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Post by Elayne - 09-01-2019, 17:00


Tuesday 8th January, 2019
CSS League Challenge Cup – Round Three

Hartley Wintney progressed to the Quarter Finals of the CSS League Challenge Cup with a fantastic 4-1 victory away to local Hampshire rivals Basingstoke Town.
The Row produced a fine performance to see off their opponents and avenge the 2-0 defeat suffered at their hands in the league only three days prior in a reverse fixture.
Goals from Salhin Abubakar (2), Josh Webb and Mickel Platt sealed the deal, while Craig Bradshaw made a fine penalty save at 2-1 to deny the hosts levelling in the second half.
There were seven changes made from Saturday’s game as Bradshaw, Abubakar, Connor Gales, Tyron Smith, Steven Duff, Michael Campbell and Romario Hart all came into the starting XI, with Nathan Smart (c), Jack Ball, Webb and Platt the only survivors.
It was a frantic first half full of end to end football, but it was the hosts who had the first chance of the game. Ollie Harris received the ball just outside the box and good footwork got him into a shooting position but his effort was straight at Bradshaw to make a comfortable save on 3 minutes.
On 8 minutes Hartley had the first major chance to score. Hart won possession and picked out Campbell in the box but his shot was well blocked. However, Basingstoke instantly went on the counter and should’ve taken the lead themselves, as Sam Smart on the right managed to square for Aaron Redford in the centre to finish but he could only force a good save from Bradshaw.
From then on Hartley took control and went ahead on 20 minutes. Webb drew a challenge from Hollamby on the edge of the penalty area, only to take the resulting free kick himself and curl a beauty beyond the hands of the keeper and into the top corner. (0-1).
The goal had a massive impact on both sides and within five minutes Hartley had doubled their advantage. Good pressure from the visitors forced the Basingstoke backline into mistakes and the ball was won on the left by Abubakar, who played it into the unmarked Platt to open up his body and produce a neat side foot finish into the far corner, leaving the keeper stranded, to increase the lead on 25 minutes. (0-2).
Hartley were dominating play and looked like they could score again, with another effort from Platt coming close to making it 3-0, but the keeper denied him with a smart save.
On 39 minutes Abubakar committed a foul by bringing down Smart on the outside of Hartley’s box, and was brandished a yellow card by the referee.
The hosts managed to pull one back on 43 minutes and halve the deficit thanks to a neat finish from the captain Sam Deadfield. Basingstoke’s corner wasn’t cleared properly and the ball found its way back into the box where Deadfield was standing, given plenty of time to get it under control, pick his spot and bury the ball into the bottom right corner. (1-2).
Just before the interval, Hartley had a penalty shout in added time after Platt was bundled over from behind. To everyone’s surprise it wasn’t given and the ref waved play on, with the Row feeling hard done by.
HALF TIME: Basingstoke Town 1-2 Hartley Wintney.
The start of the second half saw Basingstoke come racing out the blocks, as Hartley were put under plenty of pressure with their backs against the wall.
On 49 minutes, Zidan Akers picked up possession for Basingstoke and used his lightning pace to get past Ball on the right and fire a low shot straight at goal, only for it to be deflected wide for a corner.
The hosts kept on coming and within five minutes Bradshaw had to race off his line to deny the on-rushing Smart, and from the resulting corner Hornby headed just over from a matter of yards out after good pressure from the Hartley defence on the line.
Both sides soon made changes, with Hartley’s first seeing youngster Reece Wylie replacing Duff in defence, and then Campbell was forced off with injury and replaced by Harry Woodward.
Smart was causing problems down on the right wing for the hosts and on 73 minutes he produced great skill to evade Wylie, bamboozle his way into the box and get a shot away that saw Bradshaw produce a good save and concede a corner.
The same player then created a chance for Basingstoke to level. Smart found his way into the box again and was eventually bundled over, causing the referee to blow his whistle for a penalty on 79 minutes.
Deadfield stepped up for his and Basingstoke’s second of the game, but his weak penalty was well saved by Bradshaw and the follow up failed to make any impact as the keeper held onto the ball, letting Hartley off the hook.
That seemed to wake Hartley up and within a matter of minutes, the two-goal advantage was restored. On 82 minutes the ball made its way to Abubakar on the left, who produced neat footwork to then cut inside Jim Orvis and unleash a powerful shot from outside the box into the bottom left corner to make it 3-1.
The win was then all but sealed as Abubakar scored his second in as many minutes. A fine counter attacking move ended up with a low cross sent in from the right, which evaded everyone, fall perfectly into the path of Abubakar to slot into an empty net and make it 4-1 on the night.
And he was so close to grabbing his hattrick in added time when Platt beat the offside trap to square for the onrushing Abubakar but the ball was a fraction too far in front to make enough contact with.
Hartley made their final sub just before that, as Jayden Englefield replaced Webb, but the visitors saw the game out and came away with a fantastic result to see them advance to the quarter finals of the cup, and restore bragging rights over their Hampshire neighbours.
Full Time: Basingstoke Town 1-4 Hartley Wintney
Hartley Wintney: Craig Bradshaw, Salhin Abubakar, Connor Gales, Nathan Smart (c), Jack Ball, Tyron Smith, Steven Duff (Reece Wylie 61’), Josh Webb (Jayden Englefield 84’), Michael Campbell (Harry Woodward 69’), Mickel Platt, Romario Hart.
Subs not used: Marley Ridge, Jack French.
  • KOB

    09-01-2019, 18:16

    A very detailed report Tom, well done indeed.
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