It was smiles all around from the United faithful as Paul Hughes’ side scored a first ever victory at The Meadow courtesy of a 3-0 win at third placed Chesham United.
The gaffer made two enforced changes to his starting XI as Rhys Byrne returned for a second loan spell with Dan Wilks returning to Dartford and Danny Green coming into the United midfield with Hassan Jalloh feeling a little poorly during the warm ups.
In truth the first half was to be a totally forgettable affair with chances few and far between although one of the best flowing United moves of the season saw the visitors find the net before the break.
An early opening for United after just 8 minutes saw a Stan Flaherty free-kick from the right corner of the box fly inches over the Chesham goal however this was not to be the prelude for an open flowing game as the next thirty minutes played out without a single real chance coming for either side.
The deadlock was however broken six minutes from the break as United moved the ball out from a Chesham attack to Adam Liddle, the striker facing his own goal near the halfway line had the presence of mind to hook the ball across the park to an unmarked Flaherty who fed it further wide to the run of Cole Brown. He advanced before playing the ball inside to Moses Emmanuel who turned provider by setting it nicely to Danny Green who stroked the ball coolly past Sam Beasant in the home goal from 18 yards.
With no further incident to report it was United who went in a goal ahead and obviously happier at the break.
The 3rd placed hosts must have received a bit of a rocket at the break as they came out sharply in the second half. With just a couple of minutes played former United man Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick fed the ball to Zak Joseph who saw his drive well blocked by a sliding Brown.
Minutes later a poorly kicked clearance from Rhys Byrne was pounced upon by Joseph who moved into the United box only to be denied by an excellent sliding block from substitute Paul Field who had replaced Jerry Wiltshire in first half stoppage time.
On 65 minutes a curling Danny Green free-kick was just wide of the target before the home side should have scored and United did score all within a matter of seconds. Tobias Braney broke away on the right side, his low centre was deflected to Jordan Edwards right in front of goal but the striker was denied by the quick reactions of Byrne who blocked his effort and grabbed the loose ball.
Play quickly switched ends and Emmanuel collected and found Sanmi Odelusi in an advanced position on the left side, the United man looking up before firing the ball low across the box to Liddle who arrived smartly to slot home past the exposed Beasant to double United’s lead.
With the hosts attack thereafter being subdued by United’s staunch defending whenever required, it was Paul Hughes’ side who found the net once more as we entered stoppage time with Field surging forwards on the left before playing the ball inside to Jalloh and he, with quick feet, found space to shoot and side footed the ball neatly past Beasant into the far corner of the net.
A few minutes later and it could have been four as Jamie Hanlon broke free for United, his low shot deflecting wide off Beasant’s outstretched boot and the remainder of stoppage time was played out without cause for alarm and United ended 2022 with a fifth consecutive win, including cups, that has seen 18 goals scored and just 4 conceded.
Happy New Year to everybody, see you again in 2023, Kev.
Report by Kevin Watts.
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