The first-ever meeting between these two sides produced an end-to-end feast of attacking football.
After a flowing one-touch move down the right, the visitors looked to have taken the lead on 10 minutes when Nic Ciardini’s deft header beat keeper Gerard Benfield but came back off the inside of the post. However, it was the home side who took the lead on the half-hour. Franklyn Clarke, coming in from the left, majestically curled the ball into the top corner from 25 yards.
Hartley were unable to turn their aerial dominance at set pieces into goals as Wimborne’s goal somehow remained in tact to half-time. But just six minutes into the second period that changed when the visitors went route one. Keeper Adam Desbois’ long clearance bounced once before Ross Cook volleyed past Benfield.
Both keepers made spectacular saves – Benfield from Nathan Smart, and Desbois from Luke Burbidge – before Wimborne regained the lead with a quarter of the game remaining. James Stokoe found the elusive Burbidge wide on the right, and his perfectly-flighted cross was headed home at the far post by Clarke.
There was little respite for the home defence as Hartley went all out for the equaliser. But with that defiant back-line determined not to be beaten again, Wimborne held out for a much-needed win which lifts them to 17th in the table.
Wimborne: Benfield, Penny, Hester, Arnold, Oldring, Kellaway, Syokoe, L.Holmes, Clarke, Burbidge, Young (Lee 75). Unused subs: Collins, McWilliams, Hall, Traynor.
Full match report, interviews, photos and matchday program to follow in ‘RECAP’