Hayes & Yeading contrived to lose a game against an ultra-defensive Metropolitan Police side that from the off appeared to have come for a draw but somehow walked away with all three points after gaining from a dubious first goal and a somewhat controversial sending off for United’s Ryan De Havilland just before the break.
United started well enough controlling the possession early doors without making any inroads and then in the tenth minute a long ball upfield to a clearly offside Ollie Knight was intercepted just in front of him by Ryan De Havilland who was instantly challenged by Knight who had come from an offside position when the initial pass was made, who knows what that means in terms of the offside laws nowadays and maybe it doesn’t, but no flag was raised and Knight took possession and advanced into the United box where his shot was blocked wide by Jordan Norville-Williams. Sadly from the corner nobody in red picked up the Met skipper Oliver Robinson and he came onto the ball unchallenged to head home.
United steadied and started to push for a quick equaliser, defender Ben Frempah advanced from his own half into the middle of the park before clipping a delightful ball over the visitors defence to Moses Emmanuel but his shot was saved low down by Liam Beach.
Around the twenty minute mark some neat passing around the edge of the visitors box saw Hassan Jalloh create space for a shot but his effort sailed inches wide of the far post while ten minutes later Jalloh sent Francis Amartey away on the left, his pull-back found its way to Emmanuel but he appeared to lean back as he shot and the ball flew over the top.
United deservedly got level in the 38th minute, Kadell Daniel fired in a free-kick from the left side with the ball dropping nicely to Moses six yards out and this time he made no mistake, smashing the ball into the roof of the Met Police net.
The home side were controversially reduced to ten men just three minutes later, Knight sent Jonathan Hippolyte on a forwards run, De Havilland and Norville-Williams both chased him down but a nudge from the former sent the winger toppling with referee Norton producing a straight red card for the Barnet loanee despite at least one other defender being in a covering position. Nothing was to come of the free-kick and we went in all square in terms of goals but now a man light in terms of personnel.
Despite being a man light, the second half was to see United still hold the balance of play and/or chances however it was the visitors who contrived to take home all three points with a 76th minute Sam De Croix goal.
It could have been better for United though as with just two minutes played a challenge from behind in the box by Robinson on Emmanuel saw United awarded a penalty. Emmanuel dusted himself down and took the kick only to be denied by an excellent Beach save right at the foot of the post and the sides stayed level.
With the United goal rarely being troubled despite the visitors numerical advantage, Beach again came to their rescue on the hour as the stopper was needed to push wide a 25 yard Daniel free-kick that looked to be heading for the bottom corner of the net.
Then on 76 minutes with a rare sortie forwards the visitors took a somewhat undeserved lead. A needlessly conceded free-kick on the left was played into the United area, Dickinson came towards the edge of the area to punch but couldn’t get through the crowd, the ball eventually running to De Ste Croix on the corner of the box and he played in a cross-cum-shot, only he knows which, but the ball sailed over the retreating United ‘keeper and into the net.
Try as United might, only one further opening came. In the 83rd minute the home side earned a free-kick less than a yard outside the Police box, Amos Nasha stepped up and fired the ball past the defensive wall, past Beach, only for it to crash back off the crossbar before being scrambled away and it was a first home league defeat of the season for Paul Hughes’ side who having gone thirteen unbeaten have now lost the last two and need to brush themselves down and get back to winning ways as soon as possible.
Report by Kevin Watts.
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