HARTLEY Wintney’s poor run of form continued as they lost out to a very late and contentious goal in their visit to Poole Town.

The first chance of the match arrived in the fifth minute for the home side. Dolphins goalie Luke Cairney dribbled the ball upfield before sending a perfect pass to Toby Holmes who had run in behind the Row defence. Hartley goalkeeper Adam Desbois came out and made an excellent save.

Poole came close on 16 minutes following a corner on the right from Jake Andrews. The ball was not fully cleared and a powerful shot from the edge of the penalty area by Corby Moore was deflected just wide.

Poole started the second half pressing strongly and this continued throughout the entire second period. 

On 47 minutes a slick move opened up the Hartley defence and a goal-bound shot was brilliantly saved by Desbois. Seven minutes later a cross from Fogden found the head of William Spetch who saw his effort saved by Desbois. On 62 minutes a scramble in the Row area following a corner saw a Spetch shot headed off the line by Drage.

The Dolphins continued in the ascendancy and promising situations started coming their way more frequently. On 70 minutes Fogden muscled his way through the Hartley defence and Desbois brought out an outstanding save to prevent a goal. Six minutes later Holmes breached the Row defence but Desbois came out to save.

On 87 minutes the long overdue goal finally arrived albeit very contentious. A corner on the right for Poole saw Will Spetch send a powerful header goalward.

Adam Desbois saved the ball at his feet but slightly spilled it before retrieving it. He put the ball straight down to demonstrate that it had not crossed the line.  

Over on the line, the assistant referee signalled a goal. The Hartley team protested strongly and it was several minutes before the game re-started. (1-0).

Without being in line or VAR it is of course impossible to verify. The assistant referee was almost in line, so he probably had the best view.

Although the goal was contentious there can be little doubt about the fairness of the result. Poole were on top for virtually all the second period and only some truly inspirational goalkeeping from Adam Desbois kept Hartley in the game.