Hayes and Yeading United made progress in the Jeff Ritson Cup with an away victory over North Greenford United, their first cup match victory this season.
The kick off was delayed by 15 minutes as several players and a match official were caught in a traffic jam on the A40. When it did start, it did so in controversial circumstances as Tamille Roach broke the offside trap and beat keeper Lukash Jascorski, touching the ball past him. The ball didn't have the momentum to cross the goal line but as Roach approached it, he was tripped just outside of the penalty area. Jascorski was fortunate to escape with just a yellow card and although Prince Mbengiu went inches wide with the free kick, a Hayes and Yeading United team minus the suspended Oneal Rowe (sent off for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity recently) could feel rather hard done by.
Mbengiu was unlucky again soon afterwards, when Roach's cross found Imran Haidery and although his shot was blocked, Mbengiu's follow up deflected just wide. As Hayes and Yeading United continued to press, Roach showed great poise to cut inside his marker before firing a shot on target which Jascorski blocked well.
Roach continued to provide the biggest threat down the left flank and he almost scored from just inside the touch line with a fierce shot which fizzed across goal and just missed the far post. He then rode two challenges before having his shot parried by the advancing Jascorski.
Hayes and Yeading United eventually got the goal their approach play deserved but it came from the right flank, as Nathaniel Mensah cut inside before laying the ball off to Haidery, who turned before rifling the ball into the roof of the net.
A minute later, Arti Krasniqi burst forward and was fouled by Kuari Nelson in the act of shooting for a penalty. Krasniqi took responsibility himself but missed the right hand post with his spot kick.
North Greenford had their first effort on target just before half time as from a corner, Matteus Kraznrek fired goalwards but saw his shot cannon off Mensah's legs.
The second half started rather scrappy for both teams, as neither were retaining possession easily. Mbengiu went on a bursting run from midfield and unleashed a shot which was well blocked by Cameron Carisp, but generally both teams struggled on a heavy pitch.
North Greenford then had their best chance yet as Kraznrek burst through one on one, but skied his shot. The hosts were punished for this miss on 67 minutes as Hayes and Yeading extended their lead, Mensah forcing a block from Jascorski which unfortunately for him, cannoned in off team mate Anthony Egan.
Substitute Josh Odunwo came on and worked hard to make an impact, despite a more stubborn resistance from the hosts' defence in the second half. A clever piece of tricky took him past his marker on 81 minutes, but Jascorski smothered his shot. He then put Roach through on goal with a perfectly weighted throughball but although he got around Jascorski he was off balance and his shot found the foot of the post with the goal gaping.
In stoppage time, Odunwo then nearly benefitted from Mohammed's run into the danger area but his shot was blocked by Jascorski, to keep the score line at 2-0.
Report by Nick Bell.
United Man of the Match: Tamille Roach.