HARTLEY Wintney lost their final game of 2018 at Gosport Borough, thanks to a goal a minute before half-time.

The first chance of the game fell to the home side on four minutes when a long clearance found Ryan Pennery in the clear and Row goalkeeper Adam Desbois a long way from his goal.

The Boro forward elected to shoot early but the ball went wide of the empty net.

A period of scrappy play followed until the 16th minute. Mickel Platt showed good skill coming in from the left and created a good chance for himself before he was hauled down well inside the penalty area.

The Row claims for a spot kick went unheeded by referee Lewis Sandoe.

Three minutes later George Barker for the ‘Boro cut in from the right and saw his parting shot well saved by well positioned Desbois.

On 22 minutes the Row had a good chance to take the lead when Romario Hart set Salhin Abubakar clear for a one on one with Gosport goalie Pat O’Flaherty.

The home custodian stood tall and saved well. Three minutes later a free kick from Josh Webb found Jack Ball who saw his shot from the edge of the box blocked.

Jack Ball made an unforced error on the half hour mark leaving Tony Lee with a clear run in on goal. Desbois came out and parried the shot with Nathan Smart completing the clearance from under the crossbar.

Gosport gained the upper hand in midfield for a spell and on 31 minutes Lee set up Sam Lanahan for a shot which brought out a good save from Desbois.

Hartley responded and Jack French set up Platt for an opportunity which saw the young striker fire wide. On 34 minutes George Barker had a good effort following a long free kick which brought out another save from Desbois.

The Row had a great chance to go ahead on 36 minutes. The best interplay in the entire match led to Jack French setting Romario Hart free through the middle.

The young striker rounded O’Flaherty but instead of shooting into the empty net decided to check back and the chance was lost.

Gosport finished the half strongly and on 41 minutes Lee set up Pennery whose strong shot was beaten out by Desbois.

Two minutes before the break the Boro went ahead after a period of intense pressure. Good play down the right resulted in a shot crashing of the crossbar.

The ball was partially cleared only for another shot from Boro crashing off the same spot on the crossbar.

The ball went out to left and a high looper into the penalty area saw the Boro forwards the most determined and George Barker shot home from close range.

It was the Row who had the first effort of the second half on 53 minutes when Hart tried his luck from 25 yards.

However, the shot lacked power and O’Flaherty saved. A minute later Platt set up Jack French who saw his effort deflected wide.

Two minutes later the Row defence were at sixes and sevens and were fortunate that Lee was unable to convert a presentable chance.

On 58 minutes Marley Ridge and Dan Stewart combined well down the left and the latter’s strong low shot brought out an excellent save from O’Flaherty.

Hartley were trying to play out from the back and were caught out on a number of occasions by losing possession in dangerous areas.

On 65 minutes Lee took advantage and was unlucky to see his effort go just wide. The Row gave another chance a minute later and Lee’s cross found substitute David Gerrard who brought out a good save from Desbois.

Yet another similar chance was provided on 67 minutes by Hartley and again Gerrard saw his effort saved by Desbois.

On 78 minutes loose play by the Row enabled Pennery to get in a cross which found the head of Gerrard. Again Desbois pulled off a smart save.

In the final ten minutes the Row finally started putting some decent moves together and should have equalised on 81 minutes.

A quick free kick from Webb released Platt into the penalty box. The young striker seemed to lose his composure and blazed badly wide when it looked easier to score.

Hartley pressed until the end and a Marley Ridge shot was deflected over following a fluent move.

The Boro held on for a win they just about deserved on balance of play. However the Row had gold plated chances to score several goals despite being some way short of their best form.

They will be looking to improve their finishing on New Year’s Day (3pm) with the visit of Swindon Supermarine to Green Lane.

After the game Hartley joint manager Anthony Millerick said: “I see this as a setback after our recent performances. We were not too despondent at half time feeling we would get chances and pull things around. We created a number of really good chances. Credit to Gosport who played to their strengths being very direct.”

On Boxing Day, Hartley drew 1-1 at Farnborough and took a large support to their near neighbours as this was easily the home side’s biggest home crowd of the season at 547.

The spectators were rewarded with a really good local derby. Farnborough took the lead on 20 minutes. A flag kick on the right by Kurtis Cumberbatch saw Perry Coles swivel and shoot home a good volleyed goal.

Coles was to play a prominent part in the match later on.

A defining moment of the game arrived on 54 minutes. A Boro corner on the right appeared to be over hit; eluded everyone; and appeared to go harmlessly for a goal kick.

However, referee Adrian Harris seen a touch somewhere and awarded another corner on the left much to the ire of the visitors.

The flag kick from Coles was partly cleared but the return ball into the penalty area found Cumberbatch with a good chance.

The midfielder was hauled down by Jack Ball and a penalty awarded.

Perry Coles stepped up but saw his well struck effort saved by Adam Desbois at full stretch.

Thing were to get worse for Coles on 66 minutes, when in an off the ball incident he punched Marley Ridge in the face.

This was spotted by referee Harris who issued a straight red card.

The remainder of the match saw Hartley camped around the Boro penalty area as they sought an equaliser.

The pressure on the Boro goal became more intense and the Row had a good chance to equalise on 79 minutes.

Nic Ciardini was pushed in the box, as he attempted to reach a long free kick from Tyron Smith.

Smith took the spot kick but shot wide.

Hartley were rewarded for their efforts with a deserved equaliser on 88 minutes.

A long cross from the left appeared to be over hit. Dan Stewart was not for giving it up and managed to keep the ball in play. He beat a defender and crossed for Jack Ball to head home from close range.