11 Feb 2019
Tough trip to Hayes.
United’s injury hit side retained their 100% home league record as a solitary Duncan Culley strike on 21 minutes was enough to defeat a very good Cheshunt side at the SKYex on Saturday afternoon.
Manager Paul Hughes brought in new signings Adam Pepera and George Bennett to his starting line-up while Ashley Smith retained his place having debuted at Northwood on Tuesday evening.
United with the wind at their backs started quickly and in just the fourth minute Lee Barney collected in the right hand channel and made his way to the byeline before pulling the ball back low but sadly behind the advancing Duncan Culley.
Another opening for United after 12 minutes saw Ed Asafu-Adjaye send the ball forwards to Barney, his lay off fed Callum McAllister who tried his luck from 20 yards but was unable to trouble Harry Girling in the Cheshunt goal.
Just a minute later, United lost a tackle in the defensive half of the field with the loose ball running to Brian Moses who played Connor Hogan into the box, the midfielder firing wide when well placed to test Charlie Burns in the United goal.
Play immediately moved to the opposite end with Toby Little sending Barney away on the left, United’s leading marksman trying his luck with an angled drive that Girling fumbled around the post.
The deadlock was broken by the home side on 21 minutes. Culley started a move that saw the ball played wide right to Scott Bridges, his excellent hold up play led to a chip inside to Ashley Smith who picked out Culley in the middle, the United skipper smashing the ball past Girling into the roof of the net from 10 yards.
With a minute United almost had another. Asafu-Adjaye broke on the left side, his centre found Barney who struck a first time shot that Girling did well to push out diving quickly to his right.
Just before the half hour mark, Hogan collected the ball on the right corner of the United box and fizzed the ball across the face of the United goal with no Cheshunt boot able to get the killer touch.
The final effort of a close first period fell to the home side as Smith’s smart low pass sent Barney away from the Cheshunt defence, the strikers 18 yard effort going just the wrong side of the upright and the half ended with United a goal to the good.
The second half opened with a couple more openings for United. The two debutants combined as Adam Pepera played the ball forwards to George Bennett, his snapshot from just outside the box being held by Girling. A minute later Bridges collected another Pepera pass in the area, his cross was met by a diving Barney but his header was inches too high.
In the 50th minute Guiseppe Re collected the ball in the United box, Smith slipped while trying to clear but did enough to distract the Cheshunt man who saw his effort blocked away by Burns but only as far as Jordan Westcott who blazed over from the edge of the box.
United went close to a second just past the hour mark as Culley got his head to a cross from the left wing, his effort beat Girling only to be headed off the line, the loose ball dropped to Barney who saw his shot blocked out by a well placed Dave Kendall and the danger was eventually cleared.
With just under 20 minutes remaining, Cheshunt substitute Kyle Roberts broke past Smith and into the United box, his driven shot being blocked and cleared by the impressive Pepera.
Minutes later the visitors went close again when Hogan collected on the edge of the box and aimed for the far corner, Liam McDevitt getting the slightest of touches to take the ball fractionally wide of the far post.
Two Bridges free-kicks within minutes of each other created openings for United. The first saw his kick being met by McDevitt at the far post with Barney heading the returned ball inches over. This was quickly followed by another Barney header, this time his flicked effort went agonisingly wide of the far post.
Five minutes from time Burns made the save of the match to preserve United’s 100% record. A ball played straight into the United box dropped nicely to Westcott whose eyes lit up only for Burns to spread himself superbly to block the ball out with McDevitt clearing the danger as two visiting players closed in.
Six+ minutes of stoppage time came from who knows where, the fifth minute of this saw a second yellow card issued to Cheshunt defender Taylor McKenzie who was duly dismissed and then a minute later a somewhat crude challenge by Little brought him a caution and the visitors a free-kick just over 20 yards out, Hogan fired the ball past the wall but only into Burns’ arms and referee Mannix soon brought the curtain down on yet another three points for United.
This victory sees Paul Hughes side take advantage of second placed Marlow’s game being off to move fifteen points clear at the top of the table and leaves United as the only club still with 100% league home wins this season across all the top 8 levels of football in England – Premier League through to Step 4 of non-league. That’s 18 Divisions. 12 games. 12 wins.
Report by Kevin Watts.
(with thanks to the H&YUFC Website for the report)Back +
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