Hartley Wintney were defeated 2-1 despite a late attempt to catch Harrow Borough away from home.

An extremely poor first-half saw little in the way of fluent play with defences very much on top. The first recorded effort of note did not arrive until 26 minutes when Michael Bryan for the Borough cut in from the left and his shot found Luke Williams in the Hartley goal well positioned to save.

Both sides played effective offside traps with Williams main contribution being to clear balls over the top ahead of Borough striker James Ewington.

Hartley had their first effort of note on 32 minutes when a corner from Jordan Edwards on the left was cleared only as far as Row’s Tom Leggett on the right . A measured cross found Matt Drage who headed wide.

Harrow Borough took the lead on 34 minutes. Some very poor ball control in midfield by Hartley led to a quick pass through the middle to James Ewington. The Borough striker’s shot was partially blocked by Williams but he was able to follow up and shoot home. (1-0)

The Row improved greatly after the half-time break and had the bulk of the play. Harry Cooksley and Tom Leggett combined well down the right and delivered a number of inviting crosses which came close to being converted.

On 54 minutes Hartley should have equalised. Mikey Campbell challenged the Borough keeper Joshua Strizovic in a race to a through ball. The ball fell kindly to Edwards who by passed the grounded keeper with a pass to Campbell who shot against the post.

Hartley got well on top but passed up a good number of promising situations. Against the run of play Harrow increased their lead on 72 minutes. George Moore received the ball on the right wing near the half way line. He was to run down the line without the Row getting in an effective challenge. At the goal line he cut in ran along the line with the ball before bringing the ball out to create a better angle for a shot from which he scored. (2-0)

A brilliant individual goal in one context but perhaps from a Row perspective ‘a bit too easy’. Two minutes later Hartley had a good chance to pull a goal back. Adam Allen and Edwards got behind the Harrow defence and had shots from close range that were bravely stopped by Strizovic before the ball was cleared.

The Row continued to press strongly and Campbell beat the offside trap for a one on one with Strizovic. The Row striker’s effort was well wide.

Continuous pressure finally brought reward on 80 minutes for Hartley. A corner on the left from Edwards was headed home unchallenged by Harry Taylor to reduce the arrears. (2-1)

The Row pressed strongly until the end but were unable to score the elusive equaliser.