Hartley Wintney travelled to Wimborne Town and lost out by the odd goal in three following a very open game. However the Row will reflect on many missed chances in particular during the second half when many opportunities went begging.
Hartley had the advantage of the wind in the first half but it was the hosts who created the first chance. Luke Burbridge made good progress down the right and his pulled back cross found Franklyn Clarke whose shot brought out a good save from Adam Desbois in the Row goal. On 8 minutes Hartley’s first chance arrived when Nic Ciardini sent Ross Cook through the middle. However the striker mis-directed his shot well wide.
The Row should have gone ahead two minutes later. Good play down the right saw an accurate cross from Jack French onto the head of unmarked Nic Ciardini. The Row striker headed across the goal towards the empty net only to see the effort hit the inside of the post and stay out. On 16 minutes Hartley thought they had gone ahead when a flowing move saw Nathan Smart set up Rowan Vine who scored. However the effort was chalked off for offside.
The Magpies had a good spell with most of their threat coming from Clarke and Burbridge. On 19 minutes Clarke created a space for himself and shot just over the bar. Six minutes later the dangerous Burbridge showed trickery and saw his parting effort saved by Desbois.
The opening goal arrived on 29 minutes, Franklyn Clarke picked the ball up on the left some 25 yards from goal, with the Hartley defence slow to close down, he fired a strong shot over Desbois and into the net, (1-0).
Five minutes before the break a long free kick from Josh Webb found the head of Nic Ciardini whose header across goal found Cook who saw his effort deflected wide.
HALF TIME: WIMBORNE TOWN 1 HARTLEY WINTNEY 0
Hartley started the second half very much on the front foot and played good football against the wind. They were rewarded with a ‘Route one’ goal on 50 minutes. Desbois sent down a long clearance which eluded the home defence leaving Ross Cook with a run clear down the middle. The Row striker ran on and finished with aplomb. (1-1).
Three minutes later Jack French and Cook combined well with the former parting shot finding Magpies keeper Gerard Benfield well positioned to save. With play going from end to end on 58 minutes Wimborne had a chance when a right wing cross from Stefan Penny was headed wide by Louis Kellaway. Play immediately went down to the other end and Smart had an effort saved following a pass from Ciardini.
In another minute Burbridge saw a good strike well saved by Desbois. On 60 minutes Clarke tried his luck from distance and Desbois, who was off his line, was relieved to see the effort go over.
On 65 minutes Hartley thought they had gone ahead. A long free kick from Desbois saw Jack Ball outjump the Magpies defender’s and his header across goal saw Cook outjump a defender and head home. However the goal was chalked off as Ball was adjudged to be offside.
Relieved with the let off the hosts took the lead two minutes later. Burbridge was given considerable space on the right wing and his cross from the bye line was headed home at the back post by Clarke. (2-1).
Hartley pressed virtually non-stop and on 78minutes a long free kick was not held by Benfield who palmed the ball down to Ciardini. The Row captain’s shot was very weak enabling the ball to be cleared off the line.
Romario Hart who had come on for the latter stages injected much need pace into the Row effort and his speed and trickery set up a number of chances. On 87 minutes Hart created a chance for himself and saw his shot coming in from the right saved high up by Benfield.
The Row had a number of efforts blocked and on 89 minutes Cook saw an effort saved by Benfield. Into added time and a free kick from Josh Webb found Liam Eagle free. However the Row centre back directed his powerful header just over the crossbar.
Hartley will be hoping to get some shooting practice in before their next match.
FULL TIME: WIMBORNE TOWN 2 HARTLEY WINTNEY 1