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Match Report: Hartley Wintney v Taunton Town

Post by KOB - 03-10-2021, 12:52

Hartley Wintney v Taunton Town, Pitching In Southern League Premier Division South. Saturday 2nd October 2021
Report by David Graham

Taunton Town maintained their challenge at the top end of the league thanks to a goal in added time. The match was played in virtually constant rain and conditions were difficult for the players.

Hartley Wintney had the first chance on 9 minutes when a long ball from the right by Josh Webb found Ben Wright, who saw his parting effort saved by Will Buse in the Peacocks goal.

The Peacocks responded when Ollie Chamberlain sent Toby Holmes through and the striker shot wide from a slightly difficult angle.

On 17 minutes, a Ryan Case corner for the Row was not fully cleared and Jordan Edwards shot from the edge of the box, which brought out a good save from Buse.

Play swung from end to end and on 20 minutes a good run from Gethyn Hill set up Dan Sullivan, whose shot brought out an easy save from the well positioned Luke Williams in the Row goal.

Taunton gradually gained a slight edge in play and Williams was called into action again to thwart a good effort from Chamberlain. The Peacocks looked dangerous, with set pieces taken by Lee Lucas posing problems for Hartley.

The best chance of the half arrived on 36 minutes for the visitors. A cross from Sullivan was headed back across the goal and Nick Grimes shot over when well placed.
HALF TIME: Hartley Wintney 0 Taunton Town 0

On 54 minutes, Sullivan gave Zac Smith a decent chance by threading the ball through the Hartley defence. Williams brought off a good save.

Taunton opened the scoring on 60 minutes, with Sullivan again being a provider with a pass similar to the one 6 minutes earlier. His incisive through ball left GETHYN HILL in the clear and his lob went over Williams for the opener. Although the Row appealed for offside, it looked like Hill had timed his run to perfection. (0-1)

The Row had a chance on 67 minutes when Sam Argent found Reece Robins, but Buse saved the young striker's shot. Robins looked lively throughout, and his chasing down of some 'lost causes' gained ground for the Row.

On 83 minutes, an Edwards free-kick 20 yards out beat the wall and went narrowly wide. The Row continued to push forward and got their reward on 87 minutes with a slice of good fortune. Left-back LEO HAMBLIN, on loan from Woking, tried his luck from distance and the ball took a large deflection off a defender and finished up in the net. (1-1).

The Peacocks threw players forward and scored the winner in added time. A free-kick on the right by Lee Lucas found the head of NICK GRIMES amongst several Taunton players in the 6 yard box and his effort found the net. It looked like Williams in the Row goal was impeded and baulked as he came to claim the ball. However the Peacocks got the benefit of the decision. (1-2)

Hartley put in a strong finish and Dean Stow saw his effort find the back of the net. However the whistle had gone a split second earlier for a free-kick to Taunton. The Peacocks held on for a win they just about deserved. [D Graham]
FULL TIME: Hartley Wintney 1 Taunton Town 2

HARTLEY MAN OF THE MATCH: Reece Robins
ENTERTAINMENT: 3/5
ATTENDANCE: 175

HARTLEY WINTNEY: Luke Williams, Ryan Case, Leo Hamblin, Nathan Smart (c), Matt Drage, Josh Webb, Reece Wylie, Jordan Edwards, Sam Argent, Ben Wright, Reece Robins.
Subs: Jacques Kpohomouh, Harrison Bayley (on), Khalid Simmo, Dean Stow (on), Kingsley Eshun (on)

TAUNTON TOWN: Will Buse, Ben Adelsbury, Nick Grimes, Jack Wannell, Ollie Chamberlain, Lee Lucas, Toby Holmes, Dan Sullivan, Joe Guest, Gethyn Hill, Zac Smith
Subs: Jack Goodall, Jack Veale, Ross Staley (on), Jared Lewingston (on), Ioan Ricards.

David spoke to Hartley manager Anthony Millerick after the game.
"I felt it was a good battle today in difficult conditions. Games are won and lost by very fine margins at times. We got lucky with our goal, but in one or two other situations we didn't get the rub of the green. But we battled hard and it was a vast improvement on our performance on Tuesday night against Beaconsfield.

"We have Reece Robins on loan at the moment," Millers continued. "Reece made many good runs behind the Taunton defence and chased down on lost causes, which brought us upfield.
"We have a midweek cup game at Winchester and then our next league game is at Salisbury. Steve Claridge, their manager, was here today to run the rule over us."
  • KOB

    03-10-2021, 13:00

    The pitch stood up incredibly well to all the rain. As many seasoned fans will remember, the strip along the stand side, and the far corner, used to become unplayable with less water than fell yesterday. And we used to see a lot more standing water in other parts. Great work was done in adding drainage and the pitch came through the test with flying colours yesterday.

    I'll leave others to comment on the game.
    • Tyler

      03-10-2021, 19:29

      A much improved performance despite having to battle against the heavy rain again.

      A couple of strange goals at the end. We were due a bit of luck and it was nice for Leo to get a goal that capped off another fine performance since he joined. From Taunton’s point of view, it was a poor bit of judgement by their defender and it would otherwise have been a comfortable save for the keeper.

      I was at the opposite end to the Taunton goal, so I never saw the foul on Luke. At the time, I thought it just looked like a static bit of Hartley defending. Whatever happened, Taunton took their chance and it was a cruel way for the game to end as we were close to earning a point against a very capable side.

      Moving forward, we can probably expect another couple of additions to the squad, but we also have players making their return from injury, and others on the fringes of the team who we need to make a decision on (strengthening our squad mid-season always means some
      players have to move on).

      I do feel that there are a couple of regular starters who aren’t contributing enough to the team. They need to step up soon or they will lose their place in the side. That said, I don’t want to mention names - we are a very good side, just inconsistent at the moment. The same players you call out one week can become the match-winners the next.
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