Hayes & Yeading’s under 18 side continued their push for the Ryman Youth League West title on Monday evening at Beaconsfield Road as United ran out winners by the odd goal in five against a very good Potters Bar Town side.
With United missing top scorer Josh Odunwo, manager Simon East gave a welcome return to the starting line-up to Nathaniel Mensah and it was he who fired the first effort in anger, testing Potters Bar keeper James Cattlin who saved diving to his right.
United keeper Tyler Wootton was soon to be tested also as he got down sharply to grasp a low drilled effort from Luke Jupp. Despite United having a good amount of possession, it was again the visitors who went close in the 25th minute when Dipo Akinyemi ran through on goal only to be denied by Wootton who touched the ball past the post.
United left-back Arti Krasniqi was next to try his luck, having picked up the ball in midfield, the defender advanced and curled a 20 yard effort than went the wrong side of the upright.
On 35 minutes the visitors were to take the lead. United were still regrouping after an injury to mainstay central defender Taofiq Olomowewe who although having limped back on was not fully up to speed when a corner came in from the right, Wootton’s punch was not firm enough and when the ball was played back in from the left Frankie Lane was on hand to tap home from close range.
Olomowewe was soon replaced by Emmanuel Shaheed before United got a deserved, albeit fortunate, leveller three minutes from the break that owed much to Mensah’s persistence as he chased down a weak back pass and blocked Cattlin’s attempted clearance with the ball flying straight back into the Potters Bar net.
Mensah was again instrumental just after the break, his cross was totally missed by the swinging boot of a defender allowing Sharrif Wilson to nip in and force the ball past Cattlin’s dive.
Just after the hour mark United found the net again, Cattlin’s weak kick was headed straight back to Prince Mbengiu, assistant referee Ian Skull waved play on despite claims for offside and the United midfielder made it goal number ten for the season as he slid the ball into the corner of Cattlin’s net.
Within minutes the visitors could have been back in the game, Wootton pushed an Akinyemi shot around the post and when the corner came in Sonny Feltwell rose highest but his effort was cleared off the line by the covering Oneal Rowe.
Mensah again went close for United, having an initial effort blocked he latched onto the loose ball only to be denied by Cattlin while at the other end Akinyemi fired wildly over when well placed to test Wootton.
With ten minutes to go, both teams had a chance to increase the score. Akinyemi collected the ball on the left side and picked out Jupp in the United box, the Potters Bar man being denied by a timely Shaheed interception. At the other end Jalon Rowe threaded a perfect ball through to substitute Imran Haidery who curled the ball around the on-coming Cattlin but only found the side netting.
A minute later the visitors got themselves back in the game. Wootton got an outstretched boot in the way of an Akinyemi effort but from the resultant corner Feltwell was again given space in the box and this time his header looped over everybody into the far corner.
United played out the remaining time with no major scares to move ten points clear in the table but having played more games than anybody else, however we have the points on the board which could prove vital towards season end.
Report by Kevin Watts.
United Man of the Match: Jalon Rowe.