Hayes & Yeading entertained Hendon for United’s first hoe fixture of 2022 with those in attendance no doubt hoping for an eight goal thriller like the one witnessed at Silver Jubilee Park in August, with both defences more “on their game” this was not to be on this occasion.
Both sides threw recent arrivals straight into the fray with United fielding Cole Brown and Elis Watts while the visitors named Joshua Okotcha and Bobby Unwin in their starting XI.
The opening half hour of the game this time around saw very little in the way of goalmouth action, former United man Christian Smith striking the United bar from a free-kick being the closest with the first noteworthy action from the hosts coming in the 30th minute when Sanmi Odelusi picked out Elis Watts on the right with a superb cross-field pass, the Aldershot loanee ghosting past former United under 18 defender Simeon Olarerin before seeing his driven cross-cum-shot blocked wide by Smith.
The Greens quickly broke upfield from the United corner with the ball finding Joe White who held off the initial United challenge but still got into the box only to be denied by Cole Brown who came across from the right to block his effort wide.
The first effort of the second half fell to the visitors as Olarerin made space for a shot from the left but blazed over on 48 minutes and then just a few minutes later Francis Amartey made space himself in the Hendon box but his driven centre from the left flew across the face of goal without a touch and the danger was cleared.
On 52 minutes the deadlock was broken by United. A long Hendon clearance was won in the air by Liam McDevitt who found Scott Donnelly, he played the ball right to Brown who fired across an inch perfect cross that the arriving Kadell Daniel ran onto and headed past Fred Burbidge in the visitors goal.
With 69 minutes played, United gave up possession too easily in the middle of the park and as the visitors surged forwards a neat pass to White saw the striker advance before firing low past Ravan Constable and the game was all square once again.
Four minutes later United were back in front, a Donnelly corner was headed back goalwards at the far post with Amartey appearing to get the faintest of touches to see the ball over the line.
Shortly after the visitors were reduced to ten when the already cautioned Hamza Semakula felled Watts right in front of the dugouts and referee Warren dispensed a second yellow and obligatory red to the Hendon midfielder.
In the 77th minute Amartey and Moses Emmanuel combined to set up a shooting chance for Odelusi but his effort was slightly too high and as the clock struck 90, Amartey sent Emmanuel through with a chance to seal the game but he was denied by a fine stop from Greens stopper Fred Burbidge who managed to stay tall before getting a big boot to the ball to block it away.
Stoppage time chances came for both sides, Amartey received the ball in the visitors area only for his effort to be blocked away by Okotcha and with virtually the last kick of the game White found similar space in the United area but was denied by Constable’s boot and United came away with a most valuable three points.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Stacio Fernandes ©.
United Man of the Match: Cole Brown.
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