HARTLEY Wintney returned from North London with a hard won point against an improving Hendon side.

The home side have been in good form recently after a change in team management and they got off to the perfect start.

In the first minute bustling centre forward Kingsley Eshun drove down the middle of the park before passing right to Liam Brooks. Brooks crossed and Eshun was in the right place to score from 10 yards.

The Row struggled in the early stages and from a corner by Shaun Lucien a towering header from Thomas Smith brought out as good save from Luke Williams in the Hartley goal. On 16 minutes a long ball found Eshun in the clear but his parting shot went wide.

Hartley came into the game and had their first effort on 17 minutes. Sal Abubakar made good progress down the left and his cross found Adam Cornell who fired over rom 18 yards.

A corner from Josh Webb found its way to Dean Rule at the back post The young striker saw his shot parried by Rihards Matervics in the Dons goal and the ball was scrambled clear.

Approaching half time Hendon put on the pressure. A corner from Lucien gave Smith a chance and his effort brought out a good save by Williams.

On the stroke of half time the Dons thought they had increased the lead. Another Lucien corner saw Smith loop a header over Williams and into the net. However the celebrations were cut short with a free kick to Hartley presumably for a push, which was a let off for the Row.

Jack Ball came on at half time for Hartley. The Row started on the front foot and despite some good build up play were unable to create a chance.

However, their persistence was rewarded on 64 minutes Reece Miller combined well down the left with Tom Bird. The latter sent in a cross cum shot which went over Matervics and into the far corner of the net.

Things got better for the Row two minutes later when they took the lead. A high header from Jack Ball was brought down by Webb who unleashed a shot from 30 yards. The ball found the corner of the net with Matervics possibly thinking it was going wide.

The Row controlled most of the game but were unable to create a worthwhile chance. The same applied to the Dons until the 86th minute. Androinicos Georgiou cut in from the right and his fierce shot was pushed over by Williams.

From the resultant corner the Dons pulled level. The left wing flag kick from Lucien saw the Row unable to clear their lines and Eddie Oswodi shot home from close range.

Both sides went for the win and it was the home side who came closest when a Georgiou shot was pushed over the bar by Williams.

At half time the Row would have been happy to get a point. At full time they probably feel disappointed they did not get all three. Over the 90 minutes a draw was the fairest result.

After the game Hartley manager Anthony Millerick said: “I thought it was a good recovery after our performance against Hayes and Yeading. After Hendon’s start with a goal I thought the game went into neutral in the first half.

He added: “At half time I encouraged the players to make it more of a battle and they improved enormously. They showed good character and this gives us something to build on. I was disappointing to lose the late goal of course but Hendon are an improving team and this is a decent point.”

Next for Hartley is home game against Farnborough On Boxing Day and then on New Year’s Day they are away at Gosport Borough.