For the first time in Hayes & Yeading’s short joint history, 6 points have been taken from the first two games of a season as goals from Fabio Bufano, Dan Wishart and substitute Myles Stephenson helped see off a tough battling Concord Rangers side at York Road.
Manager Phil Babb stuck with the same starting XI that had done him proud at St Albans with two changes on the bench as fit again De’Reece Vanderhyde and new arrival Saul Williams replaced Trecy Bambi and Jack Thomson-Wheeler respectively.
Early chances saw Steve Cawley’s early effort from the visitors comfortably handled by Calum Kitscha and then within a minute at the other end Gary MacDonald got his head to an out swinging Dan Wishart corner but his header was held by Concord stopper Jamie Butler.
Still within a very open first ten minutes, United skipper Matty Harriott saw a drilled shot from the edge of the box go just the wrong side of the post with Butler rooted to the spot and then at the other end Concord went even closer when a dipping effort from Gary Ogilvie beat Kitscha only to come back off the crossbar to Cawley who bundled it home but was flagged offside.
Midway through the half United started to take a bit more control of the game. Ashleigh Artwell danced around all and sundry before shooting straight at Butler, this was quickly followed by a fine run down the left by Frankie Merrifield who picked out Harriott but again his effort was just off target.
Kitscha held again from Cawley before the deadlock was finally broken five minutes from the break. Wishart’s deep corner from the right picked out Pat Cox arriving at the far post, his header looked destined for the top corner only for Butler to acrobatically tip it over. Wishart crossed the field to take the subsequent corner and darted in a driven effort that was powered home by the on-coming Fabio Bufano giving Butler no chance.
Far from sitting back as the break approached, United went off in search of another, it came in stoppage time. Referee Mr Rathbone awarded United a free-kick in a central position 25 yards from goal, Wishart stepped up and fired a low driven shot past the wall and into the bottom corner.
The second half started well again for the home side. Harriott did well to retain possession near the corner flag before slipping the ball to Merrifield, his cross was met at the near post by Matt Ruby but his effort was well over the visitors’ goal. Merrifield was again creator minutes later, this time for himself as he cut inside past Nicky Cowley only to see his shot from a tight angle go into the side netting.
The Beachboys almost got one back just before the hour mark when a Gary Ogilvie free-kick went beat the wall only to go the wrong side of Kitscha’s post. Ten minutes later Jordan Chiedozie made space for himself in the United area only to fire across the face of goal.
The host’s best moment of the game brought the best save of the game from United’s Calum Kitscha. Beachboys substitute Tony Stokes controlled a low driven centre and hit a shot on the turn that all and sundry expected to nestle in the corner of the net only for a superb reaction save from Kitscha to push the ball away to safety.
Just five minutes remained when United put the game out of the Beachboys reach. An excellent run up the right flank from the halfway line by Ashleigh Artwell saw him get right to the bye-line before sending in a cross that sailed over Butler to a grateful Myles Stephenson who had the simple task of bringing the ball down and tapping home from a couple of feet for his maiden United goal (above right).
Stephenson could have added another five minutes later when Bufano headed a Saul Williams corner back into the Concord area but the striker couldn’t keep his volley low enough to trouble Butler.
The only downside to another excellent United result was a penalty for the visitors deep in stoppage time that was awarded against Bufano for handball, Danny Glozier stepped up and sent Kitscha the wrong way to earn a consolation for the Essex side.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: David Ijaha.
Print the Teamsheet: Here.