Hayes & Yeading’s pre-season continued apace as Ritchie Hanlon’s side took on National League opposition in the form of our former landlords Maidenhead United in the rain at the SKYex on Saturday afternoon.
With a number of pre-season knocks and niggles lessening the depth of Ritchie’s squad, it was still a strong starting XI for United and I am led to believe the same could be said for the visiting Magpies.
First opening of the game saw new skipper Sanmi Odelusi strike a free-kick from just outside the box into the Magpies wall and eight minutes later at the other end Reece Smith cut in from the left and hit a rasping shot that Simon Grant did well to parry skywards before catching the dropping ball.
As both sides played the game out in midfield, it was United who held the slight edge in possession and a few openings started to appear as the interval approached.
Firstly for United a low skidding Hassan Jalloh drive was fielded by Craig Ross in the Magpies goal and with just two minutes to go to the break United’s best move of the match saw Omar Rowe feed the ball to Jalloh, he in turn slid it through to Sam Ashton but he fired over from eight yards out under challenge from a Magpies defender.
It was however the visitors who closed the half out with a brace of chances, firstly Smith raced onto a pass inside the left corner of the United box, he fired across Grant’s dive with the effort going narrowly wide of the far post and in stoppage time Smith set the ball off to Harry Parsons but his well struck effort was pushed wide by the diving Grant and the half ended with a blank scoresheet.
A single change at the break saw a switch between the sticks for the hosts however the half took a little while to find any rhythm with the only real opening before the hour mark seeing a Smith cross for the Magpies being met by the head of Shawn McCoulsky but his effort was well wide of the target.
A flurry of changes around the hour mark for both teams saw the National League side start to control the ball more and United’s substitute stopper Jacob Adams was soon called into action pushing away an angled drive from Jayden Mitchell-Lawson.
This was quickly followed by Trialist C for the visitors being put through only to fire wide of the target and within sixty seconds United went close when one of our own trialists Josh Williams fed the ball to Rowe who saw his shot just clear the visitors crossbar.
The defining moment in the match came on 71 minutes when Mitchell-Lawson collected the ball on the righthand corner of the United box and successfully fired low past Adams' outstretched hand subsequently finding the far bottom corner of the net to put his side ahead.
Thereafter a further number of changes, mainly for United, did little to fire up much action at either end and the game was played out without any further alarm to either stopper and the National League side went home with a hard fought 1-0 victory.
We thank Alan Devonshire and his side for travelling over to the SKYex and wish them all the best in the National League this coming season.
Report by Kevin Watts.
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