Hayes & Yeading will maybe feel a little disheartened at only bringing a single point home from Silver Jubilee Park after going in a goal adrift at the break, despite dominating the chances, with a Francis Amartey goal in the second half tying things up at 1-1 and a point apiece.
United’s already injury hit squad suffered another blow with Jake Sheppard unable to take the field on Tuesday evening, his place being taken by Karl Cunningham while a system re-shuffle saw one other change with Jordan Norville-Williams coming in for his first start in place of Dylan Kearney who dropped to the bench.
United were quickly out of the blocks on the hosts well-worn 3G playing surface and in just the second minute a Karl Cunningham cross was deflected into the air, the ball falling to Rico Greco who saw his well struck volley pushed wide by Greens Latvian stopper Rihards Matrevics.
Shortly after Jordan Norville-Williams sent Greco away, his low pull-back towards Cunningham saw the United man denied a strike at goal by a timely Eddie Oshodi interception that took the ball out for a corner that was to come to nothing.
United were still mainly in the ascendancy and on 13 minutes the ball was played upfield to Francis Amartey, he outpaced defender Toby Byron who recovered sufficiently to slide in to deny the United striker a shot on goal with United appeals for a penalty being waved away by referee Smith.
Just before the 20 minute mark another opening came for United as a quick Jack Smith punt forwards saw Amartey nip in front of the last defender and with Matrevics coming flying from his goal the striker lofted the ball over him only for his effort to go wide of the target.
And then a couple of minutes later and totally against the run of play, the home side took the lead with their first dangerous looking attack of the game. Former United under 18 player Simeon Olarerin collected the ball on the right side, his low ball into the centre was purposely left to run by Joe White which presented a gift to Jayden Clarke who beat Smith from close range.
Having gone behind United started out in search of an equaliser and on the half-hour Norville-Williams and Greco combined on the left with the latter setting Amartey to shoot, his effort being pushed away by Matrevics and this was quickly followed by Bay Downing and Amartey combining on the right side, Amartey’s cross was knocked down to Norville-Williams but his effort was just too high to trouble Matrevics.
Still chances came and went for the visitors. A corner from the right dropped nicely to Amartey but his shot was blocked over by a fine Olarerin challenge, the resultant corner was met by Denzel Williams who saw his header fumbled onto the bar by Matrevics before the stopper grasped the ball.
The final chance of the half almost brought a second for the home side when a free-kick picked out the impressive Toby Byron his return ball across the six yard box was missed by all and sundry in the middle with the far post effort being blocked away by the United defence.
Manager Paul Hughes changed things around a little at the break with the introduction of a second striker in the form of Dylan Kearney, who replaced Downing.
It was the however the Greens who looked to extend their lead early, Shaun Lucien weaved his way past Norville-Williams on the Greens right wing, his centre was met by White whose flicked effort went wide of the upright and then just a minute later a loose United pass in midfield set up a chance for former United man Sam Corcoran who saw his 20 yard effort easily held by Smith.
In the 67th minute United found some dangerous forward motion of their own as Keano Robinson brought the ball out from defence on the right side before finding Amartey on the edge of the box, the striker rolled the ball into Scott Donnelly’s shooting path but the usually accurate United man was off target on this occasion.
Minutes later a pivotal point in proceedings saw Smith pull of an amazing double save to keep the deficit at just one. Another former United man in the shape of Solomon Sambou broke away past Liam McDevitt and picked out White in the centre, the striker struck the ball firmly from close range only for Smith to superbly block the effort and then have the speed of thought and movement to claw away the ball as Clarke looked to fire home from virtually on the goal-line.
The above double save became even more pertinent four minutes later when a long Norville-Williams was allowed to bounce through the Greens penalty area untouched with the ball arriving at a seemingly shocked Amartey who was as alert as ever to flick home his fourth in as many games and United were deservedly level.
From this point on the hosts seemed to have a little more of the possession without really threatening to hit a winner, the best chance fell to United a minute from time when another swift bit of distribution from Smith sent Amartey on his way, the striker shooting from the edge of the area but his effort was somewhat scuffed and easy for Matrevics to gather leaving the final result as a 1-1 draw and a point apiece.
Report by Kevin Watts.
United Man of the Match: Jack Smith.
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