Hayes & Yeading’s under 18s kept their outside shot at the Ryman Youth League West title intact with a hard fought victory over Harrow Borough at Farm Park on Tuesday evening.
This was to be a game of elements as we started in dry conditions, were soon met with somewhat persistent rain before a brief hailstorm gave players and (some) spectators a drenching.
Both sides were quickly out of the blocks and it was the visitors who created the first opening as the ball was played up to Emile Collins who fired tamely at Luke Daley. United’s first chance came less than a minute later when Aaron Harriott pulled the ball back to Ryan Simpson, his shot was well blocked by Borough keeper James Callnon and then as the ball went to Aristede Bassele, Callnon was quick to block at his feet with Simpson firing the loose ball wide.
Harrow continued to push towards the United goal, Daley did very well to tip over a dipping Collins effort and minutes later grabbed hold of another Collins effort after a long free-kick sailed over the United defence.
United’s opener came on 20 minutes in the middle of a hailstorm. Simpson’s corner was met by skipper Jeffrey Kimoto, his effort was touched onto the crossbar by Callnon but David Femiola was on hand to force home the rebound.
Harrow continued to push for an equaliser but Daley was really being a thorn in Collins side. Firstly he dived full length to push away a low skidding drive from the edge of the area and then minutes later he was quickly down again to a Collins drive before sweeping up to weak follow up from former United man Jeffrey Twumasi.
Bassele went close right on the half time whistle but his shot just cleared the Borough crossbar after he had been fed by Harriott.
The second half could not have started worse for United as it took just 28 seconds for Collins to finally beat Daley, the United keeper twice scrambling the ball away in the area before it ran to the Borough striker who picked his spot low past the covering defender on the line.
This did however seem to awaken United pretty quickly. Bassele slid the ball perfectly through the centre of the Borough back four to Harriott, United’s top scorer drawing the keeper but missing the target by inches to the right of goal. Just before the hour mark Adam Butler went close as he tried to guide Andrew Dean’s deep centre back into the opposite corner, Callnon making a fine save at full stretch.
Right on the hour, a long punt by Callnon was inadvertently flicked on by Butler to Andrew Martin who, with Daley out of his goal, fired wildly over the United goal.
Six minutes later the home side again took the lead when Harriott chased the ball through the middle, beat Callnon to it by lifting it over the advancing keeper and despite the best efforts of chasing defender Adeboye Osindeinde the ball hit the back of the net.
It didn’t take long for the lead to be extended, Isaac Osei-Tutu who had been on the pitch just one minute worked his way in from the left and found Bassele who took a touch and hit a rocket of a shot from 25 yards that flew into the top corner of the Borough net.
Five minutes later Daley was again needed to be at his best, Butler’s weak backwards header saw Daley rush out to clear, the ball was quickly played back into the United area only for Daley to twice deny Louay Da Costa at close quarters.
Callnon was also having a fine game between the sticks and twice in rapid succession stopped United increasing the lead. Bassele went through on goal, Callnon got a touch on the ball to force him wide and then when the shot came in from an angle, Callnon was on hand to grab it then minutes later, a smart Bassele back-heel over the last defender let in Harriott but his shot was palmed away to safety.
Three became four for United in the 86th minute when Callnon tripped Harriott as the United striker tried to round him. Harriott himself took charge from the spot and smashed home his 17th goal of the season.
Late on Daley saved comfortably from Twumasi while at the other end Dean met a Lewis Cole cross powerfully at the near post but was denied by another excellent save from Callnon.
Report by Kevin Watts. Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Luke Daley.