Match Report: Hartley Wintney v Merthyr Town

Post by KOB - 16-01-2022, 12:10

Hartley Wintney v Merthyr Town, Pitching In Southern League Premier Division South. Saturday 15th January 2022
Report by David Graham

Hartley Wintney came out on top in a match between two relegation threatened clubs, thanks to a spectacular second-half goal from Kofi Halliday.

The match struggled to produce much incident in the opening half, and the considerable number of stoppages by referee Jonathan Bolland meant little fluency in play. Throughout the first-half neither goalkeeper was called into action.

On 24 minutes the Row finally put together a decent move down the right. Jordan Edwards' cross had the Martyrs defence just managing to scramble clear.

Approaching half time, an Edwards corner for the Row found striker Dan Fitchett, who shot over the bar.

The Martyrs responded and a right wing cross from Adam Davies found Kieran Evans, whose low shot went across the face of the goal.

On 51 minutes the Row were awarded a free-kick some 25 yards out. Edwards stepped up and his delicately flighted shot beat the wall and keeper Jaimie Cogman's fingertips, but came back off the crossbar.

Merthyr responded and had a decent spell of pressure. This culminated on 55 minutes when Lewis Powell set up Evans, whose powerful effort from the edge of the area skimmed the bar.

Hartley Wintney responded and got the breakthrough on 61 minutes. A ball to the left found KOFI HALLIDAY who, with defenders ahead of him, sent in a delightful lob from just outside the corner of the box, over Jaimie Cogman in the Merthyr goal and into the net. (1-0)

In a game where a win would be so precious to either side, Merthyr strove hard to get back into the match but were unable to test Luke Williams in the Row goal. At the other end, a good interchange between Ryan Case and Edwards on 68 minutes created a chance for the latter, and the midfielder was unlucky to see his shot blocked.

Hartley continued to have an edge and on 77 minutes a free-kick from Edwards found its way to Josh Webb, who fired powerfully over the crossbar.

The last effort of the match came on 82 minutes. Good interplay down the right gave Edwards a chance and he was unlucky to see his effort hit the outside of the post.

An important win for Hartley Wintney, which left supporters feeling they had greatly improved their chances of avoiding the drop in the relegation scrap. Results elsewhere has seen them rise one place to 18th of the 22 teams in the Premier South. [D Graham]

HARTLEY WINTNEY: Luke Williams, Ryan Case, Reece Wylie, Matt Drage, Harry Taylor, Josh Webb, Adam Allen, Kofi Halliday, Sam Argent (c), Dan Fitchett, Jordan Edwards.
Subs: Aaron Goode, Jake Rumble, Toby Raggett (on for Adam Allen), Lucias Vine (on for Dan Fitchett)

MERTHYR TOWN: Jaimie Cogman, Adam Davies, James Parry, Joe Woodiwiss, Matthew Harris, Joshua Allen, Frazer Thomas, Morgan Clarke, Lewis Powell, Keyon Refell, Kieran Evans
Subs: Kerry Morgan, Dan Barnard (on), Curtos Jemmett-Hutson (on), Tom Hillman (on), Eli Phipps

CROWD: 278

David spoke with Hartley Wintney manager, Anthony Millerick, after the game.
"I felt we met all our objectives. The main one, of course, was to get the win, and we are delighted to add the points. As for the game itself, the pitch did not make it easy for fluent play. It's still heavy going after the recent weather.

"I felt the whole team worked exceptionally hard and they deserve credit. A loss would have left us in a worse place, but with the win and results elsewhere, our position has improved considerably."

Millers continued, "We used a different system today for this match and we emphasised to the players they should play without fear. It is very pleasing to get a clean sheet, and Luke Williams in goal barely had a shot to save. We hope this win will give us confidence for the forthcoming games."
  • KOB

    16-01-2022, 12:27

    A vital 3 points, obviously, and the boys put in a real shift on a pitch that wasn't helping either side. The heavy pitch, along with what was at stake for both sides, made it a scrappy game, but there were some nice pieces of play from us at times, and it was likely to be a game decided by a piece of luck or a piece of brilliance, and it was the latter from the foot of Kofi Halliday. Priceless. Jordan almost added himself to the list of classy goals with his free-kick off the bar, and then a twinkle-footed run into the area late on that nearly sealed it.

    Our most promising moments came from our midfielders. Of course, having Dan and Sam occupying the centre-backs and laying off passes makes space and brings the midfielders into play, so both did a good job in that respect. We lacked a cutting edge from the two up front but they did a job for us.

    Defensively we were strong. Reece was very good at left-back, and Dragey immense in the centre, but all four did well and Luke had very little to do; I can't remember him making a save of any note. Merthyr blasted one over which would surely have tested him, but they created very little and that was due to the efforts of Harry, Matt, Ryan and Reece, along with good tracking back by Adam and Josh especially.

    Not a pretty game to watch, especially the first half, but this was all about the win and I felt it was deserved. Well done boys, that was a big one.
    • Mick

      16-01-2022, 17:21

      Certainly a moment of magic produced by Kofi Halliday yesterday afternoon that tipped the scales in The Row's favour. Perhaps mirrored the Farnborough game when Paul Hodges unlocked the fixture. Certainly no lack of effort from the squad throughout, and the standout figure appeared to be the referee who just could not resist the temptation to be noticed. Delighted to hear that Merthyr can again have an audience for their next home fixture - lovely Club with fine people. :-)