United’s first under 18s fixture of the season had pretty much everything, nine goals, a sending off and two penalty saves as Hayes & Yeading scored a 7-2 win away at Bedfont Sports on Monday evening.
With only new skipper Tom Marr remaining from last season’s side, it was United who set the early pace as Jalon Rowe fired over when well placed before Bedfont keeper Kerian Evans was forced into action by Josh Odunwo, having fumbled the striker’s shot, Evans was quick to grasp the ball at the foot of the post.
Left-back Arti Krasniqi then fired in a cross that was met by Nathaniel Mensah but his effort was too high.
Sports first early chance came on 14 minutes when William McKelvie fired a free-kick from halfway that cleared Tom Marr with Sports Allistair Keith beating United keeper Tyler Wootton to the ball but his header dropped the wrong side of the crossbar.
Prince Mbengiu was inches wide for United and from the resultant goal-kick, the ball was headed straight back to Odunwo who with just Evans to beat lobbed the ball way over the top.
United were nearly caught out at the back in the 25th minute when a cross from the left was flicked on by Antone Jarvis only to be caught at full stretch by Wootton. Wootton was again in action minutes later, twice denying Carsez Best-Byran after he had been put through by Cory Williamson.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 34th minute when Oneal Rowe fed the ball through to Odunwo who slid it past Evans from an angle to give United the lead.
Within two minutes the home side were awarded a penalty for a trip inside the area by Ben Peden, Darryl Sanders stepped up and despite hitting the ball hard to Wootton’s right, the United keeper chose the right direction and made a fine save.
The final four minutes of the half saw no fewer than three more goals, a red card and another Wootton penalty save. A second for United started proceedings, Oneal Rowe was again the provider, this time for Nathaniel Mensah who advanced onto his pass and coolly lobbed over the advancing Evans.
Two minutes later Marr was adjudged to have denied a goal when he handled the ball while protecting his face and was shown the red card by referee Randall who awarded Sports a second penalty. Wootton again guessed correctly, albeit in the opposite direction, and again denied Sanders, the loose ball however was quickly played back into the middle where Joe Jackson slotted home to reduce the arrears for the home side.
With the last kick of the half it was 3-1 as Mert Bajraktari advanced towards the area, his shot taking a deflection that totally wrong footed Evans giving the home keeper no chance.
Early chances continued in the second half as Evans denied Oneal Rowe with the ball appearing to smack into the keepers face and then quickly at the other end Wootton was down quickly to deny Jackson a second.
United’s fourth came in the 53rd minute when a surge down the left saw the ball played to Prince Mbengiu in the middle and he picked his spot just inside the far post with precision.
Wootton was again in action around the hour mark, stretching up to tip over an Antone Jarvis effort from just inside the United box. Minutes later an appeal for handball in the Sports area was waved away by the referee only for the ball to be collected by Odunwo who beat a defender before firing past Evans for number five.
Ten minutes remained when United made it six, substitute Senesei Koroma-Ice collecting a direct ball up the middle, holding off his marker before firing through Evans into the net.
Two minutes later the home side had a second as Wootton made his only mistake of the evening by allowing a Norman Bukowski shot to squirm under him at the near post although United did add a seventh five minutes later as good work in the middle of the park by Jalon Rowe saw him play the ball to Koroma-Ice who again held off his marker before firing into the bottom corner from 25 yards.
Report by Kevin Watts.
United Man of the Match: Tyler Wootton.