Hayes and Yeading United overturned a half time deficit to win an entertaining match against Ashford Town (Middlesex) by five goals to two, including some fine strikes and a penalty save.
United had the ideal start as a quick move down the left straight from kick off ended in a shot from Dylan Kearney which the home keeper blocked but the ball landed invitingly back in his path for a simple finish timed at 12 seconds.
The home side responded positively and United had debutant keeper Joe Lane to thank for a superb double save to deny their centre forward after he bore down on goal. However, the opening exchanges were mostly won by Hayes and Yeading United and Javier Mato crossed deep for Matt Sinclair whose shot was blocked by a defender on its way towards goal.
Another good move on the left involving Shamen Goswell and Ethan Grant looked to be fizzling out but the ball broke to Jack Doyle who hit a rasping shot which clipped the top of the crossbar on its way over.
The game then turned unexpectedly on the 28th minute as a long clearance from the home keeper split the United back line and the on rushing midfielder burst through and tucked the ball beyond Lane. Then, just two minutes later another long ball found the same player who again broke away to score with a similar finish.
Play was then punctuated by a number of injuries although United tried to rally, Cole Brown firing just wide from long range, then the keeper bravely saved at Callum Keane's feet in the six yard box and then held Brown's goalbound header at his near post.
Manager Tristan Lewis was clearly dissatisfied with the way the first half went and undertook a major reorganisation, including making three half time substitutions. Within seven minutes, the game had turned on its head again thanks to two fine strikes from outside the box. First, a half cleared corner was fired back through the crowded area by Ross Mckernan and the ball found the bottom corner. Then, Kearney and Sinclair combined in midfield and the ball was returned to the former who spotted the keeper off his line and chipped him from 25 yards for his 29th of the season.
With the strong wind in their favour, United continued to apply pressure. Brown fired just wide from his new left wing position and the same player then sent in a great cross which just eluded the on rushing Dan Edwards at the far post.
The rejuvenated forward was having a fine second half and was unfortunate when having robbed the stranded keeper just outside the area, his goalbound shot was inadvertently blocked by a team mate. Ashford tried to respond but a quick break from Brown sent Nathan Mushidi galloping forward from left back and his low centre was fired goalwards by Grant but deflected wide.
As the game reached its latter stages, both sides traded long shots, Mushidi firing straight at the home keeper and Lane catching a fierce drive from an Ashford substitute. However, it was a Sinclair long shot which sealed the game, a low drive into the bottom right corner, and two minutes later he latched onto Grant's cut back to apply a smart finish. However, an injury time foul in the penalty area by Smith allowed Ashford a chance of a consolation only for Lane to pull off a fine save to deny them even that.
Report by Nick Bell.
United Man of the Match: Ross Mckernan.