HARTLEY Wintney were unable to stop Chesham United maintaining their challenge at the top end of the Southern League Premier South as they left Hampshire with a narrow 2-1 win, despite a rousing second half show from the home side.

After an even start the Generals took the lead with their first attack. A long throw on the right by Adam Martin was flicked on and Eoin Casey stole in at the back post to score easily.

Play was very even with most possession around the middle of the park. However Chesham looked as though they were the more incisive and increased their lead following another set piece. A corner on the right was headed back into the penalty area and Eoin Casey was hauled down as he was about to gain possession.

From the resulting penalty kick Adam Martin’s shot just crept in despite a great effort from Luke Williams in the Row goal.

Hartley had a good share of the game and their main threat came from set pieces which the Generals defence coped well with.

On 32 minutes some loose play in midfield by Harley resulted in Casey getting a run in towards the Hartley goal. Under pressure the Chesham striker shot wide.

Hartley pressed towards the break but were unable to test Jonathan North in the Generals goal.

Hartley started the second half brightly but it was the Generals who had the first scoring opportunity.

A harsh looking free-kick was award on 51 minutes for hand ball against Jack Ball on the edge of the penalty area.

Zak Joseph took the kick and his effort was just over the crossbar.

The remainder of the second half saw virtually non stop attacking from the Row.

On 53 minutes Steven Duff got free down the left and his cross was met at the back post by Sal Abubakar.

The winger returned the ball across the face of the goal but there were no takers of the chance.

The pressure mounted and Hartley reduced the arrears on 63 minutes. A free kick on the right from Ty Smith found the head of Adam Cornell, who saw his powerful header hit the crossbar. The ball rebounded out and hit goalkeeper North and finished up in the net.

A minute later the Row could have pulled level. Sal Abubakar did well to get in a cross from the right which fell for Mickel Platt who shot just over the crossbar from 18 yards.

Hartley remained firmly on top but despite the pressure were unable to test North in the Generals goal.

On 67 minutes the Row were awarded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area. Ty Smith took the kick but North was well positioned to save.

Towards the latter stages of the match Hartley spent most of the time in and around the Generals penalty area with a number of corners and other set pieces.

However, they lacked the guile to unlock the Chesham defence and the visitors held on to collect all three points.

An encouraging second half performance from the Row. However of concern is the low number of goals being scored.

Hartley will probably feel they were unlucky not to gain a point from this match on balance of play over the 90 minutes.

After the game Hartley manager Anthony Millerick said: "I felt despite the scoreline we put in a pretty decent first half. The two goals from set pieces were disappointing to concede.

"Our second half performance was good and we really had a go at Chesham. Our goalkeeper had little to do throughout the match and I felt we easily deserved a draw."

This Saturday, Hartley are on their travels to Poole Town in the FA Trophy and on Tuesday night if neither side are in an FA Trophy replay action, the Row will be at home to Hendon.