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Match Report: Abbey Rangers v Hartley Wintney

Post by KOB - 05-02-2017, 11:13

Saturday 4th February ‘17
Combined Counties League - Premier Division
Report by David Graham

Hartley travelled to mid table Abbey Rangers looking to increase their lead at the top of the league with second place Westfield having their fixture called off. Hartley had the first chance on 5 minutes when Sam Argent set up Steven Duff on the edge of the box. The winger's first time powerful shot went just past the post.

On 9 minutes a Luke Perkins cross from the right gave Sam Argent a chance at the back post but Abbey keeper, Liam Stone, reacted quickly to save well. One minute later the home side had their first effort. A free kick on the right by Danny Hartlebury found the head of Ben Kersley and his effort went just over the bar.

After 21 minutes the Row came close. A throw into the penalty box saw George Hallahan spin and shoot and he was unlucky to see his effort go just wide.

Paul Hodges of the Rangers was proving the most influential player on the field. On 31 minutes he sent Alex Hendrie free, and from the cross Ben Kersley was unlucky to see his header go narrowly past the post. Four minutes later, Hodges managed to get past the Hartley defence but his parting effort went straight to Paul Strudley.

The home side continued to probe and on 40 minutes a free kick from Danny Hartlebury was pushed over the bar by Paul Strudley.

On 45 minutes Hartley had two chances to take the lead. First Steve Noakes set up Sam Argent, who saw his header saved by Stone. Then a ball into the penalty box saw another Sam Argent effort blocked, and George Hallahan following up also watched his effort blocked.

In added time Abbey took the lead. A corner on the right by Alex Hendrie was met with a powerful header from Ben Kersley which went into the net off the underside of the crossbar (1-0).
Half-time: Abbey Rangers 1 Hartley Wintney 0

The Row introduced Ross Cook at the start of the second half, replacing the limping George Hallahan. The substitute striker almost scored with his first touch. Steve Duff and Sam Argent combined well down the left wing and the latter’s cross saw Ross Cook shoot over when well placed.

Hartley gained a stranglehold in midfield and pushed forward to get an equaliser. On 63 minutes Ross Cook made good progress before being hauled down just outside the penalty box. Referee James Amadori surprisingly gave the free kick to the home side for reasons unknown. This prompted protests from the Row and Sam Argent received a yellow card.

Two minutes later, a cross from Luke Perkins saw an Ian Jones effort blocked, and Ross Cook following up also saw his effort blocked in front of the goal.

As Hartley piled on the pressure they created another chance on 67 minutes. A good cross from Adam New found the head of Ross Cook, who headed over. But the long overdue equaliser came on 73 minutes. A throw on the right from Steven Duff saw good link up play across the edge of the penalty box between Sam Argent and Ross Cook. The final pass was played into the path of Luke Perkins who made no mistake from 15 yards (1-1).

Abbey almost regained the lead within 3 minutes. Alex Hendrie and Paul Hodges combined on the edge of the Hartley box and the latter's shot thundered off the crossbar.

Hartley pushed forward in search of the winner and on 82 minutes they got some reward. A long ball into the home penalty area found Steve Noakes up with the forwards. He challenged strongly with the Abbey's defence and, as the ball ran loose, Ross Cook was on hand to clip a shot past Stone. (1-2)

Abbey pushed forward in search of a late equaliser, which arrived on the 90th minute. Paul Hodges went on a long run from midfield. A final challenge robbed him but the ball ran loose to Patric Ruzicka, who fired home a low shot. (2-2)

A good match and a fair result in front of a decent sized crowd. It was nice seeing popular former Row player Joe Paris playing for Abbey.

Abbey Rangers: Liam Stone; Elliot Firth; James Shannon; Tom Bentley; Jason Robertson; Ben Kersley; Alex Hendrie; Joe Paris; Patric Ruzicka; Paul Hodges; Michael Carey.
Subs: Vlad Arkontslav; Dejuane Taylor-Crossdale; Bradley Thomas; Luke Robertson

Hartley Wintney: Paul Strudley; Louie Paget; Adam New; Steve Laidler; Steve Noakes; Shane Hollamby; Luke Perkins; Ian Jones; Sam Argent; George Hallahan; Steven Duff.
Subs: Ross Cook (used) ; Jack French (used); Dec Shuttleworth; Daniel Brownlie.
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