Hayes & Yeading’s first “home” outing at York Road ended in a 2-0 defeat against a well organised Southern Premier side in the shape of St Neots Town.
A few more new faces appeared in the United side as the Gaffer looks to finalise his squad for the trip to St Albans City next week for the start of the Vanarama Conference South campaign.
One of United’s new triallists, goalkeeper Calum Kitscha was in action after just 30 seconds, going full stretch to tip over a Matt Nolan drive that was destined for the top corner.
It was only a couple of minutes later when he was beaten though, Lewis Hilliard made a break down the right side, his low cross providing a close range tap in for Nolan to break the deadlock.
Kitscha had to be at his best again on 15 minutes when Nolan beat Matt Ruby in a foot race to the box, the former Histon keeper spreading himself well to deflect the strikers shot around the post.
On 22 minutes he again could do nothing as Nolan broke into the six yard box from the right and pulled the ball back to his strike partner Chris Dillon, who in identical fashion tapped home from a couple of feet.
United started to force the play in the opposite direction soon after. Rhys Murrell-Williamson made his way into the box but his chip shot was comfortably held by former Hayes FC keeper Nathan Abbey in the visitors goal.
Two minutes later the midfield powerhouse of David Ijaha and Matty Harriott combined, the latter hitting a shot that went just the wrong side of the post with Abbey rooted to the spot.
Just before the break United went even closer. Murrell-Williamson swung in a superb far post cross from the right, Frankie Merrifield arrived at the far post and powered a header that hit the underside of the bar, bounced down on the line and was hacked clear.
United came on a lot stronger in the second half but could not find a way back into the game. Adam Everett fed the ball to Myles Stephenson in the box, his shot being deflected wide by a well timed Gavin Hoyte tackle.
With 15 minutes remaining, Abbey and Merrifield jumped for an aerial ball and with both in a heap on the floor the ball dropped to Harriott, his goalbound lob being cleared off the line by Martell Powell.
The Saints had an effort from range drop just over Ben McNamara’s crossbar as the game drew to its conclusion before Harriott for about the fourth time this pre-season struck the woodwork, his driven shot from the edge of the box beating Abbey with Jack Thomson-Wheeler firing over the rebound.
Report by Kevin Watts.