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Match Report: Hartley Wintney v AFC Dunstable

Post by KOB - 24-09-2017, 10:12

Saturday 23rd September ‘17
Evo-Stik South League – East Division
HARTLEY WINTNEY v AFC DUNSTABLE
Report by David Graham

Hartley Wintney maintained their challenge at the top of the Division with a win over erstwhile leaders AFC Dunstable. In a match totally dominated by the defences, it was ultimately settled by a high quality second half goal.

Dunstable were first to settle, and on 6 minutes a shot from Bernie Christie was pushed around the post by Paul Strudley in goal for the Row.

The remainder of the first half was nondescript, neither side able to fashion a chance and the game lacking quality. However, on the stroke of half time a bit of quality arrived from the Row when a good cross field pass from midfield debutant, Josh Webb, found James Tennant on the left wing. Tennant delivered a good cross which found Sam Argent, who headed narrowly over at the back post.
Half Time: Hartley Wintney 0 AFC Dunstable 0

The Row started to take the initiative at the start of the second half and on 55 minutes had a chance from a free kick 25 yards out. James Tennant took the kick which beat the wall but went just past the post.

The Row got the breakthrough on 68 minutes with a high quality goal. Louie Paget played an accurate long pass to Sam Argent who flicked on to Paul Hodges. The striker controlled well and intelligently set up Sam Argent, who clipped the ball over the OD’s goalie, Jamie Head. (1-0)

Hartley almost extended the lead on 82 minutes with an effort from Josh Webb following good build up play between Louie Paget and Luke Perkins. A minute later, Dunstable had a chance following build up play involving Bernie Christie and James Bishop. The latter’s cross found Jermaine Hall, who was unable to convert with a header.

The visitors pressed during the latter stages and had a free kick chance deep into added time. Danny Murphy took the kick which beat the Hartley wall, but Paul Strudley, at full stretch, pushed the ball around the post. The Hartley defence, that hadn't put a foot wrong throughout the match, held on for a valuable 3 points. [D Graham]
Full time: Hartley Wintney 1 AFC Dunstable 0

Hartley Wintney: Paul Strudley, Louie Paget, Diak John, Joshua Webb, Steve Noakes, Adam New, Jack French, James Tennant, Sam Argent, Paul Hodges, Steven Duff.
Subs: Aaron Parfitt, Luke Perkins (on for James Tennant), Adam Everiss, Ben Greenwood (on for Sam Argent), Jake Baxter (on for Steve Duff)

AFC Dunstable: Jamie Head, James Bishop, Danny Murphy, Ryan Frater, Bill Morgan, Newman Carney, Christian Tervernier, Moses Olaleye, Bernie Christie, Jermaine Hall, Nathan Frater.
Subs: Adiel Mannion, Courtney Massey, Marcus Campbell

Man of the Match: Diak John

Immediately after the match, David collected their impressions on the game from the Hartley joint first team managers.
"I felt our defence played well today. AFC Dunstable were a very difficult side to play against," said Anthony Millerick. "The goal was pure quality, the kind of goal which we know our strikers are capable of scoring."

Daniel Brownlie added, "The goal was top quality and fit to win any match. Our three debutants (Josh Webb, Diak John, and Jake Baxter when he came on) all played very well. We are holding our own at this level and we would have been pleased at the start of the season to know we would be third at this stage.
"I felt we played well against the team at the top of the league and it was a good solid team performance. We have another difficult game on Tuesday at Egham."
  • KOB

    24-09-2017, 10:53

    The biggest complement I can personally give to the players and coaching staff is that, by the end of the game yesterday, any lingering frustration I'd felt from our loss against Cinderford had disappeared. That was such a strong team performance yesterday, with very good game management on and off the pitch, and excellent debuts from Jake, Diak and Josh. You really wouldn't have known we went into the game missing five regular first team players.

    Dunstable are a big strong outfit. You could almost stand under their number 4 in a thunderstorm and not get wet, yet by the end of the first half Sam was timing his jump so well he was beating him to the ball in the air, and that continued in the second half; extraordinary stuff again from Arge. It wasn't pretty in the first half and I was concerned we'd get muscled out of it and get caught by their long ball, but as the half went on we matched them at their own game.

    I was desperate for us to keep the ball on the ground. Dunstable were committing lots of niggly fouls, and we looked too quick and clever for them when we did play to feet. Clearly it was talked about at the break, because right from the restart we played it short to feet, and despite initially losing possession we stuck with it and began to dominate the game. It was so good to see us have the belief and confidence to play that kind of football against a side like Dunstable, and it paid off.

    After questioning their wisdom on our initial positional lineup last week, I have to also give a shout out to the bench for a switch which paid dividends. I wondered why they moved Paul out wide right and brought Jake Baxter in alongside Sammy, but within a couple of minutes Paul was cutting in and giving the Dunstable defence a real problem, and it was shortly afterwards that he was involved again in setting up Sam for his sublime goal.

    Absolutely loved that yesterday. Adam and Steve at the back were pure quality, and Louie had another terrific game both defensively and going forward. Struds was solid and pulled off an excellent save right at the end. And as for MOTM Diak John, that was some debut! As was the debut of Josh Webb. That was vital with both JP and Jonah unavailable. But got to say, what a terrific performance from Jack French who never gave the opposition midfielders any time or space. The more Frenchy plays, the more he looks the complete replacement for the unfortunate Steve Laidler; and that is meant as a huge compliment, because Laids seemed irreplaceable.

    At half time a few of us wondered if there was much chance of a football match breaking out, because the first half had been a war of attrition; seems to be the way AFC Dunstable go about things. We showed them in the second half how the 'beautiful game' should be played, and topped if off with a beautifully worked and superbly finished goal. Top marks boys, loved it.
    • RAB

      25-09-2017, 09:56

      Just like to say how fortunate we are to have 3 great match Reporters. Always look forward to reading the reports. Keep up the good work.
    • VINTY

      24-09-2017, 18:23

      This was a much improved performance by the lads this week especially with enforced changes and new faces making their debut as they battled to a narrow 1-0 win against the current leaders. What was very satisfying was that we did not wilt under the physical pressure imposed by Dunstable and equalled them all over the park with Josh Webb and Frenchie enjoying themselves in midfield.
      It was not always pretty stuff in the first half wit h both side guilty of over-hitting passes but this was down to the excellent defences on both sides . The phrase is we won "ugly" but it was also pretty intensive stuff going on. We should have been ahead at the interval as in the last minute Sam 99 times out of 100 would have buried his header from a couple of yards into the net after an excellent run and cross from James Tennant, who seems to be getting better with each game he plays.
      With the introduction of another debutant in Jake Baxter upfront early in the second half this allowed for more freedom of movement for Paul Hodges and with the boys started to play the ball along the ground he nicely set up Sam for the only goal of the game.
      It was a breath of fresh air to see three new faces. which has perhaps been lacking lately,(and well done to the management for showing great imagination) and although they have only played one game for us it will keep the rest of the squad on their toes as there will be more competition for places instead of players just turning up expecting to play willy-nilly, especially when the reserves seem to have stepped up in quality and hitting six, which will further mean Millers and Dan could have some interesting decisions to make.
      This was a great win after last week and t he cobwebs have hopefully been blown away, and as long as we continue not to be intimidated by the opposition, we are going to be with a bit of luck a hard side t o beat. I never thought I would say that so early in the season but its true.
      Next up Tuesday away at Egham who are in a similar position to us so it will be a tough night. Lets hope we are up to it!!
      UP THE ROW!!!!


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