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Match Report: Hartley Wintney v Chalfont St.Peter

Post by KOB - 15-10-2017, 09:38

Saturday 14th October ‘17
Evo-Stik South League – East Division
Report by David Graham

Prior to kick off the Hartley Wintney joint managers were once again asked to solve many problems due to a large injury list and several players being unavailable. A diminutive Row team took to the field with a not fully 100% fit Adam New the only player over six foot.

The Saints started well but it was Hartley who had the first effort on 9 minutes. Good set-up play by Jake Baxter presented a chance to Adam Everiss, who fired narrowly over. However, the opening goal was delayed by just one minute. Excellent play down the middle saw Steven Duff and Paul Hodges combine. Hodges' pass sent Duff clear and, on rounding 'keeper Carl Dennison, he was hauled down. Dennison was perhaps fortunate to stay on the pitch, receiving a yellow card, but the Row went ahead from the resulting penalty taken by newly appointed captain, Dean Stow. (1-0)

Chalfont were winning most of the midfield physical challenges and, prompted by dangerous winger Maxwell Holland, held a slight edge. On 24 minutes, Saints striker Jake Cass created space for himself on the edge of the box and his strong shot saw Paul Strudley do well to tip over.

On 28 minutes Hartley could have extended their lead when a long ball from Dean Stow saw Jake Baxter move behind the Chalfont defence. However, the striker’s effort went straight to Carl Dennison.

On 31 minutes the Row were very unlucky not to increase their lead. An accurate pass from Jake Baxter gave Paul Hodges a chance and the Hartley forward saw his effort hit the post.

The Saints had the first chance on 51 minutes with a free kick 20 yards from goal and central. The Row wall held firm and the ball was cleared.

Chalfont held an edge but were unable to make their extra possession count. On 68 minutes Hartley almost increased their lead when Hodges and Baxter combined well, with the latter shooting home. However, the celebrations were cut short with the assistant referee’s flag calling a marginal offside.

The Row defence held firm without being entirely comfortable. However, on 82 minutes the visitors scored the goal their play deserved. Chalfont decided to opt for a contested dropped ball following an injury stoppage and got a break which enabled an attack down the right. The ball was fed in to Jake Cass who did well to get to the bye line, and his low cross was swept in by substitute Remmell Clarke (1-1).

Hartley responded well and on 87 minutes almost took the lead. Aaron Parfitt made good progress down the left, and good link up play between Hodges and Baxter ended with Josh Webb’s shot grazing the post.

It was the visitors who had the last effort of the day when Jake Cass had an excellent shooting opportunity on the edge of the box but shot over.

Man of the match, and a true inspiration to the battling Row team, was new team captain Dean Stow, playing in an unaccustomed centre back position. Hartley will be hoping some of the squad members will have recovered or be available for Tuesday’s trip to Bedford Town. [D Graham]

HARTLEY WINTNEY: Paul Strudley, Louie Paget, Josh Webb, Joe Paris, Adam New, Dean Stow, Jack French, Steven Duff, Jake Baxter, Paul Hodges, Adam Everiss .
Subs: George Frise, Jayden Englefield, Aaron Parfitt, Jack Mitchell, Steve Noakes

CHALFONT ST.PETER: Carl Dennison, Mark Goodman, Ryan Haugh, George Fenton, Alan Hedley, Adam Kirby, Maxwell Holland, Alex Paine, Jake Cass, Robert Hastings, Gary Burrell.
Subs: Connor Shingleston, Jack Mullan, Victor Osobu, Remmell Clarke, Kieron Vickers.

After the game, David spoke with joint first team manager, Dan Brownlie, for his thoughts on the game.
"We were not at our best today, but with players out it was always going to be difficult. Joe Paris and Adam New played through the match although neither was 100% fit.
"We are always disappointed when we do not win," Dan added, "but I suppose in the circumstances today a draw was a reasonable result against a decent Chalfont side. I felt on chances we could have won, with Paul Hodges' shot hitting the post and Josh Webb’s effort so close near the end. Also, the offside goal must have been a marginal decision.
Dan praised the new club captain's efforts. "Dean Stow played an exceptional game at the back for us."
  • KOB

    15-10-2017, 10:21

    Dan sums up my thoughts well. It was hugely frustrating not to hold on for the win, but a draw wasn't the worst outcome in the circumstances, with only a skeleton first team squad to pick from. We were narrowly away from winning the game - Josh Webb seemed to line up his shot so well that I was surprised to see it go the wrong side of the post - but equally we got lucky when their centre forward ballooned a relatively easy chance well over the bar at the very end.

    Dean Stow was again superb filling in at centre back and I wouldn't deny him his MOTM award, but have to give huge praise as well to Adam New alongside him. Rushed back and not fully fit, Newy was terrific and without his height and aerial ability against Chalfont's tall forwards I doubt we'd have got the draw.

    The game, as in several others, revealed a problem we may keep encountering at this level where so many of the teams rely on big, tall players both at the back and upfront. Arg had an uncanny ability to jump at least a foot higher than his height suggested he should, but even with Sam up front we often struggled to keep possession from Paul Strudley's goal-kicks. Jake looks a very similar height to Sam and climbs and gets up well, but he's never likely to win out against a six foot three centre-back, and yesterday more of Struds' kicks were finding Paul Hodges, even more of a mismatch. We are very good when we get it on the ground, and more than a match for the giants that inhabit this division when we do, but Millers, Dan and Luke have a dilemma on how to retain possession from our own goal kicks. We don't currently have anyone with obvious size and aerial power in the top half of the pitch we could switch into the centre on kicks; perhaps James when he's back fit.

    It was a good effort from all the boys yesterday, including Aaron when he came on, and once again I thought Jack French was exceptional in central midfield, terrific workrate and ability to break up their play and start things for us.

    Anyone travelling up to watch the boys at Bedford on Tuesday, might be worth packing your boots just in case :-)
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