Mark Molesley shuffled the pack with quite a few changes to the previous starting eleven for his first game in the dugout as Hayes & Yeading United Manager.
New signing Charles Hagan took a place on the bench alongside Omar Rowe, who had been out for several weeks with a hamstring injury.
Luke Warner-Eley replaced Paul Field at left-back as Field reverted back to centre-half with Tarik Moore-Azille switching to the bench; Roger James and Jamie Hanlon were also moved to the bench being replaced in the starting line-up by Ronan Silva returning from injury and a third start this season for Steve Ngunga.
Norman Wabo gave us the lead with 12 minutes played, Ngunga with the ball glued to his feet, his skilful play was too much for captain Michael Harris and as he was fouled inside the area, the referee appeared oblivious to what had gone on and played advantage, only for his assistant to flag and eventually a penalty was awarded. Wabo stepped up and despite Jaimie Cogman’s best effort, the ball went into the net under his diving arms.
The ever dangerous Ricardo Rees received a through ball from Nick Rhodes for the Martyrs, Jacob Adams stretched his leg out denying Rees, who then saw his second attempt cleared off the line but in the process Adams took a blow to the face which significantly delayed the first half.
Whilst Adams was off the field receiving treatment, Paul Field stepped in between the sticks to cover. Unfortunately with United a man short this led to the visitors best spell in the game and also resulted in their equaliser. Field, with his action with the gloves on, stretched out his leg and from a long range Aneurin Livermore shot forced the ball to go out for a throw in.
With Merthyr constantly now pressuring the United defence who coped well, switching to a what looked a defensive 5-3-1 whilst still temporarily playing with ten men, soaked up nearly everything thrown at them. Unfortunately, the resilience came to an end from a Liam Angel header, Alex John delivering a perfectly whipped corner which even if Adams was in goal, looked as if it was always going in.
With Merthyr still going strong following their equaliser, it took another brilliant goal line clearance from Amos Nasha to deny the away side the lead and in the same play, appeals for a handball from Sanmi Odelusi were waved away by referee Craig Charles.
Deep into first half stoppage time another clearance from yet another dangerous Merthyr corner, saw a Harris chance blocked on the line.
Thankfully a much needed half-time break period was moments away to help Molesley re-group the squad.
This proved correct as two minutes after the re-start, Michael Fernandes played a short corner to Cole Brown whose slightly deflected cross looked as if it was dipping into the goal.
With Fernandes starting to grow into the game United looked to utilise his pace and ability to beat a man and his fantastic footwork found Nasha just inside the 12 yard box but his weak effort was cleared with ease.
Merthyr with some nice build up play found Alex John outside of the area unmarked but his effort was always rising and cleared the hosts goal.
A set-piece clearly worked on in training almost paid off as Cogman and his wall were well unaware of a quickly taken short free-kick by Fernandes which was cleared for a corner as Cogman dived aimlessly.
The referee struggled to keep up with the tempo of the game throughout followed by consistent questionable decisions and Angel was eventually booked for a foul on Ngunga who himself took one well for the team breaking up a dangerous counter attack.
Report by Corey Eaton-McKnight.
United Man of the Match: Steve Ngunga.
Print the Teamsheet: Here.
© iZedIT Computer Solutions.
Website renewal kindly sponsored by the HYUFC Supporters fund raising team.