Hartley Wintney is classified as a village, though a sizeable one these days, located close to the main town of Basingstoke in North Hampshire, within central southern England. The Football Club was founded in 1897, were founder members of the Home Counties League, and following promotion from the Combined Counties League Premier Division in 2016/17 and Southern League South East in 2017/18, the First Team now compete at Step 3 of the English football pyramid, in the Southern League Premier Division South.
The Club, nicknamed 'The Row' after a small former hamlet, is indebted to the volunteer workers and sponsors who have not only continued to keep the Club afloat but have shared in its recent outstanding success on and off the pitch.
We have our ground at The Memorial Playing Fields, Green Lane, Hartley Wintney, Hants RG27 8DL. The club now has four covered stands, two with seating, and a low level area to accommodate wheelchairs. The pitch is of course fully floodlit and there is a well-equipped, licensed clubhouse offering hot and cold drinks and snacks, as well as dual-zone satellite TV with large screen in the main area. During first team games, there is also an external catering facility.
2011-12: Promoted to Combined Counties League Premier Division
2015-16: Combined Counties League Premier Division Champions
2015-16: Reached the 5th Round Proper of the FA Vase
2016-17: Combined Counties League Premier Division Champions
2016-17: Promoted to the Evo-Stik League South, East Division
2016-17: Aldershot Senior Cup Finalists
2016-17: Hampshire Senior Cup Semi-Finalists
2017-18: Evo-Stik League South, East Division Play-Off Winners
2017-18: Promoted to the Southern Premier League (South)
2017-18: Reached the 1st Round Proper of the FA Trophy
2017-18: Aldershot Senior Cup Winners
Last updated July 2020
Hartley Wintney Football Club was founded in 1897. The club's nickname of 'The Row' comes from Hartley Row, a former hamlet within Hartley Wintney. In the late 1940s and into the 50s, playing in the Basingstoke League, the club was successful despite playing on a farm field with a small wooden shed; this was Causeway Farm adjacent to the golf and cricket clubs. Amongst the villagers who ran the club was its outstanding secretary, Fred Cook. Fred's minutes of meetings covering seasons 1948 to 1964 include the change of the club colours from blue squares to tangerine in July 1956.
The club moved to its present ground in Green Lane - The Memorial Ground - in 1953. A pavilion was erected and the team continued in the Basingstoke League, and later in the Aldershot League.
In 1973, Glynn Howell was appointed Manager. In his six year reign, the team won the Aldershot Senior League three times in succession, and the Aldershot Senior Cup. After several seasons in the Aldershot Senior League, Hartley were admitted to the Combined Counties League (formerly Surrey Senior League).
After the first couple of seasons in the CCL, the club appointed Ian Bedford as First Team Manager. An influx of senior players brought Hartley success. During the 80s these included several notable ex-pros: Mick Travers (1980/81 to 1986/87; his other clubs included Reading, Portsmouth and Aldershot); Richard Walden (1985/86 & 1986/87; formerly with Aldershot, Sheffield Wed and Newport County); and Steve Finnieston (1985/86 to 1987/88; previously with Chelsea, Cardiff and Sheffield Utd).
Within Ian's three years in management, the team gained the League Title (1982-1983) and Runners Up (1981-1982), Aldershot Senior Cup Winners (1980-1981), and George Allen Cup Winners (1981-1982). They were also Runners Up in the League Cup (1982-1983) and Aldershot Senior Cup (1981-1982).
During this period a new Clubhouse was opened. David Willoughby, then Secretary and Treasurer, and Bill Mitchell, then club Chairman and now President, devoted exceptional hours to this venture.
In 2007-08 under manager Mike Scott, the club gained promotion to the Combined Counties League Premier Division, but 2008-09 ended in relegation by a narrow margin. Under the new management team of Pete Gray and John Condon, the first team rallied, finishing 5th in CCL Div 1 in 2009-10. Coach Louis King then took the reigns as manager, guiding the team to 7th in CCL Div 1 in 2010-11.
Neville Roach took charge for 2011-12, assisted by Mick Wollen and Scott Tarr, and the club secured third in Div 1 to clinch a return to the CCL Premier Division. Hartley also had a fine FA Cup run to the Third Qualifying Round. But the euphoria of promotion was dampened when the coaching staff and almost the entire squad left for Thatcham Town.
Ex-Millwall defender, Dave Tuttle, was given the summer to prepare a new squad for 2012-13. However, a string of poor results led to a second change in management in less than 4 months. 24 year-old ex-Basingstoke Town and Hartley striker, Ben Dillon, was given his first managerial position. With Jason Minton and Joe Lawler, Ben set about rebuilding the squad with Hartley now well and truly set adrift at the bottom of the table. The introduction of a talented group of players restored the spirit around the club. In what became known as the season of the club's 'Great Escape', the Row's place in the CCL Premier was secured against all the odds after a remarkable second half of the season. To some, this was the turning point that led to the success that followed.
2013-14 season highlight was another good FA Cup run to the 4th Qualifying Round for the first time, losing at home to Daventry Town in front of a crowd of over 1,000. The club finished 7th in the CCL Premier. The new club crest was commissioned. Designer Philippa Bell incorporated elements tracing the village back to the 13th century when known as Hertleye Wynteneye - 'the clearing in the forest where the deer graze by Winta's island' - hence the tree and stag motifs.
2014-15 saw the club finish a comfortable 9th in the CCL Premier, after which Dillon stepped down and Dan Brownlie and Anthony Millerick were appointed as Joint First Team Managers, with Luke Tuffs as First Team Coach while continuing as Youth Team Manager. It was a very eventful 2015-16. After a memorable FA Cup win away at Merthyr Town in the Second Qualifying Round, Hartley battled back from 2 down to 2-2 at Conference South Eastbourne Borough, only to be beaten by a goal struck deep in injury time. In the FA Vase, The Row broke a longstanding club record by reaching the 5th Round Proper. In front of a sell-out 1,300 at Green Lane, eventual finalists Hereford proved too strong, but the Row went on to claim the 2015-16 CCL Premier Division title, finishing 10 points clear. Promotion, however, was denied due to ground grading.
Setting out to achieve back-to-back title wins while putting in place substantial ground improvements, the 2016-17 season under co-managers Dan Brownlie and Anthony Millerick was extraordinary. Propelled by the goals of strike duo Sam Argent and Ross Cook, the Row topped the CCL Premier Division for the entire season, reached the semi-finals of the Hampshire County Cup and the final of the Aldershot Senior Cup, and secured the required ground grading to take their place in the Southern League at Step 4 for the first time. To top off a wonderful season, Luke Tuffs' Youth team won the Hampshire FA Youth Cup against a strong Aldershot Town U18.
Now in Southern League South, East Division, 2017-18 saw the Row sat within the top four for much of the season, never dropping below 8th, and embark on their first FA Trophy campaign with wins against Gosport Borough and Farnborough before going out in the First Round Proper to eventual finalists, Bromley FC. A Play-off place was secured, the Row winning the semi-final against AFC Dunstable 2-0. Cambridge City had triumphed at Hayes & Yeading FC in the other semi. In front of a crowd of over 700 at Green Lane, a tense game was decided by a single goal scored by Nic Ciardini on the end of Jack Ball's towering header to gain promotion to the Southern Premier South at Step 3. The final season highlight was in lifting the Aldershot Senior Cup.
With Dan Turkington now co-manager alongside Anthony Millerick, 2018-19 started well at Step 3, but sustaining the early start proved difficult and the club found itself briefly in the relegation zone, but astute signings stiffened the defence and a late run saw Hartley finish 8th, an impressive achievement. To remain at the level also required another substantial round of ground improvements which stretched the club and its volunteers to the limits, but that too was achieved by the required deadline.
The Covid-19 affected 2019-20 Southern Premier South campaign only clicked into gear for the Row shortly before the season was abandoned. With Anthony Millerick now as Manager, and Steve Noakes coming in alongside as his assistant, the return of several familiar faces in the New Year was pulling the team away from the 'worry zone' and promised fans an exciting run-in to the end, but it was not to be. Instead what followed was a battle off the pitch for the club's survival in the face of the lost revenue due to extreme wet weather and then the pandemic.
MEMBER OF THE SOUTHERN LEAGUE
SUBURBAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE
ALDERSHOT & DISTRICT FOOTBALL LEAGUE
THE ALLIED COUNTIES YOUTH FOOTBALL LEAGUE
AFFILIATED TO THE HAMPSHIRE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
Hartley Wintney FC have their ground at The Memorial Fields, Green Lane, Hartley Wintney, Hants RG27 8DL. The club has covered standing and seating, with an area to accommodate wheelchairs. The pitch is fully floodlit and there is a well-equipped, licensed clubhouse offering hot and cold drinks and snacks on match days, as well as offering the facilities to host varied events including wedding receptions, birthday parties and social or business meetings. During first team games, there is also an external catering facility.
DIRECTIONS - refer also to the map here
FROM THE A30
On entering Hartley Wintney via the A30, take the turn at the mini roundabout signposted A323 Fleet. Take the 1st right turn, Green Lane, which has St John's Church on the corner. Continue down Green Lane for about 800 metres and turn right into the car park at the second entry slip road (the parking area operates a one-way system and the first slip road you'll pass is the exit). This car park has a shared access with Greenfields School.
FROM FLEET DIRECTION
Turn left at St John's Church if coming down the A323 from Fleet.
Please use the contact form wherever possible. During times when the Clubhouse is open, the club may be contacted by phone on 01252 843586.