Match Report: Walton Casuals v Hartley Wintney

Post by KOB - 12-01-2019, 21:56

Walton Casuals v Hartley Wintney, Evo-Stik League South, Premier South. Saturday 12th January 2019
Report by David Graham

Hartley Wintney returned to a mid table position following a hard fought win over Walton Casuals. With Adam Desbois still unfit, Hartley gave a debut to young 'keeper Sam Mason, on loan from Woking FC and a former Hartley Youth Team player.

The first action of note came on six minutes and it was a goal to the Row. A strong challenge between Dan Stewart of the Row and Casuals captain, Joe Hicks, saw the ball break in favour of Hartley. Stewart and Mitchell Parker combined well and the latter created space for a shot which found the corner of the net. (0-1) Celebrations were short and muted as it soon became apparent that Hicks was badly injured lying on the ground. There was a four minute delay as the stricken defender was carried off on a stretcher with a suspected broken leg. There was sympathetic applause from all round the ground.

The Casuals had a chance from a free kick on 17 minutes, some 25 yards from goal. Jack Battie (aka the Walton Beckham) fired wide of goal.

The home side probed, and intelligent running behind the Hartley defence gave James Ewington a chance on 22 minutes as he latched on to a long pass. The striker brought out a smart save from Sam Mason.

A similar run on 34 minutes enabled the striker to have a likewise similar chance. Ewington fired a well struck shot which Sam Mason managed to push onto the post and out for a corner.

In added time, Cole Brown got into a dangerous position on the left and his driven cross was well cut out by Mason.


Due to a number of stoppages, the game did not flow as well as expected in the second period. On 53 minutes, a free kick on the left from Battie saw a good parry by Mason to clear the ball out of danger.

The Row started to gain a foothold in midfield and, on 59 minutes, Jack French fed Salhin Abubakar who cut in and saw his shot saved by a well positioned Denzel Gerrar in the Walton goal.

The home side could have pulled at least level with two very good chances within a minute of each other. On 63 minutes, Lartey Sarpong played in James Ewington for a one-on-one with Mason; the striker shot past Mason but also narrowly past the post. It was 'take two' a minute later, with Ewington running through in an identical position. The striker's shot followed the same path as the previous one. And almost immediately, on 64 minutes, the misses came back to haunt the Casuals.

A fluent Row move saw the ball moved leftward, out to Abubakar. The young winger used good pace to almost reach the goal line from where he hit a strong, low cross-come-shot from a difficult angle. The Casuals 'keeper appeared to have it covered but the ball somehow squirmed from his grasp and trickled over the line just inside his near post. (0-2)

The Casuals responded well and it took them just three minutes to reduce the deficit. A strong run down the left saw an accurate low cross find Dan Bennett, who scored from close range. (1-2)

On 74 minutes, Bennett had a chance following a corner but shot wide. Hartley then had a good spell following the introduction of Tyron Smith. Another good run down the left by Abubakar saw him pass to Mikey Campbell. The substitute striker fed Ty Smith, who fired just over on 80 minutes. It was almost action replay a minute later, with Jack French shooting just over following another fluent move.

Into added time and a late corner from the Casuals produced a pinball scramash in front of the Hartley goal. This was relieved with a measured hoof ball out from Ty Smith.

There was still time for Mikey Campbell to create a chance for himself which he fired just over the bar. A good three points for the Row. However, most thoughts go towards Joe Hicks and the hope that he will recover as soon as is possible. [D Graham]

CROWD: 252

WALTON CASUALS: Denzel Gerrar, Harry Mills, Ryheem Shechleford, Joe Hicks, Max Hustwick, Alex Kelly, Jack Battie, Lartey Sarpong, Dan Bennett, James Ewington, Cole Brown.
Subs: Kyron Farrell, Reece Robins, Sonny Black, Marcus Mealing, Elgi Fejzo

HARTLEY WINTNEY: Samuel Mason, Nathan Smart (c), Steven Duff, Jack Ball, Connor Gales, Josh Webb, Jack French, Marley Ridge, Mitchell Parker, Dan Stewart, Salhin Abubakar
Subs: Mikey Campbell (on for Dan Stewart), Romario Hart, Tyron Smith (on for Josh Webb), Jacques Kpohomouh, Louie Paget (on for Marley Ridge)

After the game, David spoke with Anthony Millerick.
"Walton Casuals are a good team with a good home record, and the 4G pitch made it a different game from what we are used to. We adapted our game plan, which proved successful."
Millers continued, "The ingredient for success is Hard work, Discipline, Ability to counter attack, and of course a bit of luck. This is a very tight league and these are vital points for us."