An entertaining pre-season encounter in leafy Surrey saw Hayes & Yeading being home a 2-1 victory of Chertsey Town with manager Ritchie Hanlon fielding a strong United side against the Curfews.
An early ball over the home defence picked out United’s Sam Ashton but the strikers’ shot from the edge of the box was dealt with easily by the Curfews ‘keeper and a couple of minutes later a run and shot from Cole Brown was just to high to cause problems for the home side.
United broke the deadlock with an incisive passing move on 17 minutes. Hassan Jalloh cut out a pass in midfield, looked up and picked out Brown wide on the right, he moved into the hosts box before firing in a low cross that provided a far post tap-in for striker Ashton.
The home side went close to levelling two minutes later when a neat pass from #17 created a shooting chance but the effort from #2 was inches too high.
In the 23rd minute the same three United men combined to find the back of the net once more, this time the earlier goalscorer dispossessed a defender on the left side of the Curfews area, he picked out Jalloh in the middle, his miss-hit shot falling nicely to Brown who fired home United’s second of the afternoon.
With no further openings being created the referee must’ve got bored as he blew for half-time 20 seconds short of 45 minutes (by my stopwatch anyway!!).
The home side with this being their first outing of the summer made eight changes at the interval which included the arrival of former United favourite Toby Little in the re-jigged Curfews line-up. United made a couple of changes too with trialist Will Dupray and Jerry Wiltshire coming on for Josh Lelan and Cole Brown respectively.
Ten minutes in Little fired in a free-kick from 20 yards for the hosts but the ball just cleared the United goal although Simon Grant had the effort covered all the way and soon after at the other end the home ‘keeper had a let off when Amos Nasha charged down his attempted clearance and the ball flew wide with the goal gaping.
Just beyond the hour mark the home ‘keeper was forced into a save courtesy of a long range effort from skipper Sanmi Odelusi but a minute later the save of the game at the other end kept United two ahead as Grant superbly tipped over a powerful close range header from the hosts #9.
In the 65th minute United had a double let off as firstly a cross from the right deceived Grant in the wind before coming back off the crossbar to a waiting Chertsey player, his follow-up shot beat Grant only to be cleared off the line by a well placed Tarik Moore-Azille.
With four minutes to play the home side did have the ball in the United net after a Grant fumble but the scorer was adjudged to have been offside at the time the initial shot came in however two minutes later the home side pulled a deserved goal back as their #18 broke past the United defence before firing across Grant into the top corner giving the United stopper no chance.
The final couple of minutes closed out with no alarms at either end and another decent workout for the United squad ended in a 2-1 victory.
We thank Chertsey Town for their hospitality and wish them all the best for the coming campaign.
Report by Kevin Watts.
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