Match Report: Yate Town v Hartley Wintney

Post by KOB - 23-01-2022, 11:27

Yate Town v Hartley Wintney, Pitching In Southern League Premier South. Saturday 22nd January 2022
Report by David Graham

Yate Town maintained their promotion aspirations with a hard fought win over ten man Hartley Wintney. The match was not without some controversy, with two key refereeing decisions; both of which went against the Row.

Hartley made a bright start and took the lead in just four minutes. A good move down the right gave Aaron Goode a chance to deliver a cross. The cross was accurate and DAN FITCHETT rose highest to head home. (0-1)

The Row were forced into an early substitution when Kofi Halliday was forced to go off with a leg injury, to be replaced by Toby Raggett.

Play was mainly in midfield until the 24th minute. Reece Wylie made good progress down the left and his cross saw Fitchett head back across the goal to Raggett, who was just unable to get his shot away.

A minute later came the first of two refereeing 'issues'. A bad two-footed tackle by Bluebells' Sam Turl left the Row's Harry Taylor in a heap. Players from both sides soon arrived at the scene of the foul. After things settled down, the referee issued Turl with a yellow card when most would have expected a red card.

On 27 minutes the Bluebells registered their first meaningful attempt when Oliver Mehew set-up Jamie Adams, who shot wide from 20 yards. A minute later and Yate were level. The Row lost possession in midfield and this allowed a fast break from the home side. Mehew got beyond the Row defence and shot past the outrushing Luke Williams in the Hartley goal. The ball looked like drifting wide, but JAMES HARDING, following up, was able to tap it into the net. (1-1)

The home side had their tails up and went ahead on 35 minutes. A corner on the right from Joseph Tumelty found the head of giant centre-back MATTHEW BOWER, whose powerful effort went into the net. (2-1)

Three minutes later came the second of the two controversial decisions from referee Paul Michael. A corner from Hartley was cleared and play carried on. However, attention was drawn to the referee that Yate defender, William Tunnicliff, was lying in the penalty area with a head injury. Some of the home players claimed that Tunnicliff had been head-butted by Aaron Goode. The Row version was that Tunnicliff moved his head towards Goode and, although there was no contact, the Bluebells defender threw himself to the ground clutching his face.

The referee went over to his assistant and returned to issue a straight red card to Goode.

Hartley re-jigged, with striker Sam Argent moved to full-back. On the stroke of half time, some indecision in the Yate defence presented Raggett with a chance, but the young striker's shot lacked power and Bluebells keeper, Andrew Hannah, saved easily.


The Row made a substitution at the start of the second half, with the unlucky Toby Raggett, a forward substitute, being replaced by a midfield substitute making his Hartley debut, Harry Cooksley. The ten men of Hartley gained an edge and gave a very spirited performance throughout the second half.

On 48 minutes, the Bluebells put together a slick move down the right. Luke Hopper set-up Harding, who saw his curled effort go just past the post. Two minutes later Cooksley fashioned himself a chance and was unlucky to see his effort blocked. Then on 55 minutes, Josh Webb and Dan Fitchett combined well down the left and the move culminated with the latter shooting just over the crossbar.

Some loose play in the Hartley defence presented a chance to Bluebells substitute, Ricardo Rees, who raced through and shot wide.

The game settled into a pattern, with Hartley having most of the territorial advantage but being unable to create a goal-scoring chance. Yate defended well and relied on quick breaks out of defence.

On 86 minutes, a break down the left by the Bluebells afforded a chance for Tumelty, who saw his effort saved.

Into added time and with the Row pressing, Yate cleared and Max Williams was through. However he screwed his effort wide of the goal.

For Hartley it was 'what might have been'. A good spirited second-half performance but sadly not able to turn territorial advantage into chances and goals. All the players earned high pass marks for performance, with a good number of Man of the Match contenders. Dan Fitchett had his best game to date for Hartley and took his goal well. [D Graham]



David spoke with Hartley Wintney manager, Anthony Millerick, after the game.
"I felt we made a good positive start to the match, and clearly the key refereeing decisions did not go in our favour. It's a shame that for a short period in the first half we seemed to switch off. However, for most of the match we played well despite having to play over half the game with ten players."

Millers, clearly disgruntled by decisions of the officials, continued, "In many ways the decisions robbed us of the chance to recover from being a goal down. Some form of consistency from the officials would be welcome.

"I felt it was a good, honest and brave performance by the entire team. It is a match where, despite the result, we will take many positives from it."

YATE TOWN: Andrew Hannah, Sam Turl, William Tunnicliff, Jamie Adams (c), Matthew Bower, Nick Rhodes, Joseph Tumelty, Samuel Kamara, Luke Hopper, James Harding, Oliver Mehew.
SUBS: Max Williams (on), Daniel Brabham, Joseph Hall (on), Andy Lewis, Ricardo Rees (on).

HARTLEY WINTNEY: Luke Williams, Aaron Goode, Reece Wylie, Matt Drage, Harry Taylor, Josh Webb, Adam Allen, Kofi Halliday, Sam Argent (c), Dan Fitchett, Jordan Edwards.
SUBS: Toby Raggett (on), Steve Noakes, Jake Rumble, Harry Cooksley (on), Lucias Vine (on).
  • KOB

    23-01-2022, 14:35

    A big Hartley welcome to experienced midfielder Harry Cooksley, who has signed for us on loan from Farnborough.
    • Hartley Row

      24-01-2022, 16:30

      All credit to the boys for a dogged performance when cynically reduced to 10 men. I thought our days of poor officials had gone. How wrong can you be.