CHERTSEY Town stay top of the league and remain favourites to claim the top league position with a win at Hartley Wintney. However the Curfews only confirmed victory courtesy of an astonishing goal in the final minute. For most of the second half they were outplayed by the young Row side who certainly came close to upsetting the form book.

A quiet opening to the match saw neither side able to gain the ascendancy. However on 14 minutes Harrison Bayley, the Hartley central defender, pulled up and was replaced by George Wallace. The Curfews started to get on top and on 20 minutes a corner on the right from Conor Lee found Reuben Collins who saw his header saved by Callum Coulter in the Hartley goal. A minute later a snap shot from the visitors Scott Rees from 20 yards went wide.

The Curfews remained on top and should have gone ahead on 23 minutes. A fast break by Olly McCoy saw the ball go across the Hartley goal line and somehow Conor Lee was unable to score. However the visitors went ahead with Lee making amends. Chertsey worked the ball to near the left corner flag and Lee sent in a cross come shot from a very narrow angle. The ball sailed over and completely deceived Coulter finishing up in the net (0-1).

With Hartley struggling to get a foothold in the match the Curfews came close to adding to the lead on 31 minutes. A right wing corner saw Coulter clear and Rees shot just over the bar. On the stroke of half time a fast break down the right by the visitors gave full back Mason Welch-Turner an opening but the parting shot went wide.

If the first half favoured Chertsey it was a completely different story in the second period. Hartley started well and applied pressure. However the Curfews with their first attack on 53 minutes doubled the lead. Gianluca Botti made good progress on the left and his cross found its way to Louis Degand whose shot from 18 yards found the net (0-2).

Hartley responded well and played some of the best football of their season to date. For the remainder of the match it was non-stop pressure on the Curfews goal. On 65 minutes the Row put together a good move involving Ik Hill and Issac Ebejer who set up Andry Demira who was unlucky to see his shot deflected wide.

The Row remained in the ascendancy and pulled a goal back on 69 minutes. Hill and Adam Payce combined well and when the latter burst into the visitors penalty area he was hauled down and a penalty kick awarded. Conor Lynch stepped up and converted the kick bringing his tally over the last three matches to six goals. (1-2).

Hartley playing some good quality football piled on the pressure and almost drew level on 82 minutes. A free kick some 25 yards out was awarded to Hartley. George Winser stepped up and his shot hit the underside of the crossbar, bounced down and somehow spun out of the goal.

With the visitors defence tiring Marcio Neves created a chance for Lynch who saw his shot saved by Nick Jupp in the Curfews goal. Try as they might despite good build up the Row could not break through.

Chertsey sealed the points on 90 minutes with an astonishing goal. McCoy from within his own half hoofed the ball towards the Hartley goal. The Row keeper Coulter was some 30 yards off his line and watched as the ball travelled to the unguarded net dropping just under the crossbar (1-3).

For Hartley a game of two halves. Passive in the first period and excellent in second half.  Many good performances and in particular Demira and Winser running Row man of the match Reece Wylie close. 

Manager Danny Ackland said: "I felt today we started well but losing Harrison (Bayley) meant a fair bit of alterations to our plans. We definitely lost momentum for a while.

"Chertsey were better in the first half. However it was disappointing to lose such a soft goal due to a goalkeeping error.

"The second half was a different story. Having gone 2-0 down many sides may have folded. However the young team stepped up a number of gears and totally dominated the second period. All the more creditable that it was against the league leaders."