A Hayes and Yeading United containing three debutants exited the Middlesex Charity Cup at the first hurdle as Cockfosters won through by a single first half goal on a cold night at the other end of the Piccadilly Line.
As early as the second minute, United debutant Callum Adebayi connected on the volley from Josh Chamberlain's free kick and his volley was parried by Cockfosters goalkeeper Luke Sheldrick straight back to him. He then tried a goalbound header which was hooked clear by Jason Beck.
Cockfosters settled and on nine minutes, had their first effort on target, a speculative shot from long range by Ben Hart after he was picked out by Bobby Sears, Danny Boness making a catch to prevent him finding the top corner.
Play went into a lull as both teams struggled on the uneven surface to maintain any significant level of consistent control on the ball. It wasn't until the half hour mark when the next save was made and it was again Boness denying Hart, this time racing out to block a low shot after the right winger had created danger with a clever first touch. This led to a series of corners, the last of which, Iaonnis Vardukakis volleyed into the top corner at the near post from close range.
United tried to assert themselves on the game and before half time, Jack Smith headed Ryan Hope's deep free kick wide and Mitchell Weiss broke a few tackles before firing across goal and wide.
Within a minute of the restart, United had a let off when an unmarked Cameron Currie headed a deep Hart cross against the crossbar. Play switched quickly to the other end, where Weiss's shot on the turn was deflected wide. From the resulting corner, there was a big shout for a penalty as the ball wasn't properly cleared and Josh Hutchinson's shot was blocked on its way to goal by Tom Massey's elbow, although it was deemed not deliberate by referee Neil Fyfield.
On the hour, a good move between Hart and George Ironton saw the former get to the by line and send a deep cross to the onrushing Currie who volleyed wide. Straight away at the other end, Weiss latched onto Hutchison's header and with his own header, found keeper Sheldrick when putting it either side of him would've been a certain goal.
Towards the end, Smith almost put through his own net, steering a deep free kick just wide of the far post. Then a stoppage time shot from Ironton was on target but easy for Boness to gather. It wasn't to matter as the home side had enough to claim a deserved victory.
Report by Nick Bell.
United Man of the Match: Mitchell Weiss.