Match Report: Hartley Wintney v Merthyr Town
Post by KOB - 27-11-2022, 13:46
Hartley Wintney v Merthyr Town, Pitching In Southern League Premier Division South. Saturday 26th November 2022
Report by David Graham
Merthyr Town claimed the points thanks to two goals in the last 10 minutes at Hartley Wintney.
The Row started well and dominated most of the first half. Within the first minute, Shamar Moore had a fierce shot for the Row which was well saved by Will Fuller in the Martyrs goal.
Fuller was called into action again on 12 minutes with a decent save from Josh Webb after a set-up by Benjamin Purcell.
A minute later, a promising move involving Louie Paget and Zidan Akers for Hartley presented a chance for the latter, which was fired wide.
The visitors' first effort arrived on 20 minutes when a corner from Alex John on the right was cleared to Liam Angel, who saw his powerful shot skim the Hartley crossbar.
It looked like the Hartley pressure had been rewarded on 27 minutes when a slick move saw Paul Hodges cross from the left and Zidan Akers scored. However, the celebrations were cut short with an offside decision.
On 34 minutes the Row finally went ahead when a cross from the left by Zidan Akers was headed home by PAUL HODGES. (1-0)
Two minutes before half-time, a free-kick from Webb found Akers, who saw his close range shot saved by Fuller.
HALF TIME: HARTLEY WINTNEY 1 MERTHYR TOWN 0
Merthyr improved after the break and took a firm grip of the match. On 57 minutes, Frazer Thomas found room at the edge of the penalty area and his parting shot was pushed around the post by Row 'keeper, Damian Niemczycki.
Despite being in the ascendancy, the Martyrs struggled to create any real chances, and Niemczycki was not called to make any saves. However, late in the match the visitors turned the game on its head over a three minute period with two goals.
In the 81st minute, a ball played into the Row penalty area saw defensive indecision, and MATTHEW HARRIS took full advantage, shooting home from the edge of the penalty area. (1-1)
The Row almost had an immediate response as Akers showed good skill to create a decent chance for himself. However, Fuller came out and parried the shot from a tight angle.
It was the South Wales side who scored the winning goal just 2 minutes later. A long ball forward found the Hartley defence all at sea, leaving CRAIG NORMAN to lob over the stranded Row 'keeper, Niemczycki, for the winner. (1-2)
In added time, Ricardo Rees for the visitors engineered a shot for himself, and Niemczycki was well positioned to save.
Very much a game of two halves. Hartley will probably feel they should have been further ahead at half-time after a really good first-half performance. However, they will probably also feel they could have defended both the goals conceded much better.
Merthyr, after a challenging first-half, made a spirited recovery and are a vastly improved team from last season. [D Graham]
FULL TIME: HARTLEY WINTNEY 1 MERTHYR TOWN 2
HARTLEY WINTNEY: Damian Niemczycki, Tom Leggett, Louie Paget, George Spiers, Matt Drage (c), Toby Nevile, Zidan Akers, Josh Webb, Shamar Moore, Benjamin Purcell, Paul Hodges.
Subs: Jayden Hutchings, Antonio Dembele (on), Reese Jones (on), Jake Rumble (on), Cameron Rowthorne
MERTHYR TOWN: Will Fuller, Noah Smerdon, Liam Angel, Jack Evans, Frazer Thomas, Alex John, Craig Norman, Kieran Evans, Matthew Harris, Tom Handley.
Subs: Jaimie Cogman, Abubacarr Sama, Curtis Hutson, Callum Ryan-Phillips, Ismail Yakabu
Hartley Man of the Match: PAUL HODGES
ENTERTAINMENT: 3 out of 5
Hartley Wintney Manager, Ian Selley, spoke with David after the match.
"I felt we started slightly slow but soon got into our stride. In the first-half we were on top and had three presentable chances, and I felt we deserved the lead at half-time, but I also felt we really needed a second goal.
"In the second period I felt we defended reasonably well until the last 10 minutes. The two goals we conceded were straight out of an Academy match: very disappointing. It was very much a game of two halves. We were on top in the first-half, Merthyr in the second-half."
On the injury front, Ian added, "Regarding injuries, it looks as though Harry Cooksley will be out for several weeks yet. Not sure about Kyen Nicholas at the moment."