An eighth consecutive Hayes & Yeading victory took United to second place in the table with the next match being a top of the table clash when League leaders AFC Wimbledon visit Church Road next Saturday.
Manager Garry Haylock, fresh from securing the services of former loanee Neil Martin fielded the exact same side that had seen off Thurrock the previous Saturday, the game was to be somewhat similar also as United raced into a two goal lead only to be pegged back to a single goal which thankfully was enough to earn three points.
The Magpies were to have the first chance of the game with just five minutes played, a Jamie Mudge cross from the left was met by keeper Aaron Howe and skipper Tom Cadmore simultaneously and the loose ball fell to Wes Fogden 30 yards from goal but thankfully for United his lob back over Howe dropped over the crossbar.
Five minutes later, quick thinking from the impressive Steven Gregory saw him slide a free-kick on the left side of the area to Ram Marwa who fired a curling effort towards the far corner only to be denied by a full length diving save from Magpies keeper Gareth Stewart. Marwa and Gregory were soon in the action again, with the latter crossing from the left to striker Scott Fitzgerald who headed wide of the target.
Mudge then received a long ball forwards only to be denied by a last ditch Cadmore tackle before the same player flicked on another long punt upfield that saw Ryan Moss take the ball around Howe and fire home only to be denied by referee Mr Amey who noticed that the ball had been moved past Howe with the aid of a hand.
This close shave was a booster for United who were to find the net themselves not once, but twice, in the next ten minutes. The opening strike came on 19 minutes, Danny Allen-Page worked space on the right, his cross was superbly brought down by Will Hendry who then volleyed past Stewart in style (pictured right). Just five minutes later it was 2-0 as Cadmore stooped to meet a Gregory corner and angled his header away from Stewart and into the far corner of the Magpies net.
The final fifteen minutes of the half saw a couple of half chances for the home side, Mudge tried an effort over his own shoulder but Howe handled it easily and then a deep Fogden cross was met by Kevin Hill but he could not trouble the United stopper.
The second half was to be a little strange, United created several chances but failed to increase their lead whereas the Magpies really created little but did in fact pull a goal back!
Right at the start of the half Hendry and Mulley combined to give a chance for the latter to cross, this was met by the on-rushing Marwa but his touch was not angled enough and Stewart was able to pounce on the ball. A long clearance was then flicked on by Fitzgerald to the tireless Mulley who again raced past Jake Smeeton with ease before crossing to Josh Scott at the far post who was denied by Stewart who pushed his shot around the post.
Stewart was then
on hand to deny both Fitzgerald, by grabbing the ball off his toes, and Mulley who saw his shot saved after he had driven past Smeeton again. Just after the hour mark the home side sprang forwards down the left wing, Nick Crittenden and Moss combined and when the cross was half cleared to Danny Clay he made space for his shot but then failed to test Howe.
69 minutes had passed when an Allen-Page / Mulley combo on the right left Smeeton in its tracks and when the cross fell invitingly to substitute Staforde Palmer it was only the quick handling of Stewart that kept the game alive for his side. And indeed just seven minutes later they got an undeserved lifeline, a poorly conceded corner was fired into the United area, Howe appeared to be impeded in his effort to get to the ball and Mudge was left to head home at the far post.
Despite getting themselves back in the game and giving the United travelling army the jitters, the only other real chance created in the remainder of the game fell to the visitors in the final minutes. Mulley broke from his own half and played the ball wide to Esmond James, his far post cross was met on the volley by Palmer but Stewart was on hand to deny the United striker.
Report by Kevin Watts. Photos by Tim Fuell.
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Website United Man of the Match: Steven Gregory.