BASINGSTOKE Town moved up to second in the Vanarama Conference South, after an excellent 2-0 win at the Soccer AM Stadium, as visiting Hayes and Yeading United’s perfect start came to an end on Saturday.
The Dragons made just one change to their line-up as Stuart Moore returned from suspension to play in goal.
However, just nine minutes into the contest, Town boss Jason Bristow was forced to make another change after Rob Rice cut his eye after a clash of heads.
He was replaced by David Ray who slotted straight into the back four and did not look out of place.
After an even opening, Hayes started to take control of the game as David Ijaha and Daniel Wishart had chances.
Town then took the lead on 33 minutes and from then on never looked back.
Their opening goal came from a corner won by Liam Enver-Marum, which saw Tom Bird swing the ball to the far post where Manny Williams scored.
Another Bird corner saw Ray’s header crash off the crossbar as once again the visitors’ defence was all at sea.
With their tails up the home side doubled the advantage on 42 minutes, as Enver-Marum’s low shot came off the base of the post and Simon Dunn followed up to put away the rebound.
Town went looking for more goals and the visitors would have been happy to have gone in just 2-0 down.
After the break, it was home side who continued to dominate as Enver-Marum forced a save and Chris Flood a corner, from which Jay Gasson’s header was dropped by goalkeeper Calum Kitschua before being cleared.
Flood went close twice more and then Shaun McAuley looked set to score a third goal, but failed to connect with the ball.
As the game went into its final minutes Hayes’ sub Rhys Murell-Williamson, by far their best player, carved out a couple of chances, but fellow subs Joseph Anyinsah and Dean Inman failed to make the most of them.
Town were left to have the final word as sub Lloyd Macklin’s strike from distance forced a finger tip save.
Today they are back in action at Farnborough (kick-off 3pm).
Stuart Moore – 8 out of 10
A clean sheet on his league debut you can’t ask for more.
Nathan Smart – 8
Solid at the back and always looking to go forward.
Tom Bird – 8
Another good performance in all areas.
Andrew Jenkinson – 7
Did his job well as the anchor in the midfield.
Jay Gasson – 9
The captain led by example.
Rob Rice – 7
His afternoon was cut short by a clash of heads.
Simon Dunn – 8
A goal capped a good game for the midfielder.
Shaun McAuley – 8
Always looked lively and getting involved.
Liam Enver-Marum – 7
A great afternoon marred by another needless booking.
Chris Flood – 9 (Gazette Star Man)
Never stopped running seemed to be everywhere on the pitch.
Manny Williams – 8
His goal opened up the game
David Ray (for Rob Rice 9 mins) – 9
Great game in the centre of the defence
Louie Soares (for Andrew Jenkinson 62 mins) – 7
Slotted into the midfield, but did not stand-out
Lloyd Macklin (for Simon Dunn 77 mins) – 7
Went very close in the dying seconds.
Subs (not used): Argent, Owusu
Hayes and Yeading United: Kitschua, Artwell, Everitt, MacDonald, Ruby, Bufano, Ijaha (Murell-Williamson 65 min), Harriot, Cox (sub Anyinsah 60 min), Wishart (sub Inman 83), Merrifield. Subs (not used): Vanderhyde, Lynch.