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REPORT - Hartley Wintney 2 Cove 4
THREE goals in the space of seven second half minutes condemned Hartley Wintney to a 4-2 defeat against visiting Cove, in the Combined Counties League Premier Division.
It a classic game of two halves, as Hartley looked to cruising to victory at half-time as they led 2-0.
The home side took the lead after six minutes, as a nice ball from Shane Hollamby found Luke Walker and he lobbed the Cove goalkeeper.
A great ball in from the lively Adam Everiss, saw the visiting goalkeeper Sam Freeman-Johnson get to the ball just before Hartley’s striker Sam Argent.
Cove then went close as former Basingstoke Town defender Julien Sills found Jacob Peace, but his volley went wide.
Two superb saves by the legs of Sam Freeman-Johnson denied first Hollamby and then Argent in quick succession.
A nice run from Hollamby was ended as he was fouled on the edge of the area by Callum Eagles, who somehow escaped a card of any sort.
From the resulting free-kick Jack Coventry with a sweet strike made it 2-0.
Soon after, Cove’s dangerman Dan Akinwande was just about to pull the trigger, but an excellent last ditch tackle by Mark Vockins denied him.
Hartley were now playing some nice football and could have extended their lead as Walker and Argent both went close.
After the break, it was end-to-end stuff early on, as Cove had a couple of corners, while Walker saw his low shot saved and Hollamby headed just wide.
Freeman-Johnson was called into action again with an excellent one handed save to deny Coventry.
Cove made a change 10 minutes after break and brought on striker Ashley Nicholls, which made them a lot livelier.
The game then turned on its head as the visitors scored twice in as many minutes.
This was from Kyle Lemon and then Akinwande headed in at the far post, after a great cross from Adam Kingsbeer.
Hartley in shock tried to get back into the game, but Cove took the lead on 71 minutes, as despite a point blank save by Craig Atkinson to deny Akinwande, Nicholls put away the rebound.
In what was a good local derby, Hartley came looking for an equaliser and Walker saw his shot pushed around the post and Hollamby had a shot cleared off the line by Sills.
Cove made sure of the win six minutes from time as a corner fell to the unmarked Akinwande at the back post to score.
Hartley will now hope to bounce back to winning ways when they face Alton tomorrow morning (kick-off 11.30pm).
After the game Hartley manager Ben Dillon said: "We have throw the game away and we have done this a few times in recent weeks. It is just not good enough and I will be making changes on Monday.
"We have had a great season, but we want to finish it on a good run."
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