Phil Babb’s Hayes & Yeading side picked up a very hard fought three points at York Road, seeing off visiting Bishop’s Stortford by the odd goal in three with the winner coming from the returning Tom Collins who was making his “third” United debut.
The game started at a good pace with a couple of balls whipped across the United box by the visitors but it was the home side who took first spoils. Louis-Rae Beadle collected the ball wide on the left, his deep cross was brought under control on the chest of Dan Wishart who cut inside onto his favoured left and let fly from 20 yards with the ball whizzing through two sliding attempts to block and ‘keeper Joe Wright.
The lead however was to last just two minutes as the visitors crafted one of the best we’ve conceded thus far. After working the ball around in the middle of the park, Mikel Suarez played the ball out to the left where Johnny Herd took possession and cut into the United box, he returned to the ball to Suarez who saw his effort well blocked by Calum Kitscha, the follow-up was blocked on the line before full-back Ashley Miller managed to force the ball home.
Not downhearted, United were back ahead in the 25th minute. Adam Everitt played the ball forwards from halfway, Pat Cox let the ball go to Tom Collins who beat a poorly positioned Danny Fitzsimmons to the ball and as Wright came out the returning United striker took the ball past both keeper and defender and rolled it into the empty net.
Ashleigh Artwell saw a 25 yard effort on the slippery turf skid just wide before Collins should have increased the lead on the half hour mark. Beadle found Cox on the right of the box, he laid the ball back to his strike partner who probably caught the ball too well if that’s possible from 12 yards out and it crashed back off the crossbar.
This was the last action of the first half and United went in a goal to the good at the break.
The second half was to see more goal chances yet the scoreline was not to change. Early doors a looping Cox header from Wishart’s cross was easy for Wright and at the other end only an excellent sliding block from Matt Ruby denied Stortford skipper Anthony Church who pulled the pin 12 yards out after good work out wide from Ryan Melaugh.
Two chances came in quick succession, one each, around the hour mark. Artwell and Collins combined to send the ball through to Cox who although off balance managed to get an angled shot in that Wright kept out one handed before gathering the loose ball. The visitors then went straight down the other end and Church again received the ball in the box, this time from Herd’s centre with his effort again being blocked, this time by a well timed De’Reece Vanderhyde interception.
Beadle went close for United on 69 minutes, his first effort being blocked and when the ball came back to the same player, his follow-up shot looked destined for the top corner but for the slightest of deflections that took the ball just away from the angle of post and bar.
Church was still finding space in the United box but could not find his way past a steely United defence as again his effort was blocked, this time by Artwell, before the visiting skipper blazed over the loose ball when it came back to him. Minutes later it was United on the charge as Wishart collected the ball in his own half and raced away down the left side before moving inside and into the area only to be denied by Wright who moved off his line to block the winger’s shot away.
Wishart then crossed to the far post where an arriving substitute in the form of returnee number two, Chimdi Akubuine, got his head to the ball but could not get enough angle on his effort to trouble Wright.
The closing minutes saw a match winning save from Kitscha and a vital clearance from Vanderhyde ensure the three points were secured. Sheldon Sellears cross from the right was met in the middle by central defender George Allen who looked to have guided his header back into the far corner only to be denied by an excellent diving stop from Kitscha who pushed the ball around the post.
Then in stoppage time a long range Church effort was pushed out by Kitscha with the quick feet of Vanderhyde firstly blocking a close range effort before hacking the ball clear to safety.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Dean Inman.
Print the Teamsheet: Here.