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Match Report: Hartley Wintney v Bracknell Town

Post by KOB - 01-09-2022, 14:57

Hartley Wintney v Bracknell Town, Pitching In Southern League Premier South, Monday 29th August 2022
Report by David Graham

Bracknell Town gained the three points on offer after a hard fought local derby at Hartley Wintney.

The Robins got off to the perfect start with a goal timed at just 19 seconds and courtesy of a defensive error. A ball forward towards the Row goal saw Aaron Goode's attempted clearance fall perfectly for JORDAN ESPRIT, who had the simple task of lifting the ball over stranded Row 'keeper, Adam Desbois, and into the net. (0-1)

One minute later and Hartley were almost level. Good interplay down the right created an opening for Zidan Akers, who saw his fierce drive tipped around the post by Michael Eacott in the Bracknell goal.

The Row held the initiative and pulled level on 14 minutes. Tom Leggett got free down the right and his cross was flicked on into the path of AARON McLEISH- WHITE, who tapped home at the far post. (1-1)

The Robins' main threats came from set-pieces taken by Seb Bowerman, aiming for the head of giant central defender, Dan Bayliss. But on 20 minutes it was former Row striker, Mickel Platt, who tried a snap shot from the right wing which Desbois saved at the near post.

The Row should have been ahead on 27 minutes. Leggett got free down the right after being released by Harry Cooksley. The cross to the back post found McLeish-White, but he shot over when well placed.

Four minutes later the visitors had a chance following a cross from Bowerman which was helped on by Esprit to Platt, but he was unable to turn the ball home.

Hartley finished the half well and a free-kick from Cooksley found the head of Toby Nevile, who saw his effort go over.

Hartley started the second period on the front foot and came close to taking the lead on 46 minutes. A corner from Cooksley saw a flick-on from Matt Drage, but Kingsley Eshun headed wide at the back post.

The Robins responded and had a chance of their own four minutes later. A Platt shot from the edge of the area took a deflection into the path of Bowerman, who headed wide.

On 56 minutes, the Row worked a shooting chance for Akers, but his effort was saved by the well positioned Eacott.

Bracknell regained the lead on 63 minutes courtesy of lapses in the Row defending. Akers, having created space to complete a clearance, lost possession by taking an extra touch. The consequence was a free-kick conceded in a dangerous area. The Row were able to clear the resulting free-kick for a throw-in on the left. But the long throw saw Hartley this time unable to clear their lines, and MICKEL PLATT shot home from the edge of the penalty area. (1-2)

The Robins almost doubled their lead three minutes later when Gary Abisogun had a clear chance. However, Desbois brought off an excellent diving save.

Hartley created an opportunity to pull level on 75 minutes. A cross from the left found McLeish-White on the right, and his deflected cross fell for Akers who shot just over.

With the Row pushing forward, gaps in defence were being left for the Robins to exploit. On 79 minutes, Abisogun sent Esprit clean through, but the striker shot badly wide.

A minute later, impressive Row substitute, Reese Jones, created space for himself and his shot from 20 yards was pushed around the post by Eacott.

The Robins defended stoutly and on 88 minutes a fast break out from defence left Bowerman with a clear run-in on goal. However, the parting shot hit the top of the crossbar and went over.

Hartley pressed for the remainder of the match but were unable to find the elusive equaliser. They finished the August Bank Holiday games pointless, with individual, unforced errors contributing to at least 3 of the 6 goals conceded. Next Saturday the Row start their FA Cup campaign with what looks like being a tricky tie in Bristol playing Roman Glass St.George. [D Graham]


Attendance: 446
Entertainment: 2/5
Hartley Man of the Match: TOBY NEVILE

David spoke with joint first team Hartley Wintney Manager, Ross Weatherstone, after the game.

"I felt it was a good local derby, with both sides going toe to toe. Bracknell Town are a good side with a good manager. Bobby Wilkinson has his team organised and structured, and they will be difficult to beat this season."

Rosco continued, "The bad start to the match left us with a mountain to climb and we were pleased to get back to 1-1 at half-time. However, as on Saturday, unforced errors proved to be our undoing.

"Cannot fault the team for effort, and we have shown that we can be competitive in our matches. Going forward we need to eliminate unforced errors and hope that the Gods will give us just a bit of luck."

HARTLEY WINTNEY: Adam Desbois, Tom Leggett, Aaron Goode, Matt Drage, Toby Nevile, George Spiers, Zidan Akers, Anis Nuur, Aaron McLeish-White, Harry Cooksley (c), Kingsley Eshun.
SUBS: Reese Jones, Jake Rumble, Jayden Hutchings, Rahzir Smith-Jones, Killian Barrett (gk)
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