Hayes & Yeading exacted a little revenge for being knocked out of the FA Trophy by Wealdstone a few months back as Phil Babb’s side came from a goal down to move into the Middlesex Senior Cup semi-finals at Grosvenor Vale on Monday evening.
Both managers fielded a strong starting XI, which with a Conference South fixture between the two sides a matter of days away was a surprise to many in attendance.
The home side started well, forcing a save from Calum Kitscha in just the ninth minute when after a good exchange between Shaun Lucien and the evergreen Jefferson Louis, the former fired goalwards from the corner of the box with Kitscha doing well to push out his drive.
In what was a half devoid of many openings, a glut of them seemed to come around the midway mark before the half died away again.
Tom Derry beat his man in the air before striking a volley that Jonathan North held comfortably and within a minute Nicholas Bignall won a tackle and fed Luke Williams, his 25 yard effort being grabbed by North at the second attempt.
Elliot Benyon was just too high with a flick header from Rhys Murrell-Williamson’s centre before play swung to the other end with Richard Jolly setting up a shooting chance for Louis but Kitscha was behind the shot all the way and gathered neatly.
The second half started a little more lively and eight minutes had gone when the Stones broke the deadlock. United were caught in possession and the ball found its way to Louis, who beat Greg Morgan into the box and fired a hard low drive across Kitscha into the far corner.
Derry went close to pulling United level but North kept him out with a save at the foot of his post before a golden chance at the other end should have seen the home side double their lead. West Ham loanee Nathan Mavila broke away on the left and unleashed a rocket of a shot that Kitscha did superbly well to tip onto the crossbar, the ball dropping to Louis less than six yards from an open goal only for the former United striker to fluff his lines and put the ball wide.
This turned out to be a crucial turning point as within five minutes United not only equalised, but took the lead. Substitute Mason Spence, who had been on the pitch four minutes, played a perfect ball over the Stones rear-guard to winger Murrell-Williamson who fired past North to bring United level.
Three minutes later United were ahead. Murrell-Williamson collected the ball on the left and crossed to Bignall, the striker chested the ball down perfectly to Benyon who took it on and fired past North from twelve yards.
Williams again stung North’s hands from distance but despite the home side having a large amount of late possession the only save of note Kitscha made was when a Louis cross-shot ricocheted to Jolly and the United keeper got down quickly to grasp the strikers shot to his chest.
Report by Nick Bell.
United Man of the Match: Rhys Murrell-Williamson.