Match Report: Salisbury v Hartley Wintney, Southern Premier South

Post by KOB - 17-08-2022, 13:24

Salisbury v Hartley Wintney, Southern League Premier South, Tuesday 16th August 2022
Report by Tyler House


Kyen Nicholas scored twice as Hartley Wintney won 3-1 at Salisbury to pick up their first league win of the season.

The Row gave full debuts to Freddie Grant and Youel Emmanuel, who replaced Reese Jones and Aaron McLeish-White in the only two changes from the defeat at Chesham United three days earlier.

Hartley made the perfect start and took the lead after just 23 seconds when Zidan Akers capitalised on a mistake in the Salisbury defence.

The winger gained possession on the edge of the penalty area and his scuffed shot fell kindly for Nicholas, who rifled the ball past Salisbury’s Gerard Benfield to open the scoring.

Just four minutes later, Akers was presented with another chance, sending in a low shot from 25 yards and finding the bottom corner to double Hartley’s lead.

Salisbury remained on the back foot as Hartley utilised the skill and quick feet of Akers on the left wing, while Kingsley Eshun was equally effective on the opposite side.

On 15 minutes, George Spiers exchanged passes with Eshun and created a one-on-chance for Nicholas, who was denied by Benfield’s outstretched leg.

For all of Hartley’s good work early in the game, they were undone just a minute later when Brandon Goodship broke free at the other end and fired a shot past Adam Desbois to get the Whites back into the contest.

A frenetic 15-minute spell then followed with chances at both ends. Dan Fitchett had two opportunities to draw the hosts level, firstly being denied by a good block from Matt Drage before heading wide from the resulting corner.

Nicholas then saw his shot from the edge of the box parried to safety by Benfield and, moments later, the Hartley striker was unable to connect with a dangerous cross from Grant, who had been played in by Drage.

Salisbury began to see more of the ball towards the end of the half but their sloppy play in midfield was punished with a third Hartley goal before half time.

In the 40th minute, Tom Leggett delivered a low cross from the right that was turned in from close range by Nicholas.

There was still time for Hartley captain Harry Cooksley to force Benfield into a diving save, with Akers combining well with Eshun in the build-up.

The second half produced more chances for the Row early on. Within six minutes of the restart, Nicholas saw two attempts go off target before he was replaced by McLeish-White.

Salisbury, meanwhile, could not convert their possession into clear-cut chances. Winger Antonio Diaz saw several crosses repelled by Aaron Goode and Matt Drage in defence, while Devon Arnold was kept quiet on the opposite side by Grant, who had an impressive debut for the Row.

The hosts began to commit players high up the pitch, but a shot from Goodship resulted in a routine save for Desbois.

On the counter attack, a marauding run from Leggett ended with Benfield gathering a tame shot from the full-back.

Drage was then substituted following a knock and Spiers dropped into central defence for the final 15 minutes.

Two minutes from time, Diaz made a clever run in between Goode and Leggett but his cross was turned on to the post and Hartley eventually cleared.

At full time, the Hartley Wintney players celebrated with the travelling supporters. The win moves the Row up to 17th in the league table ahead of Saturday’s home game against Hayes & Yeading United. [Tyler House]

Attendance: 443
Hartley Man of the Match: Tom Leggett

HARTLEY WINTNEY: Adam Desbois, Tom Leggett, Freddie Grant, Matt Drage, Aaron Goode, George Spiers, Zidan Akers, Youel Emmanuel, Kyen Nicholas, Harry Cooksley (c), Kingsley Eshun
SUBS: Jake Rumble, Reese Jones, Jayden Hutchings, Lopes, McLeish-White