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HARTLEY 2 CHESSINGTON & HOOK 1

Post by nick vint - 13-04-2016, 11:01

It took a fantastic finger-tip save onto the bar in the last minute by Craig Atkinson that enabled us to secure the three badly needed points that we thoroughly deserved
against a side that it is hard to believe are second from bottom because they had some talented individual footballers whose finishing often let them down. We started off slowly which allowed the opposition three or four goalscoring opportunities, but we then started to open up their defence and probably had a dozen shots at goal before half time, some were near misses and others were splendidly saved with his feet by their keeper. As it was end to end stuff it was hard to understand why it was still 0-0 at half time.
We started to turn the screw more in the second half
and after a neat move down the left Dean Stow and curled a great shot in the top left hand corner. The opposition then went up to the other end and scored with an even better shot giving Craig no chance.
We then raised our game to try to get back in front and after Sam was fouled in the box Dean stepped up and hammered in his second (which was a relief to everybody because of the number of missed penalties we had) We thereafter had two or three more opportunities to make the game safe but were unable to take them.
Then the most bizarre event happened when the opposition centreforward, who already had one yellow card was sent off for diving, which was his second bookable offence, so he had two yellows and then a red and off he went. Then the ref consulted his linesman
and then gave a free kick to Chessington. Then he called the centreforward back from the dressing room and told him to play on!!!! By that stage he had completely the plot. Never known that to happen. Then again bizarrely five minutes later he then sent the same player off for another bad tackle, giving him a yellow and then a red, so this poor chap was again in the sin bin after two reds and three yellows. We then held our breath in case the ref changed his mind again and let him back on after cooling down!!!! Never known it to happen in all my time playing and watching football. Lets have your comments and debate on it because it will be the talk in and around Hartley for weeks to come. Even after that there was a fracas in the middle of the pitch where the ref again spoke to the linesman 50 yards away, booked Duff and one of their players, and then gave a dropped ball.
Getting back to the game, which had almost been forgotten by then, as I say only the brilliance of Craig in the last minute saved the day for us.
It was not one of the best displays, it was not always pretty, but we showed a lot of character and resilience just to grind out another win at this stage of the season.

This is my last report for the season as I booked to be
away for a month travelling on the high seas and I am gutted that I wont be there on the day the lads seal their league title because it will be some party, reminiscent of the good old glory days!!! But I will be glued to twitter, facebook etc for the results. All the best lads.
  • KOB

    13-04-2016, 15:18

    I too am gutted that you'll be away for a whole month - I've come to rely on your reports Nick. Don't worry, we'll raise a glass to absent friends :)

    Not for the first time, Craig has shown what a terrific keeper he is - well done Atko, that save amounted to a last minute winner. And 'Cool' Dean with the curling shot and then the penalty - he quickly proved to be a great signing and an important one after we lost Toby to injury.

    Well done boys, it can't be easy to keep the focus, playing against teams that all raise their own game especially for us as league leaders.

    As for the double-red and three yellows... do you really want to get me started on the officials again? What a donkey. Probably best I wasn't there.
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