Impressive win sets up Hartley for the league season ahead
Steven Duff scored twice and notched an assist for Adam Everiss during a magnificent performance to help us secure an important 5-0 victory over Guildford City in the CCL Prem. The Row were 3-0 up by half time after fine goals by Adam Everiss, Ross Cook and Steven Duff.
A great performance from The Row earns another three points. Great preparation for Saturday's game against Colliers Wood.
Everiss put himself about impressively in a wide midfield role and was presented with the chance to give Hartley the lead in the early stages of the game. Steven Duff's corner was scrambled out to the edge of the box by the Guildford defence, when Everiss picked up the ball and hit a superb shot through the busy penalty area with his left foot low into the corner, for his first league goal of the season.
The midfield duo of Ian Jones and Aaron Parfitt were dominating the midfield exchanges and orchestrated the lively pace that we started with. We looked ambitious in the final third with Argent and Cook latching on to through balls and creating spaces for the ball to be threaded through. Duff scored his first with a long range pass from Parfitt, from which he brought down the ball superbly with his chest leaving the centre back losing his footing and Duff passed the ball past the goalkeeper. Cook made it three with a superbly struck free kick from distance that left the keeper fully out-stretched, but was still unable to prevent it nestling into the side netting.
We did take our foot off the pedal in the last 10 minutes as Guildford began to pick up the ball in areas they hadn't succeeded in before. We addressed the matter at half time and agreed there was a need for an element of refocussing and sticking to the task at hand. Half time gave us a chance to go through some finer details that we thought would positively effect the game.
There were many candidates for man of the match yesterday, but the overall majority winner was Shane Hollamby. In only his second game of the campaign due to an injury he sustained during pre-season, he marshalled the back four superbly and his neat footwork allowed us to play from the back and relieve pressure. His subtle movement and positional sense was a huge factor in us keeping a clean sheet, that combined with a team work ethic, organisation and three fantastic saves from Craig Atkinson.
After the break Hartley could have been awarded a penalty as the Guildford City goalkeeper took down Cook when jumping for the ball in the area. He missed the ball but did not miss Cook. The referee awarded a goal kick.
Ross Cook secured his brace in the second half followed in relatively quick succession by Steven Duff earning his own. Duff's came from a knock down in the penalty area from Hollamby with Duff striking into the bottom corner. Cook's goal came from some great build up play which led to Jones lifting the ball over the defence and then Cook helped it along further by lobbing the goalkeeper from close range.
A five nil win against any side is a fantastic result and the boys should be pleased with their night's work. There were three changes made from Saturday's team that beat Chinnor in the FA Cup and goes to show the importance of our squad. It's such a long season and with so many different cup competitions we are going to need everybody. Fortunately, we have built a team that are prepared to work together and, as demonstrated yesterday, encourage those that are starting even from the subs bench. It's rare, I assure you. Very positive, but without wanting to sound like a drawstring doll... it's very early in the season. Another tough test against Colliers Wood on Saturday. Thanks for your support yesterday, good crowd and the 'Row Army' finally found their voice. I too, would rather be a sausage than an egg. [DB]