Hayes & Yeading paid the price somewhat for not taking their first half chances when in the ascendancy as the Seagulls late two goal burst saw all three points return West with them as the visitors ran out 2-1 winners at the SKYex on Tuesday evening.
Manager Paul Hughes made a single change to the previous starting XI with Amos Nasha coming in for Scott Donnelly who dropped to the bench for this one.
United were quickly into their stride with Aldershot loanee Elis Watts causing the visitors all sorts of problems on the right side. In just the second minute he earned and took a short corner to Kadell Daniel who saw his shot pushed wide by Weston ‘keeper Max Harris.
A few minutes later Watts left Scott Laird in his wake and cut inside to make space for a shot, his effort was deflected to Daniel at the far post but his header was held comfortably by Harris.
With United still giving the visitors very little space at the other end another opening in the 16th minute saw Daniel and Moses Emmanuel combine on the edge of the box to create an opening for Francis Amartey but his shot was charged down by the Seagulls defence and cleared.
United finally got the deserved breakthrough in the 18th minute, Amos Nasha played a deep corner in from the left which was met at the far post by Emmanuel who headed past Harris for his 20th of the campaign.
On the half hour mark Jordan Norville-Williams raced away on the left from his own half before playing the ball low to the arriving Emmanuel in the centre, his cheeky back-heel attempt going straight into Harris’s arms.
Minutes later the visitors got their first real look at the United goal as a cross into the box from the right saw Ravan Constable bravely dive in front of the on-coming Nick McCootie to snatch the ball from his toe.
The half closed with two further chances for United. Constable fired a long deliberate pass to Amartey on the left, he cut the ball back from the bye-line to Nasha but his shot was deflected just wide of the Seagulls goal and then as we hit stoppage time Daniel collected the ball in the middle of the park and played it forwards to Amartey who skipped past his marker and got a shot in that was tipped wide by Harris and we went in at the break with United a single goal to the good.
Harris was quickly into the action after the re-start also as Norville-Williams sent Amartey away once more on the left side, he cut into the box and got his shot in but the stopper did well to block it away and within minutes the visitors had their best opening of the game as McCootie received the ball at the left corner of the United area and flashed a shot across goal and just wide of the far post.
As we moved into the final quarter of the game a brace of chances for United came and went. Amartey received the ball in the area but his effort was deflected wide and this was quickly followed by Nasha finding Emmanuel in the box and his quick turn led to a shot that went marginally the wrong side of the upright.
With these chances going begging, United were hit with a 73rd minute sucker punch as substitute Jordan Bastin initially saw his driven shot pushed wide by Constable for a corner kick. The resultant dead ball was played into the middle where Bastin rose highest to head home a somewhat undeserved equaliser for the visitors.
The Seagulls, buoyed by pulling level, seemed to up a gear, or United dropped one, either way the visitors started to create more chances than the hosts. Just four minutes after pulling level the visitors should have taken the lead as a cross from the left found an unmarked Laird but he headed over the top without troubling Constable.
United could have taken the lead however shortly after when Jack Connors sent Amartey through on goal only for the striker to be denied by on-loan Cheltenham stopper Harris who stood tall and did well to block the shot away.
On 80 minutes Constable saved comfortably from Dayle Grubb and we entered stoppage time with a share of the spoils looking to be the way it would go until a corner from the right was met at the far post by Marlon Jackson, Constable did well to tip the header onto the bar but it seemed to come straight down and spin back towards the goal and despite United thinking they had cleared it off the line the nearside assistant referee advised that the ball had crossed the line and it was three points for the visitors.
Report by Kevin Watts.
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