WESTON-super-Mare continued their recent good form with a win over Hartley Wintney and strengthened their challenge at the top end of the league.

The Row once again had to dip in to their playing back up resources with a number of regulars missing including three of their recognised central defenders.

Weston dominated much of the match and were unfortunate not to have won by a larger margin.

The first chance arrived on three minutes when a cross from the right by Jacob Cane found Scott Laird who saw his shot deflected wide.

Hartley had their first effort on 13 minutes when Ty Smith’s effort from a free-kick went wide.

The Seagulls responded and two minutes later a long kick from goalkeeper Luke Purnell saw Brad Ash get behind the Row defence.

Luke Williams came out and produced a good stop. Weston continued to dominate and on 19 minutes a cross from then left by Mike Symons found Scott Laird who saw his shot crash off the post straight to Williams. Two minutes later the Seagulls were again unlucky when Laird crossed from the left and found Symons who saw his shot also crash off the post.

With the home side dominating proceedings it came as no surprise when they took the lead on 35 minutes.

James Waite worked a short corner routine and the ball was played back to Lloyd Humphries who shot home from 20 yards.

Two minutes later a corner for the Row from Ty Smith was not fully cleared and Tom Bird saw his effort saved by the well positioned Purnell

Hartley’s first attack of the half came on 48 minutes and it brought the equaliser.

The ball was worked through midfield to Tom Bird on the left. The full back delivered the perfect cross and Adam Cornell was in the right place to score from close range.

Having got level the Row then gifted the Seagulls a goal four minutes later. Loose play on the edge of the Hartley penalty box saw the ball fed through to Ash and despite best efforts by Williams to cut out cross,Waite was on hand to score.

The Hartley goal led a charmed life. On 55 minutes a corner by Waite saw a header from Knowles crash off the crossbar. Two minutes later Waite got free on the right and his strong shot brought a good save from Williams.

The pressure continued and a free kick on the left just missed the far post on 69 minutes.

The Row edged into the game and a shot from distance by the impressive Joe Gater saw Seagulls keeper Purnell well positioned to save.

On 75 minutes a corner from Waite saw Knowles rise and head just wide at the back post. Into added time and Weston created a good chance down the right and 15’s parting shot brought out a good save from Williams.

There was still time for the Row to almost snatch a draw.

Sal Abubakar fed Mitch Parker who worked space for himself. His strong shot crashed off the outside of the post.

For Hartley the best performers were in an overworked defence. Weston looked a strong side and will probably put in a challenge at the top end of the league.

The Row management will be hoping for a more settled team and squad during the weeks ahead.