Hayes & Yeading’s final pre-season friendly before the real stuff starts saw a first outing on the main SKYex pitch for Paul Hughes’ side as Isthmian Premier side Enfield Town came visiting.
United were quickly out of the blocks and with less than two minutes played a Mo Bettamer free-kick from 20 yards flew past the Enfield wall but sadly went just the wrong side of the upright.
A few minutes later Enfield stopper Nathan McDonald denied Bettamer, pushing out the United’s strikers’ header as he met a Cole Brown cross in the centre. This was quickly followed by another chance as Bettamer slid the ball neatly into the path of Amos Nasha only for his effort to be well blocked by a James Richmond challenge.
With just 12 minutes played a chance at the other end saw a neat flick on find Bruno Tavares, he managed to round new United stopper Jacob Adams but he was quick enough to regain his posture to save the strikers shot.
United deservedly broke the deadlock in the 16th minute in quite spectacular style, a left wing cross was nodded down by Bettamer to Keano Robinson and the centre-back with all the poise of a striker struck the ball perfectly from 20 yards over McDonald into the roof of the visitors’ goal.
Either side of the midway mark in the half a chance came, the first came for the visitors who saw Rian Bray meet a Lewis Taaffe corner only for his header to be headed wide at the post by a well placed United defender and a minute later at the other end it was 2-0. Moses Emmanuel won the ball in a tackle 25 yards out, Cole Brown picked up the loose ball and advanced into the area before curling a perfect shot with his weaker left foot into the far corner.
Despite the lead, United continually pushed for another. Robinson fed Charlie Wassmer and his neat back-heel returned the ball to his other defensive partner Jerry Wiltshire but his shot was slightly too high. Good work on the left from Luke Brophy saw him feed the ball in to Bettamer, he in turn found Nasha but his low drive was off target.
Ten minutes remained to the break when a neat interchange between Emmanuel and Brown saw the former send Paul Hodges through only for his effort to be blocked away by former United man Scott Shulton. Shortly after United earned a free-kick right on the edge of the box off to the left side, Bettamer stepped up and smashed it through the wall only for McDonald to stand firm and push the drive away to safety.
A chance apiece was still to come as the half closed out. A United corner dropped nicely to Declan Skura but his low driven effort was cleared off the line and the visitors then won a free-kick just outside the United box but Marcus Wyllie’s effort was too high and the half ended with United 2-0 ahead.
With many changes as you would expect from a pre-season workout, the second half became a little fragmented however it did also spurn three further goals.
Early chances for United saw Bettamer head wide from a Steve Ngunga cross, followed by Emmanuel receiving the ball from Nasha only to hit the side netting. Bettamer than went close again after collecting from Nasha only to be denied by McDonald’s outstretched boot.
The 59th minute did bring another goal for United and another for Robinson. Emmanuel worked the ball forwards to Ngunga on the left, his pull-back picked out a somewhat advanced Robinson and again with the composure of a striker he picked his spot by curling the ball into the far corner beyond McDonald.
United seemed to relax a little too much in the final thirty and the visitors came back at Paul Hughes’ side, scoring twice and pushing the game to a closer finish than looked likely after an hours play.
Just past the hour Wyllie moved forwards and fed the ball to Wynford Marfo but he shot wide when well placed and then with eleven minutes left Wyllie broke away from Ngunga and moved into the box before slotting the ball coolly through Adams legs to reduce the deficit.
In the 83rd minute two major incidents occurred, firstly a nice exchange between Faniyan and Emmanuel saw the former move to one-on-one with the ‘keeper only to clearly be dragged back by the shirt with the referee unbelievably taking no action and almost immediately a break at the other end saw Bilal Sayoud through on goal and he slotted past Adams to make it a one goal game but that was how it stayed with United taking the spoils 3-2.
We thank Enfield Town for travelling across London for today’s fixture and wish them all the best in their Isthmian Premier campaign this season.
Report by Kevin Watts.
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