson only for Spence to throw himself into the firing line to block the Rovers man's close range effort (pictured above).
After this scare United started to slowly push themselves into the game more, Yassin Moutaouakil picked out O'Brien on the right, the United striker making his way along the bye-line before hitting a low cross to the near post that strike partner Thalassitis turned just wide of the target.
Just before the half hour mark slow patient build up play from United almost paid dividends as skipper Jamie Hand let fly from fully 30 yards only for Russell to tip the ball away as it looked to be heading for the top corner of the Rovers net.
Ten minutes later Russell was in the thick of things again, Hand fed Moutaouakil on the right, his swinging cross was flicked goalwards by Thalassitis but the Rovers keeper did well to push it wide. Hand's resultant corner was headed back from the far post by Pelé, Eddie Oshodi's attempted clearance being chested down and smashed home through a crowd by Tom Cadmore to open the scoring (pictured above left & below right).
With the heavens having opened up at half-time, it was again the home side who started better after the break with Thomson's free-kick to the near post being headed wide by the stooping Taylor. Cadmore then saw a 25 yard free-kick dip just over Rovers bar for United.
The equaliser was soon to come though for the home side and it came courtesy of substitute Michael Uwezu who had been on the pitch for just eight minutes. Uwezu received the ball on the right corner of the United box and advanced before firing a low skidding shot across Arnold that, despite getting his fingers to it, the United keeper could not keep it out of the far corner.
Two minutes later it could have been worse for the visitors as Rovers centre-back Oshodi turned to shoot inside the box, Arnold however was quickly off his line to block away at close range. Two minutes later the ball was in the net and thankfully for Bashir's side it was in their favour with one of the best moves of the season. Hand played the ball right to Moutaouakil, he moved away from Stokes attentions before firing a low centre, O'Brien did well to draw away his marker before stepping over the ball which left it to his strike partner and Thalassitis did the rest, sweeping the ball home from ten yards giving Russell no chance.
As the game entered it's final fifteen minutes a long range effort from Michael Pook took a deflection off Luke Williams and went wide off the United post.
Hayes & Yeading then
extended their advantage on 81 minutes as substitute Daniel Wishart made his mark even quicker than Uwezu had for the home side. Having been on the field for just five minutes, the United striker netted his second in consecutive games after he caught Russell in possession outside his box and despite Russell grabbing his shirt, the United man pulled away and ran the ball into a totally vacant net.
The final couple of minutes saw two minor scares for Bashir's side. James Norwood's flicked header dipped just over the bar before Phil Walsh did well to block another Pook effort, the rebound falling to Henderson whose shot was deflected but saved by the diving Arnold to seal a first ever win for United at The New Lawn.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Tom Cadmore.