United’s first Saturday fixture of 2023 was to prove somewhat unsuccessful as Paul Hughes’ side were beaten by Beaconsfield Town on the 3G at Holloways Park.
The gaffer made three changes to the side that had earned a late draw with Harrow Borough the previous Monday. New signing Josh Lelan came in to the starting XI as did Cole Brown and Hassan Jalloh with Paul Field, Amos Nasha and Moses Emmanuel dropping to the bench.
Sadly for United the bench was to be used sooner than anybody would have hoped as a fourth minute injury to highly influential midfielder Sanmi Odelusi when his studs appeared to get caught in the playing surface led to the early arrival of Moses Emmanuel and an on-pitch re-shuffle however by that time the hosts had already scored.
In just the sixth minute with United playing with ten men, a poor back-pass that went straight to the ever dangerous Nathan Minhas saw the Rams striker advance to the edge of the box, his first effort was parried away be Rhys Byrne in the United goal however when the ball went straight back to Minhas he made no mistake at the second time of asking.
Five minutes later he almost had another as a neat backheel by former United striker Elliott Buchanan fed Minhas, his shot being blocked wide by the sliding Cameron Green.
Shortly after Danny Green received a quick Taylor Miles corner kick but his driven effort was held comfortably by another former United man, Ravan Constable in the Rams goal.
22 minutes had elapsed when Stan Flaherty collected the ball 20 yards from goal and moved inside before unleashing a fierce shot that Constable did well to parry and although Emmanuel got to the loose ball first he was adjudged to have come from an offside position and play was stopped on the referee’s whistle.
Constable then held a 25 yard Miles free-kick before disaster almost struck at the other end when Byrne sliced his kick from an innocuous looking back-pass, the ball rolling about an inch wide of the post thus avoiding an embarrassing own goal for the young Leyton Orient ‘keeper.
Just past the half hour mark United were somewhat carved apart by a swift forward move from the hosts that led to them doubling their lead. Sam Granville played the ball wide to Dan Bradshaw, his low cross providing a far post tap-in for Buchanan and it was 2-0 to the home side.
United continued to try and make something happen up front, Emmanuel set up a shooting chance for Flaherty but his shot swerved wide of the far post however with five minutes to the break United did get back into the game as skipper Charlie Wassmer rose highest to meet a Miles corner kick, heading powerfully past Constable for his fourth of the season.
Four minutes later it was all square as a neat interchange between Cameron Green and Flaherty led to the former slotting the ball past Constable for his first United goal.
In fact United almost went in ahead at the break as two minutes into added time Hassan Jalloh danced his way through tackle after tackle in the Rams box before pulling the ball back from the bye-line to Emmanuel who was denied at close range by a fine one handed save from Constable and we went in 2-2 at the interval.
Having bounced back from being two behind just before the break you would have expected United to be out of the blocks quickly at the re-start, sadly however it was to be the opposite as once again a poor United pass was picked off, this time upfield and with a single pass down the flank Minhas was on his bike, the striker pulling the ball back from the right to Kyel Reid who made no mistake, striking the ball first time past Byrne from the edge of the area.
United started to push for another equaliser, Constable held a Danny Green free-kick from the right corner of the box and Flaherty fired into the side netting. With 20 minutes remaining good work from Miles and Emmanuel set up another chance for Flaherty but his effort was inches over the Rams goal.
On 77 minutes Flaherty played provider, creating a shooting chance for Cameron Green who was also too high from 18 yards before United went closer still in the 82nd minute with Emmanuel being denied by the upright after he had worked space to shoot inside the box, the rebound from the post went to Adam Liddle but his effort was blocked wide by the third of the trio of former United men in the Rams side, Keano Robinson.
Sadly the final five minutes did not see United pull it back yet the hosts went on the fire in two more to make the final score somewhat flattering although not undeserved.
With three minutes remaining a quick throw-in on the right to Bradshaw led to a low cross being collected by Minhas who turned and fired home his second of the game.
As the clock struck 90 a long ball through to Buchanan from Granville saw the striker glide past Byrne’s dive and roll the Rams fifth into a vacant goal leaving United with a heavy defeat that we will need to recover from quickly as we endeavour to re-establish our pre-2023 form.
Report by Kevin Watts.
© iZedIT Computer Solutions.
Website renewal kindly sponsored by the HYUFC Supporters fund raising team.