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Hartley Wintney (0)0 Bath City (0)1 aet (0-0 at 90 mins)

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Hartley Wintney (0)0  Bath City (0)1 aet (0-0 at 90 mins) Empty Hartley Wintney (0)0 Bath City (0)1 aet (0-0 at 90 mins)

Post by Kelston Koppite Wed Sep 21, 2022 9:27 am

Hartley Wintney gave Bath City a huge fright in this FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round replay at The Memorial Playing Fields, before the National League South side progressed by virtue of an Alex Fletcher goal midway through the second period of extra time.

The hosts, who ply their trade in the Southern League Premier South Division, began strongly and the first genuine opening arrived in the 10th minute from a Harry Cooksley freekick that was headed over Joe Wright’s crossbar by Bayley.  At the other end, Dan Hayfield dragged a shot wide from just outside the box and then Tom Smith’s cross was met with a firm header by Cody Cooke that forced a diving save by home keeper Adam Desbois.

Wright prevented Hartley from taking the lead on 13 minutes when he made an excellent save low down to keep out Anis Nuur’s downward header from Tom Leggett’s cross, and then the keeper reacted quickly to superbly block the follow up effort from Aaron McLeish-White.

The game continued in open fashion to swing from end to end, and Desbois pulled off another diving save in the 16th minute to keep out Kieran Parselle’s header following a freekick into the box.  Smith had the ball in the net five minutes later after a flowing City move, but the midfielder had strayed offside.

Fletcher’s clever shot on the turn after 23 minutes seemed to be heading into the roof of the net until another flying intervention by Desbois, who tipped the ball over the bar for a corner.  

Zidan Akers burst clean through on goal, but was denied by a good blocking save at his feet by Wright, who had come off his line quickly and, on the half hour mark, Nuur fired wide from a distance.  

The hosts were now enjoying the majority of possession and putting the City rearguard under concerted pressure but, despite this, the next opening fell to Cooke, who made good ground into the opposing area before shooting into the outside of the side netting from a testing angle.

The latter stages of the half were played out in front of City’s goal during which time Wright made two more useful saves, firstly from a deflected Akers shot, and then by tipping McLeish-White’s goalbound header over the crossbar.

If the first half was end to end with numerous chances, the second was a complete contrast with the game locked in midfield stalemate for long periods.  The Row had the greater share of possession and territorial advantage, with City struggling to keep hold of the ball or find any real forward momentum on the sloping and undulating surface.  Their cause was not helped by the impressive pressing game being played by the hosts, who were consistently quicker to second phase ball.

The injured Dan Greenslade was replaced by Luke Spokes on 75 minutes and Hartley mounted considerable pressure in the final ten minutes.  Leggett saw his effort deflected over Wright’s crossbar for a corner and Matt Drage nodded over the top from a good position.  A low cross from Akers flashed across the face of Wright’s goal, before City almost snatched victory as the game entered stoppage time.  Fletcher’s cross from the right picked out the onrushing Cooke, whose powerful header was just too high.

There was still time for one more scare for the visitors when Cooksley’s cross found the unmarked Youel Emmanuel, but the substitute headed wastefully over.

The first half of extra time was largely uneventful, but there were signs that the home side were beginning to tire, with City now gaining the bulk of possession.  This became more evident as the final period progressed.  Smith skewed a shot well wide from distance in the 106th minute, but the decisive moment arrived nine minutes later.  Chris Lines delivered an inviting freekick towards the near post where Fletcher rose the highest to plant a firm downward header into the bottom corner of the net.

The Row tried to find a response, but City used their experience to run down the clock, allowing them celebrate a very hard-fought victory with their travelling supporters at the final whistle.

This was certainly a very tough encounter and great credit must go to Hartley Wintney for their performance over the two matches.  They put City under considerable pressure at times and, although they defended resolutely, Jerry Gill’s men were indebted to Wright for a number of fine saves. Ultimately, it was a moment of quality from Lines and Fletcher that unlocked the passage to the next round.

Hartley Wintney:  Adam Desbois, Tom Leggett, Reese Jones, Toby Nevile, Matt Drage, Harrison Bayley, Zidan Akers, Anis Nuur, Aaron McLeish-White, Harry Cooksley, Teddy Davey.  Subs: Aaron Goode, Rahzir Smith-Jones, Jayden Hutchings, Youel Emmanuel, Isaac Charles, Shane Hollomby, Killian Barrett.

Bath City:  Joe Wright, Joe Raynes, Jordan Dyer, Jack Batten, Kieran Parselle, Dan Greenslade (Luke Spokes 75), Dan Hayfield, Chris Lines, Tom Smith, Alex Fletcher, Cody Cooke.  Subs not used: Ryan Clarke, Elliott Frear, Scott Wilson, Rex Mannings.

Referee:  Mr. Stephen Hughes

Attendance: 380


Last edited by Kelston Koppite on Wed Sep 21, 2022 11:12 am; edited 1 time in total
Kelston Koppite
Kelston Koppite

Posts : 291
Join date : 2014-02-23

Beau Nash and 2weirdtown like this post

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Post by Luton Roman Wed Sep 21, 2022 9:38 am

Great report KK, attendance was 380

Luton Roman

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Post by Kelston Koppite Wed Sep 21, 2022 11:14 am

Thanks LR. I have updated the attendance. It was certainly a tense evening and glad to come away with a win!
Kelston Koppite
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Post by Beau Nash Wed Sep 21, 2022 3:49 pm

Of concern that City struggled to win at Twerton Park and last night. pale

Would the squad have been  up to strength, seven subs, as Hartley Wintney had, if the two Bristol loanees had been available? Question
Beau Nash
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