HARTLEY Wintney extended their lead at top of the Combined Counties League Premier Division to 21 points after they drew 2-2 at Abbey Rangers.

Hartley had the first chance on five minutes when Sam Argent set up Steven Duff on the edge of the box.

The winger's first time powerful shot went just past the post.

On nine minutes a Luke Perkins cross from the right gave Argent a chance at the back post but Abbey keeper Liam Stone reacted quickly to save well.

A minute later, the home side had their first effort. A free-kick on the right by Danny Hartlebury found the head of Ben Kersley and his effort went just over the bar.

After 21 minutes the Row came close. A throw into the penalty box saw George Hallahan spin and shoot and he was unlucky to see his effort go just wide.

Paul Hodges of the Rangers was proving the most influential player on the field.

On 31 minutes he sent Alex Hendrie free and from the cross Ben Kersley was unlucky to see his header go narrowly past the post.

Four minutes later, Hodges managed to get past the Hartley defence but his parting effort went straight to Paul Strudley.

The home side continued to probe and on 40 minutes a free-kick from Danny Hartlebury was pushed over the bar by Paul Strudley.

On 45 minutes Hartley had two chances to take the lead.

First Steve Noakes set-up Argent who saw his header saved by Stone.

Then a ball into the penalty box saw another Argent's effort blocked and Hallahan following up also seeing his effort blocked.

In added time, Abbey took the lead. A corner on the right by Alex. Hendrie saw a powerful header from Kersley which went into the net off the underside of the crossbar.

The Row introduced Ross Cook at the start of the second half replacing the limping George Hallahan. The substitute striker almost scored with his first touch. Duff and Argent combined well down the left wing and the latter’s cross saw Cook shoot over when well placed. Hartley gained a stranglehold in midfield and pushed forward to get an equaliser.

On 63 minutes Cook made good progress before being hauled down just outside the penalty box.

Referee James Amadori surprisingly gave the free-kick to the home side for reasons unknown.

This prompted protests from the Row and Argent received a yellow card.

Two minutes later, a cross from Perkins saw an Ian Jones effort blocked and Cook's follow up also saw his effort blocked in front of the goal. As Hartley piled on the pressure they created another chance on 67 minutes. A good cross from Adam New found the head of Cook who headed over.

The long overdue equaliser came on 73 minutes. A throw on the right from Duff saw good link up play across the edge of the penalty box between Argent and Cook.

The final pass was played into the path of Perkins who made no mistake from 15 yards.

Abbey almost regained the lead within three minutes Alex Hendrie and Paul Hodges combined on the edge of the Hartley box and Hodges' shot thundered off the crossbar.

Hartley pushed forward in search of the winner and on 82 minutes they got their reward. A long ball into the home penalty area found Noakes up with the forwards.

He challenged strongly with the visitors defence and as the ball ran loose Cook was on hand to clip a shot past Stone. (1-2) Abbey pushed forward in search of a late equaliser which arrived on the 90th minute. Hodges went on a long run from midfield.

A final challenge robbed him but the ball ran loose to Patric Ruzicka who fired home a low shot.

This was a fair result in front of a decent sized crowd, it was also nice to popular former Row player Joe Paris playing for Abbey.

After the draw Brownlie said: "Upon reflection the result was probably a fair one. Abbey just shaded the first half, but we were much the better in the second.

"Whilst it was a fair result, we were disappointed with our own performance especially during the first half.

"Credit to the boys for getting themselves back into the game but we should never have found ourself in that position in the first place."

Next up for Hartley is a trip to Southern League side AFC Totton tomorrow night for a Hampshire Senior Cup quarter-final tie.

The Row will be hoping for another giant killing in the competition, which will earn the winners a trip to AFC Bournemouth.

Brownlie said: "Hopefully we'll see a reaction on Tuesday night where we'll need to be at our utmost best to gain a chance at winning. Millers and I really believe in this squad, we'll be ready for Tuesday, ready to give it our all."