HARTLEY Wintney moved to the top of the Southern League Premier South after an eight goal thriller at Staines.

The Row looked to be cruising to victory as they led 2-0 at half-time, but the Swans hit back to lead 3-2, before Hartley scored three more to win the game.

Hartley dominated the first half and should probably have been further ahead at the break than two clear goals.

On seven minutes an in swinging free kick by Josh Webb was narrowly missed by Steve Noakes at the back post.

Two minutes later, a long throw from Steve Noakes was partially cleared and Jacques Kpohmouh was unlucky to see his shot blocked. Claudio Herbert went on a good run after 14 minutes and created an opening for Mikey Campbell who shot wide.

Three minutes later the Swans posted their first effort. Andy Ali set free George Fry whose effort was wide from a bad angle.

Most of Staines creative play came from Harry Agombar albeit in rare attacking moves.

A series of Hartley corners failed to produce a result until the 27th minute. Then three corners found the head of Liam Eagle.

The first two saw the Swans clear.

However, from the third corner from Josh Webb on the right the Row centre back headed powerfully home. On 33 minutes a free-kick on the edge of the penalty box gave Hartley a good chance.

Nic Ciardini took the kick and blasted his shot into the net.

After 38 minutes, Louie Paget released Campbell down the middle.

The striker rounded Swans keeper Louis Dixon but his shot from a difficult angle was kept out by a back tracking defender.

The Row then had the ball in the net again on 40 minutes when Nic Ciardini converted a Louis Paget through ball, but his effort was ruled out through a marginal offside.

The Swans came out for the second half and looked like a completely different team.

The Row had a let off on 50 minutes when a good run by Thomas Gogo saw a cross and somehow George Pilbeam and Andre Odetola conspired to miss from almost on the goal line.

Almost immediately Agombar fired in a shot which hit the crossbar.

The pressure mounted and it was no surprise on 57 minutes when a corner from George Barker was headed home by Ryan Handellaard.

Hartley had a good chance on 58 minutes when Louis Paget released Mikey Campbell and the striker brought out a good stop from Dixon.

However, the Swans continued to glide smoothly into the attack and on 63 minutes they pulled level.

George Barker went on an individual run which took the Swan gracefully through the Row defence and shot past Adam Desbois in the Row goal for the equaliser. Things got even better for Staines five minutes later when Andy Ali cut in from the right and saw his shot partially saved by Desbois.

However Barker reacted quickest and forced the ball home from almost on the goal line.

Hartley responded and mounted a late recovery.

On 81 minutes a long throw on the right from Steve Noakes was not fully cleared and Josh Webb volleyed home from the edge of the box.

The Swans had a chance to take the lead on 83 minutes after a good run by Gogo.

The winger found Ali who shot narrowly past the post when well placed.

The Row pushed forward to try and secure maximum points and were rewarded on 84 minutes by taking the lead.

Ross Cook showed a quick burst of pace entering the penalty box before being upended by a Swans defender.

Smith took the resulting penalty kick and Hartley were in front 4-3.

There was still time for a fifth goal. Louie Paget smuggled the ball through to Cook who slipped when about to shoot.

However, in slipping Cook had wrong footed the marking defender and he got to his feet before firing home a shot from the edge of the box.

A remarkable match and one where the spectators got full value for money.

After the game, captain Nic Ciardini said: “We had good organisation in the first half and we felt that we should have been further ahead.

“The first Staines goal could have been prevented by better marking by me at the corner. This goal allowed the Swans to get their tails or feathers up.

“They had some clever players who got between our lines and caused problems.

“However, we showed great character in the final phase of the game and deserved the win. We took our chances well and Ty deserved man of the match.”

Next for Hartley is a home game against Merthyr on Saturday.