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Bad run ends Hartley Wintney's title hopes
HARTLEY Wintney manager Ben Dillon accepts that winning the Combined Counties League Premier Division title may be beyond his side this season.
The village club lost 2-1 at Colliers Wood United last Wednesday before going down 3-1 at Ash United on Saturday – results that leave them 14th in the table, 25 points behind the leaders.
“We will probably have to look at second place now,” Dillon admitted. “A top-five place was the aim at the start of the season but we still believe we can push for second and promotion.”
Against Colliers Wood, Hartley dominated the opening 20 minutes but they were hit on the break and trailed 1-0 at half-time. Sam Argent levelled the match early in the second half and the visitors pushed for the win, only to be caught on the counter again in the last 15 minutes.
Hartley were also on top for the first 40 minutes of their trip to Ash, but they were unable to score. Ash took the lead from the penalty spot and scored again almost straight from the kick-off to lead 2-0 at the break.
The second half began badly for the visitors, Tom Walsh being sent off following an off-the-ball incident, and while they pulled a goal back through new-signing Adam Everiss, Ash added a third late on.
“It’s been a tough couple of months,” Dillon added. “We have been hit really hard by injuries but the lads are starting to come back now and hopefully we can go on another good run.”
Hartley were due to travel to Epsom and Ewell tonight, but that game has been postponed due to the opposition’s continuing involvement in the FA Vase.
The village side will be looking to end a five-game losing streak on Saturday, when they face a quick return against Ash, while they travel to Molesey on Tuesday night.
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