Hayes & Yeading kicked off the new Southern League season with a fine 3-0 victory over a strong Swindon Supermarine side at the SKYex Community Stadium.
United lined up with just two debutants in the starting XI with former Ebbsfleet United defender Ben Frempah partnering skipper Liam McDevitt at the heart of the back-line and at the other end of the pitch the vastly experienced Moses Emmanuel partnered Francis Amartey.
As often happens in the season opener, both sides took a little while "checking" each other out with the first chance coming for United in the twelfth minute when Amartey collected a chipped pass that had dropped over the visitors defence, he took the ball to the bye-line before pulling it back to Emmanuel but his shot was too high.
The visitors had the ball in the net in the 23rd minute as a Zack Kotwica centre was flicked past Jack Smith only for a raised assistants flag to rule it out for offside.
Two minutes later the deadlock was broken at the other end, Amos Nasha collected the ball in the middle of the park and chipped a perfect pass over the Swindon defence that Amartey raced onto before holding off a challenge and moving around the dive of Martin Horsell to roll the ball into the visitors net and give United the lead.
Just past the half hour mark Horsell did well to deny United a second as Hassan Jalloh collected the ball on the left and fed it inside to Emmanuel who in turn clipped it forwards to Amartey but his shot was well tipped over by the visiting 'keeper.
Two more openings came for United in quick succession, Amartey again broke into the Swindon area and despite having his shirt tugged off his back referee Warren waved for play to continue and the United striker shot over, this was quickly followed by Emmanuel setting up Omar Rowe, an early substitute for the injured Jake Sheppard, but his shot was held by Horsell.
Having kept United at a single goal thus far, most of the final minutes of the half belonged to the visitors but at the break the United lead remained. David Pratt was gifted possession 20 yards out but Smith was equal to his shot, the United stopper pushing the ball away to his right and then two minutes from the break the visitors maintained possession on their right despite Jordan Norville-Williams appearing to be fouled, Frankie Artus continued into the United area and picked out George Dowling and somehow from 5 yards he managed to fire wide of the post much to United's relief.
The final minute saw another chance for the visitors as Dowling broke from halfway and found Kotwica who played the ball nicely into the path of Henry Spalding but his effort was straight into Smith's arms.
Stoppage time saw an opening for United to double the advantage when Rowe advanced and found Emmanuel, his deft flick to Amartey saw the striker through only for him to be denied a shot by a perfectly timed tackle and the half ended with United a goal to the good.
A small delay to the start of the second half saw an injured assistant referee being replaced by United Football Secretary Andy Corbett, with the agreement of the visitors and match officials.
Just three minutes after the re-start United were on the charge again as Emmanuel raced away on the right wing, his centre picked out Amartey but his volley was too high to cause the visitors a problem.
In the 55th minute the visitors were a little unfortunate not to at least test Jack Smith when a Jamie Edge free-kick from the left found Pratt, his goalbound header striking a teammate before dropping wide of the target and then three minutes later another golden chance to level saw a crossfield pass perfectly pick out Spalding and with Smith advancing the midfielders lofted shot cleared the United 'keeper but also went wide of the far post.
Having held off the visitors push, it was United's turn to go on the hunt once more. Jalloh's 20 yard effort was held by Horsell but he could do nothing on 70 minutes as United bagged a second. Sanmi Odelusi played a free-kick low to Emmanuel on the edge of the box, he held it up well before paying it off to Amartey who turned his marker before getting the ball to Jalloh who moved around Horsell and fired home (Pictured left).
In the 81st minute Jalloh should have had a second as Amartey's low centre from the left deflected straight to the United man but in similar fashion to Dowling for Swindon in the first half, he fired wide from close range.
Victory was sealed in the 86th minute as United struck a third. Swindon's Edge inexplicably sent Emmanuel through on goal, Horsell did well to push the ball away as the striker tried to go around him, Emmanuel was quick to regain possession though and played a square ball to substitute Jamie Hanlon with the 17 year-old firing low past Horsell to score his first senior United goal.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Stacio Fernandes ©.
United Man of the Match: Sanmi Odelusi.
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