Hayes & Yeading’s final pre-season fixture could not have started any worse with Paul Hughes’ side falling behind to the visitors from the Isthmian Premier after just 40 seconds when hesitation in the United midfield saw the ball picked off by Freddie Parker who quickly fed it to a trialist who confidently slid the ball past Jack Smith.
With 8 minutes played United forced visiting stopper Lewis Carey into action when a corner was played direct by Charlie Lawrence to Scott Shulton outside the box, his 20 yard drive being pushed over by the stopper.
With the play constantly being stopped by niggly fouls it was not until 21 minutes when another chance came forth, the visitors breaking quickly from defence with the ball finding its way to the earlier goalscorer but this time he shot tamely at Smith.
With the visitors in the ascendancy another opportunity was created on 31 minutes when former United winger Rhys Murrell-Williamson broke away from the middle of the park, on reaching the United box his shot was blocked wide by Jack Williams. The resultant corner kick was met in the middle by Mitchell Nelson but his header was too high.
The final chances of the half both fell to the Kentish side. Parker went close with a 25 yard free-kick before a low Carey goal-kick found Taylor beyond the United defence whereby he turned toward goal and hit a shot that Smith did well to beat out and the visitors went in a goal to the good at the break.
An hour had been played before another half chance came forth, Francis Amartey won possession 20 yards out and hit a first time drive that went inches wide of the Cray upright.
United introduced the influential Omar Rowe on the hour and just a couple of minutes later he intercepted a pass out from the back by the visitors but his effort was held by Carey and just two minutes later Rowe found Amartey inside the area but Carey was again equal to his shot, palming the ball to safety.
On 71 minutes United found the net when another pass out of defence by the visitors was cut out by United’s substitute trialist Kevin Dalipi and he immediately found Amartey in the box, the United striker squeezing the ball between Carey and his near post to level things up.
The final minutes saw two more goals, one apiece, as the game ended all square. On 85 minutes another former United man, Jerome Federico, raced away on the right before finding his skipper Barney Williams in the box, the defenders snapshot being held by Smith.
A minute later the ball was played back to Carey at the other end but his clearance attempt was charged down by Rowe who proceeded to tuck the ball into the Cray net.
Sadly for United the lead didn’t last as a stoppage time Cray corner was played deep and nodded back into the mix where Ehizojie Onoabagbe was on hand to prod the ball home and shortly after this the game ended with a 2-2 scoreline.
We thank Cray Wanderers for coming to United again and wish them well for the coming season.
Report by Kevin Watts.
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