Hartley Wintney were beaten by a solitary second half goal by Chippenham Town in a pre-season friendly game at a sun-drenched Memorial Ground.

Both sides showed good control on a very hard pitch following the recent hot weather.

After an even start the first effort came from the Bluebirds. The striker on trial managed to get beyond the Row defence but his parting shot from a tight angle brought out a good save from the Row keeper on trial.

Hartley gained the ascendancy in play and registered an effort on 21 minutes. Kingsley Eshun made a long individual run down the left wing and his effort from a tight angle brought out a save from Will Henry in the visitors’ goal.

Five minutes later, a burst from midfield saw Alex Bray for the Bluebirds saw him go past the Row defence and the Row keeper was forced to make a good save. Approaching half time Matt Drage had an effort go wide following a Row left wing corner.

The Bluebirds took control of the game in the early part of the second period. On 55 minutes influential midfielder Callum Gunner created space and his powerful shot come cross found Bray who shot over from close range.

The winning goal arrived on 64 minutes. A left-wing corner was only partially cleared by the Hartley defence and Joe Parker struck a fine volley into the corner of the net. (0-1)

Following a flurry of substitutions by both sides Hartley started to get on top. A driven left-wing cross from Kofi Halliday on 70 minutes found the head of the substitute striker Issac who saw his close-range header bring out a great stop from substitute keeper Bailey Leach.

The Bluebirds had a chance following a free kick eight minutes later. Caine Bradbury stepped up and the well positioned Hartley keeper saved well. The Row finished strongly and the nearest they came to levelling was when an Aaron Goode cross come shot hit the top of the crossbar.

All in all, a good work out for both sides in the sweltering heat. Hartley can take a good number of positives from the match as they build up for the start of the league season.

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