Hayes & Yeading finally got back onto the pitch, 16 days after suffering a Covid-19 outbreak in the squad and the management team as we welcome Beaconsfield Town to the SKYex on this Boxing Day holiday Monday.
Both sides were quite lively in the opening minutes, the visitors forcing United stopper Ravan Constable to get down quickly at the foot of his post to deny Nathan Minhas from a tight angle after the striker had raced onto a long upfield pass.
Soon after United struck the visitors woodwork as Liam McDevitt and Kadell Daniel combined with the latter setting Moses Emmanuel for a strike that Beaconsfield’s newly loaned ‘keeper Ryan Hall did well to tip onto the crossbar and over. The resultant corner as fired over and dropped to McDevitt who saw his volley blocked away by a defender.
Hall was required again minutes later when a neat Emmanuel back-heel put Jack Williams through on goal, his low drive being kept out by the boot of Ryan and the game remained scoreless.
This was to change five minutes later though, Constable did well to hold a 20 yard drive from former United favourite Toby Little before launching an attack that saw Francis Amartey race past Callum Webb on the left before pulling the ball back sharply to strike partner Emmanuel who netted from close range.
Daniel nearly doubled the lead two minutes later but his effort was pushed out by Hall and cleared but the second arrived soon after in similar fashion to the first as Amartey again collected the ball in the left channel before picking out Hassan Jalloh in the centre and he also fired home from close range.
At the midway point in the first half Jalloh sent Emmanuel through on the right, Hall slipped coming out to meet him but recovered sufficiently to block the strikers shot away to safety.
As the break approached another chance for the visitors saw Little cross from the right, Nathan Minhas brought the cross down superbly but his shot on the turn was held by Constable and as we entered stoppage time a chance apiece came and went without adding to the score. Olly McCoy broke into the box on the left only to be denied by Constable’s outstretched boot and at the other end Emmanuel sent Amartey through but his shot was too high to trouble Hall and the break came with United two goals ahead.
The second half started much like the first with chances being created at both ends. McCoy fired in a 25 yard free-kick that Constable tipped over and soon after at the other end Keano Robinson’s centre from the right was chested down by Omar Rowe but Jalloh’s shot flew across goal and wide of the far post.
Just beyond the hour mark a somewhat rash tackle on Little on the edge of the United area saw Rowe receive a second yellow card thus leaving United to fend off the visitors with ten men with the resultant Little free-kick deflecting over off the United wall.
A couple of minutes later the home side had a chance to put the game to bed when Emmanuel broke from his own half before sending Amartey away on the right but his effort was again too high.
The visitors then started to pile on the pressure. Constable did well to push away a Matty Harriott drive from range before getting up quickly to snatch the ball before Nathan Minhas could get to it and just a minute later McDevitt blocked another Harriott effort before saving twice in quick succession from McCoy and Nathan Minhas.
Constable denied Nathan Minhas again before making his best save yet as the same player tried to loop a header into the top corner, the United stopper going full stretch to tip the ball onto the crossbar and the danger was cleared.
Sadly a minute later he was beaten, albeit in controversial circumstances as Callum Webb crossed the ball in from the right, substitute Bajram Pashaj who appeared to be in an offside position wafted his foot at the ball in front of Constable without making contact and the cross went untouched into the net.
Despite United now being forced into a rear guard action, only one real chance of note came the visitors way a couple of minutes from the end as Nathan Minhas broke through only to scuff his shot straight to Constable and United held out for a precious three points.
Report by Kevin Watts.
United Man of the Match: Ravan Constable.
Print the Teamsheet: Here.
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