Hayes & Yeading’s penultimate pre-season fixture saw Paul Hughes’ side lock horns with National League side Wealdstone at the SKYex on Tuesday evening with the level 1 side running out 5-2 winners but certainly not having it all their own way.
With the SKYex pitch looking amazing, an early two goal salvo from the visitors put United on the back-foot straightaway as on 8 minutes two of the Stones trialists combined with a defence splitting pass finding the advancing right-back who coolly slotted past Jack Smith in the United goal.
Less than two minutes later the visitors had a second when the ball was collected by Dan Parish who calmly rounded Smith before rolling home his sides second of the game with just ten minutes played.
Slowly United tried to push their way back into the game, on 20 minutes Francis Amartey collected the ball and moved into the area only for his shot to be well blocked by Stones skipper Jack Cawley and just a minute later Amartey had the ball in the net only to be denied by a very late offside flag raised by the far side assistant referee.
United went further behind on 37 minutes when the visitors won possession on the edge of the United box, and with United’s players appealing for a foul the ball was fed to Charlee Hughes and he fired home for the Stones.
Two minutes later Amartey had the ball in the Stones net again and this time it did count, the striker winning possession just outside the box before moving into the area and slipping past ‘keeper Sam Beasant before rolling the ball home.
The half closed out without further incident with the Stones going in at the break with a 3-1 advantage.
A half-time switch saw Amartey joined up front by Dylan Kearney and it was he who had the first chance of the half, having received a neat pass from Scott Donnelly, the striker took a touch before trying his luck from 18 yards only for his effort to drift wide of the target.
United were showing quote well early doors in the half and in the 54th minute Bay Downing won the ball in the middle of the park and fed it forwards to Amartey who raced toward the Stones area but with options left and right in the shape of Kearney and Downing, the in-form striker tried his luck from the edge of the box but again the effort was off target.
On the hour mark it was still United looking most likely to change the scoreline, Amartey ran forwards towards the area before slipping the ball to Downing who saw his goalbound effort blocked wide by a well-timed Michael Phillips interception.
Minutes later the visitors introduced 10 pairs of fresh legs as virtually their whole line-up changed and with fresher legs came a fourth goal within five minutes and totally against the run of play. Moses Emmanuel received the ball on the right corner of the United box and proceeded to fire low and hard past Smith into the far bottom corner of the United net.
United still continued to try and assert themselves on the game, Jack Rice picked out Kearney who saw his low first time strike pushed wide by Stones replacement ‘keeper Lewis Everitt and just minutes later the deficit was reduced when newly signed Rico Greco blocked a Stones forward pass with his “unmentionables” and despite the pain he was sharp enough to thread the ball forwards to Amartey who turned his marker in the area before smashing the ball past Everitt to reduce the arrears.
In terms of goalscoring the visitors had the last say on 83 minutes when a cross from the left picked out Ross Lafayette in the box and the striker had the simple task of tucking the ball past Smith although United still had the chance of another when Kearney met a Greco corner but his header was just too high and United fell to defeat against a strong Wealdstone side who will soon endeavour on a return to the National League and we wish them all the best in their endeavours in the coming season.
Report by Kevin Watts.
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