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Match Report: Hartley Wintney v Farnborough

Post by KOB - 02-01-2022, 12:35

Hartley Wintney v Farnborough, Pitching In Southern League Premier Division South. Saturday 1st January 2022
Report by David Graham

Farnborough strengthened their position as league leaders with a solitary goal win in the North Hampshire derby.

Farnborough used the pace of winger Selim Saied in the early stages and almost had success in the second minute when his cross was met by David Pratt, who saw his effort blocked.

Hartley edged possession but without getting sight of the Boro goal, and the first real chance fell to the visitors on 17 minutes, when a left-wing run and cross from Saied found former Row favourite, Paul Hodges. He skied his shot over the bar.

Hartley were having most of the play but without testing Jack Turner in the Boro goal, and again it was Boro that could have gone ahead on 28 minutes. John Oyenuga made good progress down the right-wing and his cross saw David Pratt shoot over.

Hartley threatened on 36 minutes following a darting run by Reece Wylie. The midfielder's cross had Boro keeper, Jack Turner, struggling, and the Boro defence were relieved to scramble the ball clear.

On the stroke of half-time the Row came close A free-kick from Jordan Edwards was not fully cleared, and a shot from Leo Hamblin from 20 yards went narrowly over the bar.

The Boro looked more incisive after the break, but it was the Row that had a couple of early chances. Wylie made ground on the left and his cross found the head of Sam Argent, who saw his effort go over the crossbar. A minute later, a powerful run down the right by Kingsley Eshun saw the Boro defenders just about scramble the ball clear.

Play moved to the other end and Hodges had his second chance of the afternoon. Picking up a loose ball 25 yards out, he managed to elude Row defenders before seeing his shot go over the crossbar. However, PAUL HODGES was not to be denied when he made it 'third attempt lucky' by opening the scoring on 56 minutes. Ricky Holmes found space on the left-wing and his low cross was swept into the net by the influential former Row and Woking player. (0-1)

Hartley strove hard to get on level terms but made little impression on a resolute Boro defence. On 70 minutes a long free-kick into the Boro area saw a scramble which Farnborough managed to clear.

With very few chances being created from open play, set-pieces were offering some hope to both sides. A free-kick on 83 minutes from Boro's Sam Deering saw the Row just manage to scramble the ball clear.

In added time, a long free-kick into the Boro area from Edwards saw Dan Fitchett shoot home from 12 yards. However, the referee had just blown for a foul on Turner, who had been impeded. In the end a very tight match in front of a bumper Bank Holiday crowd of 805, the highest for a Hartley league match, home or away, since the Row joined the Southern League in 2017. [D Graham]

HARTLEY WINTNEY: Lewis Hoy, Ryan Case, Leo Hamblin, Matt Drage, Harry Taylor, Harrison Bayley, Reece Wylie, Adam Allen, Sam Argent (c), Jordan Edwards, Kingsley Eshun.
Subs: Kofi Halliday (on), Jack Gardner, Tom Cursons (on), Aaron Goode, Dan Fitchett (on)

FARNBOROUGH: Jack Turner, Jordan Alawode-Williams, John Oyenuga, Frankie Sutherland, Richard Orlu, CJ Fearn, Ricky Holmes, Sam Deering, David Pratt, Paul Hodges, Selim Saied
Subs: Louie Theophameous, Reggie Young (on), Seth Owens (on), Jordan Rose (on), Louie Paget

CROWD: 805

Anthony Millerick spoke with David after the game.
"I felt there was very little between the sides and we were very competitive throughout the match, although sometimes we became a bit too predictable. Lewis Hoy in goal has been a very able deputy for Luke Williams, who is currently out with Covid. Over the two matches Lewis has not had too much to do."

Millers continued, "I felt our level of play in the first half was good, but we dropped a bit in the second period, and I'm obviously disappointed with the result. But the big Bank Holiday crowd made for a good match atmosphere, and all in all a good honest performance from the team and a very close match again."

    02-01-2022, 14:03

    Another gutsy performance by the lads today against the league leaders, and there was no disgrace in being beaten by the odd goal. The defence once again played really well, with Drage and Taylor in quite dominant form that Lewis, deputising in goal, really had not a lot to do. Our play up until the final third of the pitch was neat and tidy, but then unfortunately in front of goal we have no cutting edge to finish the job off. With our resources we do not have the ability to produce a magical goal scoring machine, and we have to do our best with the talent we have at our disposal.

    Never mind, we have played three of the top four sides in the last four games, which has produced two wins and one defeat --- that's not bad. What we have now got to do is start beating the other sides below them. We should start doing so as the defence has only let in three goals in those four games.

    One interesting sequence is the fact that we have lost ten games this season by only one goal. It just shows what the fine line is between winning and losing, and the reason why we are in the position we are in. But things are looking up. There is more confidence and positivity in the side at the moment, and it only needs a little luck to run our way for the results to improve.

    Finally it was fantastic to see such a crowd again for a league game at Hartley. It caused a great atmosphere all round our little ground, which has not been seen since the halcyon days of a visit from 2000 Wimbledon supporters who flooded the village all those years ago... all those years ago.
    • Mick

      03-01-2022, 15:19

      Echoing the sentiments of Kevin regarding the departure of Kingsley from the Club. I feel sure that he will be a tremendous asset and successful in his new venture to be the very best that he can be as a footballer. The impact made at Hartley will not be forgotten - not least by the young fans/players who he helped with coaching and the fine example that he set. Good fortune Kingsley and thank you for your work and the entertainment that you gave. :-)
    • KOB

      03-01-2022, 12:13

      Replying to Rob... yes, Kingsley is leaving us, at least for now, to play fulltime for a club in Iceland. His aim has always been to make it into the full pro game, whatever route that takes him. His determination is inspirational. He was given a heartfelt send-off in the clubhouse after the Farnborough game and everyone involved with the Row wishes him all the best in his next adventure.

      Kings has been tremendous for us on and off the pitch since he arrived and he's certainly going to be missed. I believe Tyler spoke with him and is putting a piece together to share with the supporters.

      Your point about our strike force is a valid one, Rob. I can't second guess what Millers is planning, but we do have Kofi Halliday who could slot into the Eshun role. Arge and Dan Fitchett can do a job but Kyen is still recovering and it's unfair to expect too much from the promising youngsters such as Toby and James. Jordan has been scoring but is better coming from deeper. So we are clearly short of an additional striker/goal poacher of proven goal scoring ability, preferably with good pace... assuming we won't be seeing Mitch back; that's a whole other story that grates on me and probably many others.

      My sadness after Saturday is that Paul Hodges would be perfect for us and might have come back to us on loan if we could have even got near to what Farnborough are (by whatever means) able to pay him. Paul is a great lad and I've no beef with him, it's just a shame, and the whole Covid thing has made a difficult existence almost impossible for clubs like ours and many others at and around our level.

      Without the resources to match what most other clubs can pay, we have to hope Millers can attract a name who wants to come and enjoy his football by helping the Row keep its footballing miracle alive for at least a little longer :-)
    • Rob.b

      02-01-2022, 21:10

      Yesterdays game showed that we are not massivley far away from the leaders. All that seperated us was a quality striker, something we lack. I think we can look on that as a positive performance as we awere still missing some regular players through Covid. Sadly it seems inevitable that we will loose more sooner or later.
      Looking at twitter is seems Kingsley has played his last game for us? He will be difficult to replace and we seem very lightweight upfront without him. We need to kick up in the coming weeks and push on up the table.
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