FA Trophy Match Report
Courtesy and Copyright of David Graham at HWFC Fans Forum
Hartley Wintney travelled to Woking Park in order to lock horns with old Friends in Sport, Westfield, for a place in the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy. The Row earned a draw thanks to a masterclass goalkeeping performance from Luke Williams and a late goal from Josh Webb.
After a quiet opening it was Hartley who had the first chance on 8 minutes. A free kick from Tom Bird found Jack Ball unmarked, but the Row defender headed wide when well placed to score. A minute later, the home side put together a fluent move down the left and Arsen Ujkaj's cross found an unbalanced Max Blackmore, who headed wide when well placed.
On 14 minutes, Nathan Smart's cross found Alex Albert and the midfielder's effort brought out a good save from Gary Ross in the 'Field goal.
There was a flare up on 20 minutes when both teams came together after a bad challenge by Max Blackmore on Alex Albert. The 'Field striker was perhaps fortunate to receive just a yellow card from referee Graeme Ions.
Some strong challenges made the game less fluent, but on 39 minutes the Row had a chance to take the lead. Steven Duff fed Mickel Platt who turned well but shot wide when well placed.
The home side immediately went down to the other end and took the lead. Aaron Watson made good progress down the left on 40 minutes and his low cross was converted by Tinashe Nkoma. (1-0)
Hartley could have been level soon afterwards. A Josh Webb corner saw a mis-kick by the 'Field defence, leaving Ball with a chance some 10 yards out. The Row defender screwed his shot wide of the goal.
Half Time: Westfield 1 Hartley Wintney 0
If Luke Williams in the Hartley goal had a relatively quiet first half, that was to change in the second period.
On 48 minutes, Max Blackmore latched on to a long ball with the Row defenders claiming offside. The 'Field striker's well struck shot saw Williams parry. George Frise was quickly on to the rebound but saw his effort cleared off the line by Shane Hollamby.
Five minutes later, a misdirected clearance by the Row gave Watson a chance but his effort brought out a good save from Williams.
On 57 minutes, Nathan Smart crossed to Josh Webb who shot into the side netting, then, four minutes later, the home side had the ball in the net when Watson was on the end of a through ball from Harry Carter, but the effort was ruled offside.
Westfield were dominating proceedings and on 67 minutes Williams excelled again when he tipped over a close range header from BaIgent following a cross from Nkoma.
The Hartley substitutes brought the Row more into the game, although they were unable to fashion a decent chance, while Westfield had a chance to seal the game on 87 minutes as Blackmore was fed through by Nkoma. Williams again came to Hartley's rescue with a fine save.
On 88 minutes, and completely out of the blue, the Row equalised. Smart fed Webb, who had a clear shot at goal from 25 yards. The midfielder's effort went over the fingertips of Ross and into the net, to the delight of his Hartley teammates and travelling faithful.
Both sides then went all out for the winner. On 90 minutes, Adam Cornell created space for a shot which was saved. Play moved to the other end and Carter found space for a shot which brought out another good save from Williams. Then in the last minute of added time, Nkoma got through the Row defence and again Williams saved. The ball rebounded to an inrushing Westfield player who shot over.
Hartley Manager, Anthony Millerick, spoke with David after the game.
"Our preparation for the match could have been better, with not having played for 10 days. We struggled from the kick-off and many of our players had below par performances."
Millers continued "We struggled with Westfield's direct approach throughout and are thankful to Luke Williams for many fine saves. Obviously pleased to get a replay and we will be looking to improve considerably on Tuesday."
The replay will take place on Tuesday evening at Hartley Wintney with a 7.30 kick-off.
Image courtesy and Copyright Marcus Greenway @Merlinthp1