HARTLEY Wintney recorded a 3-1 victory at Poole Town in their first ever game in the Southern League Premier South.

Around 60 fans made the journey from the north Hampshire village for this historic win at the highest level the Row have ever played.

The newly promoted visitors and the relegated from the National League South home side were both cautious in the opening period Hartley had the first chance when a Steve Noakes header went wide, from a corner from their man of the match Josh Webb on the 15 minutes.

Hartley maintained an edge and took the lead on 24 minutes.

Romario Hart showed good skill and pace to work a right-wing cross.

The accurate delivery found the head of Liam Eagle who headed home from 10 yards. The Dolphins first effort came on 28 minutes, which saw a Franklyn Clarke shot find Row goalkeeper Adam Desbois well placed to save.

A minute later, the Row increased their lead as a cross field pass found Jake Baxter in the clear.

The striker tried to round Poole’s goalkeeper Nick Hutchings who hauled him down conceding a penalty kick.

Baxter scored with a low shot from the spot.

On 34 minutes, Hart fed Baxter who saw his effort bring out a good save from Hutchings. The Dolphins came into the game and on 41 minutes Clarke had a good effort from 20 yards which took a deflection and went past the post.

Two minutes before the interval Claudio Herbert set Jake Baxter free on the right and his cross found Nic Ciardini who was unlucky to see his header go just over.

The Dolphins came out fired up for the second period and on 51 minutes reduced the arrears.

Substitute Adam Grange found space on the right and his accurate low cross was converted at close range by Franklyn Clarke.

The home side piled on the pressure and on 58 minutes a cross by Jordan Alawode-Williams found Marvyn Brooks whose effort was saved by Desbois.

Two minutes later a full-blooded effort from 20 yards by Steve Devlin brought out a good save from Desbois.

Poole continued to press and for 5 minutes starting in the 73rd minute the ball seemed to remain in the Row penalty box.

Four quick chances came the way of the home side.

First Adam Grange saw his shot saved by Desbois and then a minute later Williams cross was knocked down by Brooks to Clarke who saw his effort crash off the foot of the post.

The third attempt saw Williams just unable to convert after Desbois’s punch fell short.

The dangerous Grange found space on the right and his effort from a narrow angle went just wide.

Against the run of play Hartley made the game safe on 80 minutes.

Louie Paget and Jack French linked up well and the latter’s precise pass set Nic Ciardini free. The striker’s first effort was blocked by Hutchings, but the Row skipper made no mistake with the follow up.

A minute later Grange found space just outside the Row box and his effort was well saved by Desbois.

Two minutes later Clarke tried his luck from 20 yards and was unlucky to see his effort go wide.

It was Hartley who had the last chance of the day when good interplay sent Jack French through, but Hutchings saved the parting shot which lacked pace.

The Row held firm to secure the points and were applauded from the field by their followers who cheered throughout the match.

A memorable day for the Row and a very noisy coach on the return trip to Hartley.

The starting XI for this historic win was Adam Desbois, Nathan Smart, Nick Hutchings, Liam Eagle, Steve Noakes, Tyron Smith, Romario Hart, Josh Webb, Jake Baxter, Nic Ciardini, Claudio Herbert.

Subs: James King (used), Jack French (used), Jack Ball, Louie Paget (used), Matt.Evans.

After the game joint manager Anthony Millerick said: “This was a match against better opposition than we have been used to.

“We had spied on Poole prior to the match and worked out our game plan. This plan worked perfectly.

“The defence kept their shape throughout and played well. The team’s discipline was first class.

“We knew that they would come after us at the beginning of the second half. Our team showed great character not to panic when under pressure although we did ride our luck at times.”

He added: “I felt we were always likely to score from a break away and so it transpired.

“Finally, a thank you to the many fans who came down we had good support throughout the match.”

Hartley are next in action at home to Gosport on Tuesday night.