Weston-super-Mare 1 Hayes & Yeading United 2
TWO fortunate goals just after half time earned Hayes & Yeading United their eighth victory in a row at Weston-super-Mare on Saturday.
United were without top scorer Josh Scott through suspension, so Scott Fitzgerald got a recall to the starting line up.
The home side had the better of the early exchanges. Marvin Brown was inches wide from Scott Partridge's square ball and Partridge then set up Groves, who fired a shot just wide of Delroy Preddie's far post.
United got going midway through the half. A quick short corner caught the home side napping and Will Hendry cut inside before producing a shot from a tight angle which Ryan Northmore had to tip around the post.
From the resulting corner, Steven Gregory flicked the ball on to Fitzgerald at the back post who did well to get anything on it, but couldn't direct the ball into the goal.
However, the hosts were hit with a sucker punch against the run of play. A long free kick from Andrew Harris was not dealt with and Charlie Comyn-Platt flicked the ball onto his centre-back partner Thomas Evans who hooked his volley in off the bar.
Ben Wells hit a long-range volley inches wide soon afterwards as Weston looked to increase their lead. United rallied and after good work by Gary MacDonald and Fitzgerald, Gregory hit a 30-yard shot which was diverted away from goal at full stretch by Northmore. Then just before half time, Hendry hit another shot from outside the area and again was narrowly off target.
Within six minutes of the restart, United had completely turned the game on its head. They were somewhat lucky with the first as Staforde Palmer's cross caught a strong gust of wind which took the ball straight into the top corner.
Referee Lee Swabey then awarded them a penalty for a pull on Palmer's shirt at the back post. Hendry stepped up but hit his penalty rather tamely at Northmore. However, Palmer's quick reactions got him to the rebound first and as he turned it back across goal, Fitzgerald was well placed to turn the ball into the bottom corner.
After this explosive start, the second half settled into a rather drab affair, which more than suited United.
Partridge collected a throw in and although his first shot was blocked by Matt Ruby, he got his second away and Delroy Preddie was alert enough to prevent an equaliser.
In the closing stages, the biggest threat to United's goal came from a dipping free kick by Harris which was never really going to dip far enough, and United comfortably held on for another vital three points in their push for promotion.