Ritchie Hanlon’s new look United side got back to winning ways on Tuesday evening at the SKYex as Hayes & Yeading scored a 3-0 local derby victory over neighbours Harrow Borough.
The gaffer made two changes from the side that earned a late point at Hungerford with Amos Nasha and Norman Wabo coming into the starting XI in place of Jerry Wiltshire and Sam Ashton who both dropped to the bench.
Both sides were to create openings in the early minutes without opening the scoring.
In just the third minute a United corner from the right side was met by Norman Wabo at the far post but his header was comfortably held by Tyler Tobin in the Borough goal and a few minutes later play had switched to the other end and a free-kick fired into the United box was headed back across goal by Borough skipper Reece Yorke with the ball just evading the sliding boot of Excellence Muhemba at the far post.
Just shy of the ten minute mark Wabo won possession deep in the visitors half of the field but his shot from the edge of the box was again dealt with by Tobin with Jacob Adams doing similarly soon after from a long range Mack Miskin free-kick.
Another opening for United came in the 17th minute when Wabo saw his shot from the edge of the box blocked by Tobin but only as far as Michael Fernandes wide on the left of the area, he fed the ball to Jack Williams who shrugged off a challenge to get his shot away but the ball crept just wide of the far post.
Just after the half hour mark United’s forward play saw a penalty awarded as Fernandes cut in from the right side this time only to be brought to the ground by a defenders trip with referee Breen pointing to the spot. With regular taker Sam Ashton on the bench, responsibility was taken by Wabo who fired home from 12 yards for his second United goal in as many appearances.
Five minutes from the break the visitors were almost level as Muhemba ran onto a smart throughball, Adams was quickly out to block the ball wide for a corner which was played across and the ball dropped nicely to Yorke who saw his well struck effort saved by the diving Adams and the half closed with United a goal to the good.
It didn’t take long for United to double their lead albeit in strange and somewhat fortunate circumstances. Adams had easily fielded a long range Lonit Talla effort and United moved forwards straight away with Wabo working space for a shot from the edge of the box, his off target effort hitting Ronan Silva who was moving across the edge of the box with the ball flummoxing Tobin to nestle in the opposite corner to which he expected it to go.
With United having a two goal advantage, many chances for more were to come in the second half with the visitors having just as many chances to break through United’s unusually robust defence.
Just prior to the hour mark a chance apiece saw United go close to a third as former Harrow winger Johnny Allotey collected the ball on the right and made his way into his former employers box only for his effort to be blocked wide and soon after Borough’s Talla fired in a free-kick around the United wall that was pushed away to safety by Adams with a strong hand diving to his left.
As we moved past the hour Wabo saw a low shot from distance held by Tobin and Adams did similarly for United after Borough substitute Reece Cameron fired weakly from the edge of the area when well placed to advance.
The final fifteen minutes continued to see chances at both ends of the field. For the visitors a cross from the right picked out an unmarked Talla who headed wide and then just seconds later Muhemba received the ball on the righthand corner of the United area, his curling effort aimed for the far corner being well defended by the head of Connor Stevens who saw the ball away to safety.
Fernandes and Brown exchanged passes going forwards with a low shot from the former just missing the target and then quickly at the other end Stevens again got his head behind a goalbound shot, this time denying Miskin with another brave headed clearance.
With three minutes remaining the visitors again caused problems in the United area without anybody to finish the move, Adams did well to block a close range effort near his post and as the ball bobbled around it was eventually a United boot that got the ball away from the danger area.
In the third minute of stoppage time United killed off the game with another potential “Goal of the Season” candidate when substitute Steve Ngunga collected the ball wide on the right before driving inside and curling a perfect shot from the edge of the box over Tobin’s outstretched hand and into the far corner of the Harrow net to seal three valuable points for United and a first clean sheet since the opening day at Didcot.
Report by Kevin Watts.
United Man of the Match: Cole Brown.
Photos by Anthony Mills.
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