HARTLEY Wintney maintained their perfect start to the league campaign with a strong second half performance after trailing at the interval to visiting Frome.

The Row had the first chance on 8 minutes when Nic Ciardini got free on the left and his cross was fired wide by Mike Campbell.

Frome had a good spell and took the lead on 10 minutes.

Will Hailston created space down the middle and his threaded pass found Matt Morris behind the Row defence.

The full back saw his first effort blocked by the outrushing Adam Desbois but Morris followed up to force the ball into the net.

Two minutes later, the visitors created another chance and Kriss Scott’s effort found Desbois well positioned to save.

Hartley came into the game and on 18 minutes Ciardini created space for a shot on the edge of the penalty box and was unlucky to see his effort blocked. Frome continued to pose threats mainly through the promptings of Will Hailston who continually found space.

The Row came into the game and on the stroke of half time had a strong penalty claim for hand ball turned down.

Hartley improved after the break and on 48 minutes a Ty Smith shot was charged down after good work by Claudio Herbert.

The Row pressure continued and a long shot on 52 minutes from Josh Webb found Darren Bechet well positioned to save.

Frome had a chance on 59 minutes when Matt Morris set up Kriss Scott who fired over from the edge of the box.

Soon after Frome goalie Bechet was injured and left the field.

The Row piled on the pressure and a corner on 68 minutes from Herbert almost found the head of Liam Eagle.

A minute later a series of substitutions by Hartley saw the pressure intensify.

On 84 minutes a Jack French through ball found Nic Ciardini on the run and the Row striker fired past the outrushing substitute goalie Dan Geaves from 20 yards for the equaliser.

From the kick-off Ollie Knowles tried an audacious effort from some 60 yards and Desbois did well to catch the ball under the crossbar.

Hartley resumed the attacking and on 88 minutes they were awarded a penalty when Mike Campbell was pushed over in the box following a cross from Nic Hutchings.

Nic Ciardini took the spot kick but Greaves guessed right and saved comfortably.

Seven minutes were added and in the 95th minute the Row finally got the breakthrough by scoring the winner.

A Herbert corner on the left saw a Liam Eagle header blocked and it was man of the match Nathan Smart who re-acted quickest to fire home from close range.

There was still time for Ciardini to send a long pass to Campbell down the middle and the striker was off target with his shot.

After the game joint manager Antony Millerick said: “I thought Frome defended well. It is the first time we have come across a team who sets up so narrow and it caused us problems.

“We had to adapt to the still dry pitch and chasing the game. I am delighted we managed to get the win which I felt we deserved with our second half performance.

He added: “The substitutions made a difference coming on when they did. Nathan Smart did well and fully deserved the Man of the Match votes.

“We are so delighted with the start we have made and proud of the team.”

Hartley take a break from league action next weekend, when they travel to Baffins Milton Rovers in the FA Cup preliminary round.