Tonight’s game saw a return to winning ways in the Allied Counties Premier League for Hayes and Yeading United with a comfortable 3-0 victory against Kidlington. The visitors knew this was going to be a tough game as the home side battled hard in defeat earlier in the season, but a solid all round performance was enough for United to get the three points put them back to the summit.
It took United just two minutes to force Kidlington keeper Matthew Hatton into the games first save, Nathan Webb’s through ball was latched onto by Esmond James whose strike was well saved by the keeper who stood up well.
The home side replied two minutes later when Piers McGlann was given time and space to cross the ball to Adam Warrington, but his glancing header was wide of the upright.
In the 7th minute, United took an early lead when James took advantage of a slip in the home defence by Sebastian Hickley, burst into the box and committed the keeper, then rolled the ball to the near post for Dan Mehmet to open the scoring with a tap in from less than six yards.
This early goal severely dented the homes side’s confidence, and United were well on top for the rest of the half and could have had a second when Hasib Saeed’s cross come shot was just over the bar. In the 17th minute, midfielder Ollie Fayed read the play well and stole the ball from Craig Wharton, but his weak effort was an easy save for Hatton.
United did double their lead in the 31st minute when Mehmet saw James one-on-one with the defender on the half way line and his chipped ball provided the striker with another opportunity to stretch his legs. He was first to reach the ball and managed to avoid a rash challenge from the oncoming Hatton before sliding the ball into the empty net for his 9th under 18s goal of the season. The referee only produced a yellow card for Hatton, who many believe was lucky not to walk.
Hatton produced the save of the match in the 36th minute after Saeed had beaten his man and got into the box he cut the ball back to Dominic McAuley whose effort was beaten away by the wrong footed keeper.
As the fans enjoyed the local firework display in the night sky above at half time, United coach Greg Woodcock made sure the referee was not going to enjoy his night, with some strong words about the decisions made in the 1st period of play.
The second half proved to be much of the same with Kidlington’s defence repeatedly tested as United keeper Faley would have been glad he had his gloves on, just to keep his hands warm!
In the 61st minute the home side missed several chances to clear the ball from the box and an Aga Brianidt header was well beaten away by Hatton. In the 73rd minute McAuley made sure the visitors left with all three points with the goal of the game. After showing great chest control on the edge of the box he rifled the ball past Hatton into the corner with a superb right foot volley.
United could have had a fourth 11 minutes later, when Brianidt’s header was cleared out to Festus Mansaray but his low shot was well saved by Hatton.
Mansaray had two more half chances to get his name on the score sheet in injury time, but Hatton was again on hand to save further embarrassment to his team.
Manager Simon East will be pleased with the way his team took the points today, and the boys look to continue their run in the Middlesex County Cup next, with an away tie at Harefield United.
Report by Rob Stevens.