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Match Report: Knaphill v Hartley Wintney

Post by KOB - 18-12-2016, 11:36

Saturday 17th December ‘16
Combined Counties League - Premier Division
Report by David Graham

Hartley dug deep into the resilience tank to produce a memorable second half performance against a well organised Knaphill team.

The Row started well and Sam Argent came close on 3 minutes from a header following a Steven Duff cross. Although Hartley held a slight edge, they were unable to fashion a chance.
However, on 24 minutes Steven Duff had a good run down the left wing and his accurate low cross saw Sam Argent prod the ball into the net from close range (0-1)
The Knappers came into the game but Hartley goalkeeper, Paul Strudley, was not called into action.

A potentially key moment in the game came on 42 minutes. Adam New and a home forward collided just inside the penalty box. Referee Tom Ellesmore immediately pointed to the penalty spot, much to the ire of the Row team. Even worse was to follow as the referee, after a long discussion with New, produced a red card. Steve Noakes appeared to be slightly (!!) disappointed with this decision and, after a brief conversation with the referee, received a yellow card. Jimmy Norman took the penalty and stroked the ball into the corner of the net. (1-1)
This left Hartley a man down to play the entire second half. HALF TIME: Knaphill 1 Hartley Wintney 1

It was a very determined Row side that came out for the second period; feeling the sense of injustice over the penalty and subsequent sending off.
On 51 minutes, excellent build up saw Steven Duff lift the ball over the Knappers' defence. Sam Argent ran on and headed the ball over the advancing keeper, Alex Harris, to restore the lead (1-2).
Two minutes later Hartley increased their lead. Steven Duff forced his way past two defenders down the left wing before being hauled down just inside the penalty box by Josh Watkins, who received a yellow card. Sam Argent took the penalty kick and scored comfortably to complete his hat trick (1-3).

On 58 minutes Hartley produced a move of high quality involving Jack French, Steve Laidler and Steven Duff. The final pass sent Sam Argent through and the striker, having rounded the keeper, was unlucky to see his shot cleared off the line by a back-tracking defender.

Two minutes later Steven Duff tried a speculative lob from 30 yards which beat keeper Harris all ends up but hit the crossbar.

With Hartley dominant, Sam Argent fashioned a chance on 63 minutes but was unlucky to see his shot blocked. On 66 minutes another excellent passing move straight out the top drawer saw Sam Argent feed Steven Duff down the left. The winger's looped cross found Luke Perkins at the back post who scored easily (1-4).

The home side made a rally and Charlie Postance went on a good run. His parting shot went just over the crossbar.
New signing George Hallahan came on for Sam Argent and made a good impression. He was quickly into the action and, having forced his way past two defenders, was thwarted by a last ditch tackle as he was about to shoot.

On 75 minutes Steven Duff saw a good effort deflected past the post as the ten men threatened to extend their lead. The final effort of the match came from the Knappers on 84 minutes when Arafat Kabuye fired a shot which went just past the post.
For the Row followers this was a Christmas treat, with the team showing remarkable resilience with 10 men. The win stretches the lead at the top of the table to 15 points with several of their potential rivals dropping points. [David Graham]
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