HARTLEY Wintney and Merthyr Town played out a score draw in a very scrappy match at the Memorial Ground in Hartley.

However, the South Wales side will feel that they should have gone home with maximum points having dominated for a huge portion of the match.

In a tepid first half the Martyrs had the bulk of the play and produced what little quality that was on show.

The visitors took the lead on 10 minutes when a free-kick on the left Kerry Morgan found its way through a few deflections to Tom Meechan who scored at the back post. The Martyrs continued with a distinct edge and on 19 minutes Kieran Lewis set up Ashley Evans whose parting shot found Hartley goalkeeper Adam Desbois well placed to save.

The Row’s first opportunity arrived on 21 minutes.

A free kick to the left of the area was driven by Tyron Smith and the effort went just past the post.

Merthyr continued to be on top and on 28 minutes a throw in from Connor Young was cleared to Kerry Morgan whose cross, saw Tom Meechan’s effort go narrowly past the post.

Hartley had the final effort in the first period when a rare mistake in the Merthyr defence allowed a chance to Josh Webb who fired over from the edge of the box.

On 47 minutes Lewis tried his luck from range and saw his effort go over. Six minutes later a corner from Morgan was not properly cleared by the Row defence. Evans saw his effort blocked before Lewis shot past the post. It continued to be one way traffic towards the Row goal and a cross from Kyle Patten saw Craig McDonnell’s header blocked and smuggled out by the Row defence on 55 minutes.

Soon after the Martyrs should have increased their lead when good play by Meechan gave Evans an open goal.

However, the visitor’s skipper shot over and empty net. On 60 minutes a mix-up by Desbois and Row defenders resulted in Meechan having a good chance. The striker’s effort was deflected wide by a last-ditch Row tackle from Smith.

Five minutes later a throw in from Adam Davies gave Lewis a chance but Desbois was well placed to save.

Sub Mikey Campbell for the Row created a chance for himself, but his parting shot went wide on 73 minutes.

Hartley edged back into the match and four minutes later a Webb corner saw Jacques Kpohomouh rise highest and was unlucky to see his effort go over.

A minute later the Martyrs should have increased the lead when a long kick from defence gave substitute Cory Jenkins a clear run in on goal. With Desbois well off his line Jenkins attempted lob was too low and Desbois saved.

On 90 minutes the Row equalised. A good flick from Mikey Campbell set Nic Ciardini free in the box before he was upended by a Martyrs defender.

Ty Smith kept his nerve and blasted the ball into the net for a wholly undeserved equaliser.

Joint manager Dan Turkington said: “I describe the match as terrible, terrible and terrible. We were terrible.

“We knew somehow we would get a chance at some stage and sure enough it came along.

Mikey Campbell and Nic Ciardini combined well for the penalty and Ty kept his nerve well.

He added: “We were pleased to retrieve the point from a poor performance. We were lack lustre and seemed intent on trying to beat ourselves.”

The draw saw Hartley slip from top spot to fourth and on Tuesday night they have a tricky away Hampshire Senior Cup tie at Winchester City.