Hayes & Yeading returned from a trip to the seaside with a deserved point as Moses Emmanuel’s 89th minute penalty cancelled out a Scott Laird strike just seven minutes earlier to make it honours even at The Optima Stadium.
Manager Paul Hughes made a couple of changes to his starting line-up with Keano Robinson and Jack Williams coming in for Ben Frempah and Kadell Daniel who both moved to the bench.
The game took a little while for either team to show much going forwards with the battle being held in the middle of the park with both defences firmly in control when the ball moved to the final third at either end.
The game looked to be springing into life after the first quarter of an hour when first a centrally struck Dayle Grubb drive from a free-kick for the Seagulls was bravely blocked wide by a United head and the play quickly raced up to the other end where Francis Amartey got away from his marker in the left channel and moved in on goal only to be denied by a fine block from stopper Max Harris in the Weston goal.
Two minutes later Amartey received a smart Jordan Ngalo pass and he was through on goal but his shot was deflected wide by a well timed Jason Pope interception. Another chance came from the resultant corner as Cole Brown and Jack Connors combined for a short kick, the latters’ centre being met by Amos Nasha but his header was off target.
As we hit the halfway mark in the first period Marlon Jackson drove over from 25 yards for the hosts and then just past the 30 minute mark Amartey received the ball in the “D”, his instant control and turn saw him glide between two defenders before his driven shot was superbly pushed over by Harris.
With the balance of possession pretty much 50/50 as we moved towards the break, Brown set up a shooting chance for Connors but he was wide of the target from 20 yards and then with almost the last action of the half the Seagulls will probably still be wondering how they didn’t go in ahead when Jackson flicked on a Scott Laird cross, the United defence seemed to misjudge the flight and the ball dropped to Jordan Bastin at the far post and with the goal gaping he somehow managed to find the outside of the post and his effort went wide.
Not sure what to make of the second half as so little of any consequence happened until the final eight minutes when both sides managed to find a goal from somewhere as up until then it was a defensive masterclass from both sides with the two ‘keepers metaphorically getting out their deckchairs for a rest.
Chances wise until those final minutes saw a Kieran Thomas header from a Laird free-kick sail over the United goal and at the other end Jordan Norville-Williams started a moved on the left that saw the ball worked wide right to Brown, via Nasha, and his cross found the incoming Norville-Williams but his header was just wide of the upright at full stretch.
The hosts must have thought they had a double over United, after their controversial victory at the SKYex, when with 82 minutes played a Grubb free-kick played in from the left side was powerfully headed home by the arriving Laird whose run was not picked up as he moved into the United box.
United introduced top scorer Moses Emmanuel almost immediately and he was required not long after. With 88 minutes played, a Brown corner from the left was cleared back out in his direction, the United man using his pace to get to the ball fractionally before Sonny Cox who in going for the ball felled the United man just inside the Seagulls box with referee Staten pointing straight to the spot. By the time the whinging had stopped, Emmanuel stepped up and with 89 minutes on the clock he slammed his penalty into the top corner for his 31st strike of the season and United came away with a very much deserved point.
Report by Kevin Watts.
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