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Match Report: North Leigh v Hartley Wintney

Post by KOB - 30-01-2023, 12:00

North Leigh v Hartley Wintney, Pitching In Southern League Premier Division South, Saturday 28th January 2023
Report by David Graham

The match between the two village clubs in the Premier Division went the way of North Leigh, who ran out comfortable winners against an out-of-sorts Hartley Wintney.

The fixture was the first for recently installed manager Rowan Vine and his assistant, Shane Hollamby.

After a quiet opening, the Leigh took a firm grip of the match, playing some enterprising football. After a period of pressure, the home side went ahead on 16 minutes. A corner routine on the left involving Jordan Thomas and Amer Awadh set up AARON McCREADIE, whose accurate shot towards the top corner from 25 yards deceived newly-signed Row keeper, Marcin Brzozowski. (1-0)

The Leigh continued in the ascendancy and doubled their lead on 22 minutes. A corner on the right from Thomas found LANCE WILLIAMS, whose near post header from close range was deflected into the net. (2-0).

Good midfield skills from Thomas on 31 minutes saw a fierce parting shot which hit the top of the Hartley crossbar.

Kicking downhill in the second period, the Row improved. On 56 minutes Josh Webb and Paul Hodges combined well, with the latter's parting shot being comfortably saved by Leigh 'keeper, Adam North. Six minutes later, a move down the right saw Shamar Moore and Hodges combine before North came out to smother the final shot.

On 66 minutes, a free-kick from Webb created a chance for Jony Efedje who shot wide. Three minutes later, Louie Paget and Anis Nuur combined, and Nuur's shot was well saved by North.

On 85 minutes North Leigh made the game safe. A long run from midfield by JORDAN THOMAS ended with a fine shot finding the corner of the net. (3-0) [D Graham]

Hartley Man of the Match: JOE MORRISON
Entertainment 3/5
Attendance 112

NORTH LEIGH: Adam North, Jack Alexander, Declan Peart, Andrew Gunn, Michael Hopkins, George Nash, Aaron McCreadie, Amer Awadh, Jordan Thomas, Levi Steele, Lance Williams
Subs: Owen Dare (on), Scott Isherwood (on), Aaron Heap (on)

HARTLEY WINTNEY: Marcin Brzozowski, Tom Leggett, Louie Paget, Josh Webb (c), Matt Drage, Joseph Morrison, Zidan Akers, George Winser, Shamar Moore, Anis Nuur, Paul Hodges
Subs: Jony Efedje (on for Akers), Alexander MacAllister (on for Moore), Reese Jones, Harry Cooksley (on for Winser), Lene Burden

After the match, David spoke with the Row manager, Rowan Vine.
"The team started brightly for the first 5 minutes. However, it was evident from our play in the first half that we were a team lacking in confidence. From the final 10 minutes of the first-half, and also the entire second-half, I felt we were the better side.

"We have used this match to assess our playing squad in order to plan for the remainder of the season. For our next match we must build on our second-half showing.

"I was pleased with centre-back Joe Morrison, who was a worthy Man of the Match on his debut."
  • KOB

    30-01-2023, 12:17

    Nice club North Leigh. As well as the ladies at the gate, two people welcomed me as soon as I walked through the car park. Lovely venue, if probably some way from the required standard at Premier level (that's not a criticism - I like grounds with character and much of the league requirements are nonsense and ruin the character of grounds). They've had a tough season too, but on Saturday we really gave them something to smile about. They played with belief and a good energy level.

    Shall I go through what was wrong with our performance? No, better not. It would fill the page, and my remarks would be so cutting I'd risk reducing some of the boys to tears!

    The one positive: Joe Morrison looks the kind of player that could be the foundation on which Rowan can rebuild the team. I do have faith in Rowan and Shane to turn it around, though it may take time. We should all be willing to give them that time. We need stability.

    The players need to get their heads straight and remember they aren't just playing for themselves. Pride, passion, confidence, balls. Show some, starting Tuesday, and winning or losing, show it to the end. You owe the supporters and volunteers that much at least.
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