Match Report: Bath City v Hartley Wintney, FA Cup

Post by KOB - 18-09-2022, 18:16

Bath City v Hartley Wintney, The Emirates FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round, 17th September 2022
Report by David Graham

Hartley Wintney recovered from a two goal half-time deficit to force a replay against Vanarama Conference South side Bath City. Kingsley Eshun and Anis Nuur became the Row's goal scoring heroes when they came off the bench in the second half.

Hartley had an early chance in the 4th minute when a Matt Drage pass found the overlapping Reese Jones, but he shot well wide.

The early play was very subdued, with City probing but the Row defence looking comfortable. On 23 minutes the home side had their first chance when a corner from Chris Lines found its way to Cody Cooke, who fired over the bar. Two minutes later, Cooke crossed and Tom Smith brought out a good save from Adam Desbois in the Row goal.

On 31 minutes Hartley came close when Zidan Akers created space for a shot but had to watch as his effort was deflected just over the crossbar. Three minutes later Youel Emmanuel and Akers combined, but the parting effort from the latter lacked power.

The Romans broke immediately down to the other end of the pitch and opened the scoring. A through ball saw Cooke behind the Row defence, and his shot across the goal hit the post. ALEX FLETCHER was on hand to force the ball into the net. (1-0)

Hartley responded well and a Harry Cooksley cross from the right was cleared only as far as Drage, who saw his powerful shot go straight to City keeper, Joe Wright.

Bath finished the half with the edge in play and doubled their lead on 43 minutes. Smith created an opening for CODY COOKE, who fired into the net from the edge of the penalty box. (2-0)

Hartley almost pulled a goal back on the stroke of half-time when a shot from Cooksley brought out a smart save from Wright in the City goal.

Like the first half, the opening 20 minutes were very subdued, with City seemingly content to hold their lead.

Hartley had most of the play but were unable to fashion a clear chance. As time wore on, Hartley adopted a very high line pushed up to halfway, with 'keeper Desbois being effectively a sweeper. Cooksley was pushed forward and the Row showed promise.

On 65 minutes, good interplay down the left by the Row created a chance for Reese Jones, who saw his parting shot go into the side netting.

The introduction of substitutes Kingsley Eshun and Anis Nuur saw the Row looking more threatening, and they pulled a goal back on 70 minutes.

Fullback Tom Leggett made good progress down the right and his goal-bound shot saw Wright parry, leaving KINGSLEY ESHUN to force the ball into the net from close range. (2-1)

The Bath response was almost immediate when Elliott Frear worked space on the left and his shot was saved by Desbois.

Hartley pulled level on 76 minutes with an excellent goal. Cooksley and new signing from Poole Town, winger Teddy Davey, combined well and fed ANIS NUUR. The midfielder created space and curled a delightful shot into the top corner of the net with Wright well beaten. (2-2)

City pressed hard for the winner and the Row goal had a few narrow escapes. On 79 minutes Cooke brought out an excellent save from Desbois and, three minutes later, the Row keeper denied Dan Hayfield with another good save.

Six minutes of added time were added but the Row held on to secure a replay. All in all a match where neither side dominated for any length of time. Bath had the edge in the first-half and Hartley Wintney the edge in the second-half. The entire Row squad earned high pass marks in what was their best performance of the season against a good Conference South side. The replay will take place on Tuesday 20th at the Memorial Ground, Hartley Wintney, with a 7.30pm kick-off time. [D Graham]


Attendance: 857
Hartley Man of the Match: TOBY NEVILE

Joint Hartley Wintney Managers, Tyrone Newton and Ross Weatherstone, spoke with David after the game.
"We are obviously delighted with the result. The first half was fairly even and we felt the 2-0 score flattered Bath at half-time. So at the break we told the team they must continue to have belief in themselves. We moved Harry Cooksley up to support Aaron (McLeish-White) from the start of the second half.

"To get back into the match we realised we had to play a high line, which of course carries risks, but that turned it into what was really a game of two halves. We are proud of the team, they showed the belief and commitment we expect from them."

HARTLEY WINTNEY: Adam Desbois, Tom Leggett, Reese Jones, Toby Nevile, Matt Drage, George Spiers, Zidan Akers, Youel Emmanuel, Aaron McLeish-White, Harry Cooksley (c), Teddy Davey
SUBS: Aaron Goode, Rahzir Smith-Jones, Jayden Hutchings, Anis Nuur, Kingsley Eshun