HARTLEY Wintney captain Sam Argent scored his 50th goal of the season as he helped his side to a 6-1 victory over visiting Raynes Park Vale.
The victory saw the Row extend their lead at the the top of the Combined Counties League to 23 points.
Playing in bitterly cold conditions the visitors made a solid start and took the lead on 11 minutes.
Strong and skilful play down the left by Gabriel Adesina and Adam Roberts saw the ball break kindly for the latter and he smashed an unstoppable shot from 20 yards past Paul Strudley.
Hartley responded and on the 17th minute a long throw from Steve Noakes was headed on by Shane Hollomby to Sam Argent who saw his shot blocked.
Two minutes later a free kick from Dean Stow found Ross Cook whose shot was well saved by Tony Davies in the Vale goal.
The Row continued to knock at the door and on 25 minutes Cook was brought down by a bad challenge on the edge of the penalty box which earned the Vale defender a booking. Cook took the free kick but his effort went past the post.
The visitors defended stoutly but on 40 minutes Cook broke free down the middle only to be denied by another poor tackle from behind just outside the penalty box.
The Vale were relieved to see just a yellow card and not a red for the offending defender. Steve Duff took the free-kick but his effort hit the wall.
Three minutes before half time the Row pulled level. Argent set Cook free down the middle and the striker rounded Davies before shooting into an empty net.
Hartley launched an attacking onslaught at the start of the second half which lasted until the final whistle.
On 50 minutes a long pass from Duff found Cook who ran on a fired across the face of the goal.
Three minutes later a good flowing move between Duff and Argent saw a set up for Cook. The strikers parting effort brought an excellent stop from Tony Davies.
A minute later, Hartley took the lead after a powerful run down the right wing by Dec Shuttleworth saw an accurate cross into the penalty box. Argent was waiting and fired into the net from close range.
Good interplay between Stow and Argent on 58 minutes set up Cook but again the striker was denied by another good save from Davies.
The onslaught continued against the beleaguered Vale defence and on 65 minutes a fine individual run from Cook saw his parting effort hit the post. Three minutes later, Stow created space and delivered a good cross which saw Duff head wide.
Stow was again in action on 71 minutes with another run down the right wing.
He cut in and fired a low shot past Davies to increase the Row lead.
Four minutes later Hartley increased their lead.
Declan Shuttleworth made a powerful run through midfield and fired in a strong shot. Tony Davies could only parry and lively substitute Adam Liddle pounced to fire home from close range on his debut.
The Vale defence continued to work overtime and on 79 minutes Duff’s corner found the head of Adam New who saw his effort tipped onto the top of the crossbar and over by Davies.
Five minutes later and the Row added a fifth. Jack French created space in midfield and set up Argent.
The striker created space for himself before shooting past Davies and high into the roof of the net.
On 86 minutes constant Hartley pressure saw a good Marc Vockins header saved.
The ball was retrieved by the Row and Duff made good progress down the right.
His cross brought a bullet header from Argent and goal number six.
The last action saw Liddle try an effort which brought a save from the overworked Tony Davies.
Not for the first time this season Hartley finished the match with very high fitness levels in the final 15 minutes.
As well as the players great credit must go to the Coach Luke Tuffs plus joint managers Anthony Millerick and Daniel Brownlie.
After the game Brownlie said: "We thoroughly deserved the win today. Despite going 1-0 down relatively early on, we always felt confident in winning the game.
"We adjusted a couple of things at half-time and we benefited from that, but above all else the boys raised their individual games and played with some real quality.
He added: "Shane Hollamby was superb at the back, as was Dec Shuttleworth who is a relatively new addition to the squad.
"We also handed a debut to exciting young striker Adam Liddle who got on the score sheet, so there were lots of positive to take out of the game. "None more so however, than Sam Argent scoring his 50th goal of the season.
"We spoke before the game and labelled that he was only three away from the milestone, anyone else you'd think it would take a few games, not Sam. I said after the match that we are slowly running out of superlatives to describe him."
Tomorrow night, Hartley are in Aldershot Cup action against visiting Knaphill.