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Match Report - Walton & Hersham v Hartley Wintney

Post by KOB - 04-12-2016, 11:26

Saturday 3rd December '16
Combined Counties League - Premier Division
Report by David Graham

A Hartley side plagued by injuries and suspensions travelled to Stompond Lane to face Walton & Hersham, potentially the biggest threat to the Row's big lead at the top.

The early stages of the match found both sides struggling to find space, and play was confined to midfield. Hartley had the first effort of note on 19 minutes when a good flowing move involving Luke Perkins and Sam Argent set up Steve Duff. The winger's shot brought a good save from Liam Breach in the Walton goal.

The Swans took the lead on 22 minutes. Malachi Thomas used his pace to good effect with a run down the right wing. His low cross brought a scramble in front of the Hartley goal and the ball fell kindly for Elliott Simpson to shoot home from close range (1-0).

Chances were few and far between but on 36 minutes Sam Argent created some space and his shot brought a smart save from Liam Breach. Steven Duff was a threat to the Swans down the left wing but his crosses were anticipated well by Keeper Breach.
HALF TIME: Walton & Hersham 1 Hartley Wintney 0

Hartley started the second period well but were unable to force their way past a determined home defence. On 56 minutes the Swans almost increased their lead. Helped by a few favourable 'breaks of the ball' down the left, the ball was fed into Jamil Okai. The striker held off a challenge on the edge of the box and his low shot went just past the post.

A lengthy period followed with little fluent play and with countless stoppages. The main threat to providing a goal came from Swans' Billy Marshall, who supplied accurate corners and free kicks. A free kick on 72 minutes saw Marshall's effort just clear the crossbar.

Hartley had a chance from a free kick on the edge of the box after French was fouled. Steve Duff's effort beat the wall but Liam Breach was well positioned to save. Five minutes later Duff was out of luck again. A good lobbed pass from Luke Perkins found the winger in the box and he finished well. However, before the celebrations could begin the assistant referee's flag was raised for offside.

The Row finished the match strongly and forced two corners in added time. From the second, Luke Perkins' flag kick found the head of Steven Dunn who headed narrowly over [D Graham].
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