Shane sees double again, but this time in the form of goals
Hartley were touted as clear favourites, somebody even mentioning to me that W&E were sat at 8/1 with a local bookmakers. The difference in quality on the day was certainly not that far apart, as Dan Bateman's side were intent on making it a difficult afternoon for the Row.
An upset was on the cards today as Hartley were touted as clear favourites and Dan Bateman's side were intent on making it a difficult afternoon for the Row.
Wokingham were on the front foot during the opening exchanges and, after a series of corners and pressure, they found their breakthrough through a neat one two inside the box that was finished past Atko.
Toby Jannaway then dragged the team forward striding past the Wokingham midfield and slotting a nice through ball that was delivered into the box and blasted home from close range by Shane Hollamby following a good touch within the 6 yard box.
It was a pretty evenly matched first half, but arguably Hartley were creating the better chances and could have snuck in a second - going close just before the break. Half Time 1-1.
There was a distinct difference in attitudes going in at half time, with Hartley being disappointed with their overall performance in the first half and W&E going in positively with talk from their players saying they'd played a good half. Hartley took a bit of confidence from that knowing fully well we were yet to shift through the gears. Despite W&E doing well to nullify our game in certain areas of the pitch, we were confident that the game was in our hands.
Hartley started brightly with Jannaway and Everiss causing problems down the flanks and Argent and Hollamby linking up well. Sam Argent could have put us ahead, but a fantastic save by their keeper from point blank range denied him.
Hartley soaked up a bit of pressure and broke rapidly with Everiss on the left hand side. 'Evo' then delivered a fantastic cross met with perfect execution by skipper, Sam Argent, who with a diving header buried the ball past the keeper at the front post. Great goal.
We were unlucky not to be awarded a third soon after, as Noakes headed the ball into the net but the referee blew for a foul on their centre half.
Zac Horkan was brought on, replacing the impressive Jannaway. It wasn't long before Zak made an impact as he drove with the ball shifting the ball from foot to foot which took the left back off balance, having gained a yard he delivered an exquisite cross to the back post which was expertly finished by Shane Hollamby.
We'd like to wish Dan and his team all the best for the rest of the season, if the standard they played at today becomes their consistent level, they'll have no problems cruising up the league table. Always a pleasure to play against them, good club with good people inside it. Happy to say that we were the better team on the day and credit must go to the boys for getting themselves in the hat again ready for the draw on Monday afternoon. Supporters' man of the match was awarded to Liam Eagle by Gerry Wykes after the game, and deservedly so. A solid performance from our centre half. [DB]