Manager Paul Hughes shuffled his Hayes & Yeading pack this evening as United welcomed Welsh side Merthyr Town to the SKYex with the home side looking to maintain not only their unbeaten league run but also the 100% home record in the Southern League this campaign.
United settled quickly into their rhythm without overly causing problems for the visiting defence, the first real opening coming in the 19th minute when Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick cut inside from the right flank, dodged past a defender and hit a low shot that Merthyr stopper Jaimie Cogman tipped wide. The resultant corner was deep and recycled on the far side where Moses Emmanuel found Jack Williams, his cross was headed home at the far post by Keano Robinson only for a raised flag for offside to deny him.
United continued to look for the crucial opener, a corner from the right was pulled back to skipper Liam McDevitt, his shot was pushed out by Cogman to Ryan De Havilland who saw his follow-up fly straight into the 'keepers grateful arms.
The lead for the hosts was but a minute away though as Hippolyte-Patrick collected the ball on the right side, his pull back to Hassan Jalloh saw the United man fire instantly over Cogman from the edge of the box for his 12th of the season.
United still wanted more and with the visitors showing little attacking prowess thus far it seemed that it would probably come sooner rather than later. Hippolyte-Patrick raced into the box but hit his shot straight at Cogman and a minute later a smart exchange between Jalloh and Emmanuel saw the former hit a shot that Cogman did well to tip over.
With just five minutes to the break United deservedly had a second. Jalloh fed Keano Robinson on the right side, his low centre was drilled past Cogman by Amartey as United looked to close the gap on leaders Farnborough.
A chance in first half stoppage time was the one and only of the half for the visitors as a corner was played low to Dylan Jones but his shot went just wide of Tyla Dickinsons post and we went in for a cuppa with United two goals ahead.
The visitors came out a bit sharper after the break and with just three minutes played a low cross was pulled back from the left to Jones who saw his shot blocked away en route to goal by Robinson.
As we approached the hour mark, McDevitt had a volley held by Cogman and Amartey once again broke into the box only to be foiled by the stopper who blocked his initial shot with the Merthyr defence clearing the danger.
Five minutes later Amartey was again causing chaos in the Merthyr box, this time he moved past Alex John only to be tripped by the defender and referee Cresswell pointed straight to the spot. Emmanuel took chanrge only to see his kick well saved by Cogman in the visitors goal.
Just a couple of minutes later United went close again as Hippolyte-Patrick got his head to another Robinson cross but the effort went the wrong side of the upright and then a warning at the other end saw a breakaway on the left that led to a low driven shot that Dickinson held low down.
The final five minutes of the game saw Corey Shephard go close from 20 yards for the visitors and this was quickly followed by Emmanuel breaking through against Cogman, the United strikers coolness in front of goal letting him down for once and Cogman blocked the drive before grabbing the loose ball.
United did have the final say a minute later though as Amartey broke again on the left side, moving into the box before smashing the ball past Cogman for his 15th of the season to seal a satisfactory night for the home side who move within five points of leaders Farnborough, with four games in hand.
Report by Kevin Watts.
United Man of the Match: Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick.
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