HARTLEY Wintney bowed out of the League Cup after losing out by the odd goal in seven against Thatcham Town. Both teams served up a good match considering the weather conditions of driving rain and wind for some periods of play.

It was the visitors who started the better and their very quick forwards gave the Row problems. After a few near misses the Kingfishers took the lead on 13 minutes during a very heavy downpour. Adam Kelly did well to create space down the right and his cross was headed in at the back post by George Jeacock.

The Row responded well and created a number of chances following good build up play.

On 26 minutes Alex Albert got on the end of a right wing cross and headed against the post. Hartley continued the pressure and a drive towards goal by Ty Smith saw Dean Rule deflect the ball past Paul Strudley the popular former Row goalkeeper.

Hartley remained on top with Rule and winger Sal Abubakar causing Thatcham many problems. On 31 minutes after a number of near misses the Row went ahead. Steven Duff came inside from the left and fired in an unstoppable right foot shot from 20 yards.

Things looked promising for the Row but they were undone on 37 minutes when the visitors equalised. A long raking ball forward eluded the Hartley defence and left Felipe Barcelos with a clear run in on goal. The striker showed composure in rounding Luke Williams in the Row goal and slotting into the empty net.

Hartley dominated the initial period of the second half and came close to taking the lead on several occasions.

Eventually they got a breakthrough on 66 minutes. Abubakar jinxed past Thatcham defenders before being brought down in the penalty area. Ty Smith fired home from the penalty spot.

Having worked hard to get in front the Row were pegged back almost immediately with an identical goal to the Kingfisher's second counter.

A through ball seemed to find the Row defence part like the Seas of Galilea leaving Barcelos to again dribble around Williams and score into an empty net.

Both sides went after the winner and it was the Kingfishers on 78 minutes who claimed the win. A long, high right wing cross eluded Williams and substitute Fabio Pinto managed to force the ball home at the back post.

Thatcham went down to 10 men on 83 minutes when Jordan Williams picked up a second yellow card after kicking the ball away at a Row free kick. Row pressed towards the end but the visitors held on to move into the next round.

For Hartley they can take comfort in that they have at last scored again following three matches where they failed to find the back of the net. Best performers on the night were youngsters and man of the match Sal Abubakar and Dean Rule.

Hartley are next in action on October 8 away at Yate in the Southern League Premier South