Hayes & Yeading United came up against a tenacious, much improved Wingate & Finchley side since the 5-0 opening game drubbing but played some of their best football of the season to win the game 3-0.
A still evening and a flat pitch were conducive to an entertaining match and both sides attacked with pace and aggression throughout. The first chance fell to United midfielder Jack Banks whose 30 yard free kick was tipped wide by Sebastian Santos. Within a minute play had switched to the other end as Jamie Nagioff passed to Tanashe Abrahams who shot just over with a dipping shot from the edge of the area.
The play was end to end for quite some time as chance after chance was carved out. A mazy run from the impressive right back, Mamadou Ba, ended in a shot which rose just too high. Then immediately, Max Hubbard sent an inch perfect throughball to Ryan Simpson who rounded Santos, and although he had a virtually impossible angle, his shot would’ve gone in had Lewis Weekes not got back on the line to clear. From the resultant corner, Wingate & Finchley had to clear off the line again as David Femiola’s goalbound effort was hacked clear by Callum Hosier on the far post.
Minutes later, Aristede Bassele got to the bye-line and shot again from an impossible angle. Santos parried the ball into Aaron Harriott’s path but the forward didn’t have time to set himself up properly and his looping header, although fumbled, was safely gathered in.
In the 26th minute, the two combined to put United ahead. Hubbard laid the ball off to Banks whose deep cross was turned back into the goalmouth by Bassele and Harriott (left) had a straightforward finish to apply which he did so comfortably.
With Wingate & Finchley reeling, United quickly doubled their lead. Andrew Dean put a long free kick down the left channel and Simpson volleyed his cross into the area where Hubbard (below right) escaped his marker and leapt high to head superbly into the net.
Just a minute later, Bassele shot right across the face of goal and Jeffrey Kimoto and Leonel Da Goma linked up on the right hand side before finding Simpson, who had switched positions with Bassele. The left footer cut inside and unleashed a ferocious drive from 25 yards which rattled the crossbar.
The home side did come close to reducing the arrears at the end of an action packed first half, but Luke Daley was alert to block Cairo Duncan’s well hit shot and Adam Butler cushioned the loose ball back into his arms.
The second half started with United going close to increasing their advantage on numerous occasions. Santos caught a Hubbard header from another Simpson cross and then Femiola’s lofted pass was flicked on by Harriott and Hubbard met the ball sweetly on the volley only to see his long range, on the turn effort bounce back off the crossbar. Bassele and Dean then combined on the left to set up Harriott for a tap in but the forward was flagged for offside. Then, Bassele cut inside from the right flank and hit a goalbound shot which was deflected wide of goal by Angelo Delassio. Banks then went close with a shot from the edge of the area after more good work by Hubbard and Simpson.
There was a lull in the proceedings for a 15 minute spell where there was a flurry of substitutions from both sides. However, within that time, the hosts went close twice in quick succession, first when Abrahams’s shot was blocked by Femiola after Daley had pushed away Duncan’s goalbound effort. Then, Butler preserved his team’s clean sheet with a brave, goal saving tackle to deny Abrahams, who had to go off injured following the challenge.
But United regained the ascendency in the latter stages and substitute Bruno Goncalves made it three just six minutes after forcing Santos into a low save from a long range shot. Bassele struck a free kick firmly and it dipped and bounced wickedly in front of Santos. Goncalves (left) was the quickest to react as the keeper fumbled the ball and he tapped it into the bottom corner.
Alves Galilee brought another fairly routine save out of Daley in the closing stages but an enthralling counter ended just about on time, as there were a few fairly rash challenges beginning to creep into the game and tempers were becoming frayed. Thankfully, the players remained disciplined enough not to let matters get out of control and a thoroughly enjoyable game of football wasn’t spoiled.
Report by Nick Bell. Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Max Hubbard.