A good solid performance at Earlsmead saw Hayes & Yeading’s under 18 side extend their unbeaten start to the season to five games with a 3-0 victory over a very good Harrow Borough side in the Ryman Youth League.
After a close opening ten minutes in which neither keeper was really tested, the game came to life almost by accident in the 11th minute when Elliott Legg showed good pace down the right advancing from full-back and as he crossed from the bye-line the ball appeared to be going out of play only to be clawed back against his own crossbar by Borough keeper James Callnon. As the ball dropped back into play a defenders clearance saw the ball played back to Ryan Simpson, his run into the box saw him appear to be tackled by Francis Archibong but referee Mr Hart thought he had taken player first and awarded a penalty to United. Aaron Harriott took responsibility and coolly fired into the bottom corner to give the league leaders an early advantage.
Minutes later Aristede Bassele went close at the near post as he connected with a Simpson corner and then at the other end a 20 yard effort from Harrow’s Emille Collins was easily fielded by Luke Daley who launched the ball forwards to Bassele but his shot also was easily dealt with, this time by Borough’s Callnon.
Umar Mansaray then picked out raiding left-back Andrew Dean who saw Callnon grasp hold of his 25 yard drive and then a scare in the United box saw a short corner played across to Archibong eight yards from goal, the Harrow defender being denied a close range shot by an excellent Adam Butler tackle, the defender also having the presence of mind to boot the loose ball clear while sitting on the ground.
Ten minutes before the break United deservedly extended their lead as Harriott latched on to a long clearance that had been totally missed by Borough defender James Brophy, the United striker advancing confidently to the edge of the area before picking his spot in the bottom corner of Callnon’s goal.
Harrow’s last chance of the half to reduce the deficit came in the 42nd minute when a weaving run by David Sobers took him to the United area but his chipped effort sailed straight into Daley’s arms as the United keeper approached.
Just seconds into the second half an audacious effort from Harriott almost saw him grab his hat-trick as he won the ball 45 yards from goal and seeing Callnon off his line tried to loft the ball over him but sadly the effort was just off target.
United continued after the break where they had left off in the first half, very much in the ascendancy. Dean and Simpson combined on the left, the latter’s centre being touch goalwards at the near post by Harriott but Callnon kept it out with an outstretched boot. Minutes later the same two again combined, this time it was Dean feeding the ball back to Simpson who was inches wide of the near post with his shot.
Just after the hour mark Simpson deservedly got his name on the scoresheet. Having dispossessed Akil Phillip-Forde, the right-back who had been having a torrid time keeping tabs on the United winger, Simpson advanced into the area, touched the ball past Brophy before running around the defender the opposite way to reach and play the ball past Callnon with the outside of his boot to effectively seal the victory.
Hayes & Yeading still pushed on and Harriott was again denied a third by Callnon’s legs after the United man had reacted quickest to a long Daley free-kick. Next to go close for the visitors was substitute Isaac Osei-Tutu who was just wide of the target after reacting quickest to a Simpson cross.
The final effort of the game did fall to the home side as Collins tried his luck from distance but Daley was able to watch the ball wide to complete his fourth clean sheet in five this season.
Report by Kevin Watts. Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Adam Butler.