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David Graham's Match Report: Gosport Borough v Hartley Wintney

Post by Hartley Row - 30-12-2018, 09:30

Gosport Borough v Hartley Wintney, Evo-Stik League South, Premier South. Saturday 29th December 2018.
Report by David Graham

Gosport Borough continued their recent good form with a win courtesy of the only goal scored just before half time.

The first chance fell to the 'Boro on four minutes when a long clearance found Ryan Pennery in the clear and Row 'keeper, Adam Desbois, a long way from his goal. The 'Boro forward elected to shoot early but the ball went wide of the empty net.

A period of scrappy play followed until the 16th minute. Mickel Platt showed good skill coming in from the left and created a good chance for himself before he was hauled down well inside the penalty area. The Row claims for a spot kick went unheeded by referee Lewis Sandoe.

Three minutes later, George Barker for the 'Boro cut in from the right and saw his parting shot well saved by well positioned Desbois.

On 22 minutes the Row had a good chance to take the lead when Romario Hart set Salhin Abubakar clear for a one-on-one with 'Boro 'keeper, Pat O'Flaherty. The home custodian stood tall and saved well. Three minutes later, a free kick to the Row taken by Josh Webb found Jack Ball, who saw his shot from the edge of the box blocked.

Centre-back Jack Ball made an unforced error on the half hour mark, leaving Tony Lee with a clear run in on goal. Desbois came out and parried the shot, with Nathan Smart completing the clearance from under the crossbar.

The 'Boro gained the upper hand in midfield for a spell and, on 31 minutes, Lee set up Sam Lanahan for a shot which brought out a good save from Desbois.

Hartley responded, Jack French setting-up Platt for an opportunity which saw the young striker fire wide. Then on 34 minutes, Gosport's George Barker had a good effort following a long free kick, bringing out another save from Desbois.

The Row had a great chance to go ahead on 36 minutes. The best interplay in the entire match led to Jack French setting Romario Hart free through the middle. The young striker rounded O'Flaherty, but instead of shooting into the empty net decided to check back and the chance was lost.

The 'Boro finished the half strongly and on 41 minutes Lee set-up Pennery whose strong shot was beaten out by Desbois. But two minutes before the break, the 'Boro went ahead after a period of intense pressure. Good play down the right resulted in a shot crashing off the crossbar. The ball was partially cleared, only for another shot from 'Boro to come crashing off the same spot on the crossbar. The ball went out to left and a high looper into the penalty area saw the 'Boro forwards the most determined, and George Barker shot home from close range. (1-0)

HALF TIME: GOSPORT BOROUGH 1 HARTLEY WINTNEY 0

It was the Row who had the first effort of the half on 53 minutes when Hart tried his luck from 25 yards, however the shot lacked power and O'Flaherty saved. A minute later, Platt set-up Jack French, who saw his effort deflected wide. But two minutes later, the Row defence was at sixes and sevens and was fortunate that Lee was unable to convert a presentable chance.

On 58 minutes, Marley Ridge and Dan Stewart combined well down the left and the latter's strong, low shot brought out an excellent save from O'Flaherty.

Hartley were trying to play out from the back and were caught out on a number of occasions by losing possession in dangerous areas. On 65 minutes, Lee took advantage and was unlucky to see his effort go just wide. The Row gave another chance a minute later and Lee's cross found substitute David Gerrard, who brought out a good save from Desbois.

Yet another similar chance was provided on 67 minutes by Hartley and again Gerrard saw his effort saved by Desbois. On 78 minutes, more loose play by the Row enabled Pennery to get in a cross which found the head of Gerrard. Again Desbois pulled off a smart save.

In the final ten minutes the Row finally started putting some decent moves together and should have equalised on 81 minutes. A quick free kick from Webb released Platt into the penalty box. The young striker seemed to lose his composure and blazed badly wide when it looked easier to score.

Hartley pressed until the end and a Marley Ridge shot was deflected over following a fluent move. The 'Boro held on for a win they just about deserved on balance of play. However, the Row had gold plated chances to score several goals despite being some way short of their best form. They will be looking to improve their finishing on New Year's Day with the visit of Swindon Supermarine to Green Lane.

FULL TIME: GOSPORT BOROUGH 1 HARTLEY WINTNEY 0

Attendance: 285
Entertainment 3/5
Hartley Man of the Match: Adam Desbois

GOSPORT BOROUGH: Pat O'Flaherty, Harry Medway, Joe Lea, Matthew Casey, Sam Roberts, Sam Lanahan, George Barker, Charlie Davis, Tony Lee, Ryan Pennery, Patrick Suraci.
Subs: Craig McAllister, Matthew Weaire, Joe Byrne, Jordan Brooks, David Gerrard

HARTLEY WINTNEY: Adam Desbois, Joe Felix, Josh Webb, Jack Ball, Nathan Smart, Jack French, Marley Ridge, Dan Stewart, Salhin Abubakar, Mickel Platt, Romario Hart
Subs: Tyron Smith (on), Marc Vockins, Hadda Zongo (on), Louie Paget, Nic Ciardini (on)

After the game, David asked the Hartley joint managers for their thoughts on the narrow defeat, starting with Anthony Millerick.

"I see this as a setback after our recent performances. We were not too despondent at half time, feeling we would get chances and pull things around, and we created a number of really good chances. Credit to Gosport, who played to their strengths, being very direct.
"I felt we lost our identity a bit," Millers continued. "However, we must take our chances up top when we are on top. We were also a bit shakey at the back on occasions today."

Dan Turkington added,
"We are a young team and learning all the time. In this league we must try and prepare mentally for each match. At times we looked a bit more lethargic than usual; possibly caused by several players being affected by a nasty bug that is doing the rounds. We look forward to trying to get back on track on New Year's Day."
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