RECAP: Wimborne Town FC 2-1 Hartley Wintney

Interview with Shane

Matchday ProgramHartley Wintney 3 Nov 2018 v3 compact

For the third consecutive game Wimborne took a 2-1 lead. But this time a determined defence repelled everything the visitors could throw at them in front of another 300+ crowd.

With only twelve of his regular squad available, Manager Matty Holmes moved versatile Franklyn Clarke up front and was rewarded with a two-goal haul by his recent signing who has quickly established himself as a fans’ favourite. Louis Kellaway, another fans’ favourite, was made captain for the day on his last appearance for a while.

But this was a real team performance. On five minutes, Luke Burbidge, who gave his full-back a torrid afternoon, tricked his way to the by-line, only for the ball to be cleared off the line. The visitors responded with fluid pass-and-move football orchestrated through mid-field by Rowan Vine, and they thought they had taken the lead on 10 minutes. Nic Ciardini’s header from a right wing cross left Gerard Benfield stranded only for the ball to come back off the inside of the post. Six minutes later another slick move by The Row ended with the ball in the net, but was disallowed for off-side.

On 19 minutes Clarke sent an audacious volley from 25 yards inches over Adam Desbois’ crossbar. Shortly after Burbidge, who was a menace to the visitors’ defence all afternoon, fired the ball across the face of the goal, and then made space to try a shot from distance.

With play flowing from end to end, a goal seemed inevitable. And when it came, on the half-hour mark, it was a cracker. Clarke, on the left corner of the penalty box, stepped inside and fired a sparkler over Desbois into the top corner.

Despite Hartley Wintney’s dominance in the air from set pieces, they had no efforts on target during the first period. As the game continued at pace, referee Parsons had a difficult call to make right on half-time. Burbidge, working his way along the left by-line, went down under a defender’s challenge and was convinced he’d received a helping hand, but Parsons waved play on.

The Row equalised six minutes into the second period. Desbois’ long clearance bounced once before Ross Cook volleyed past Benfield. On 57 minutes we almost had what the majority of the crowd wanted, but Kellaway’s header from Stefan Penny’s cross went wide. Both keepers were called into action to make spectacular saves – Benfield from Nathan Smart and Desbois from Burbidge.

On the hour mark, Clarke instantly controlled Benfield’s clearance and from distance sent a lob over the bar. At the other end, Paddy Hester made a goal-saving clearance as the visitors launched an aerial bombardment.

With a quarter of the game remaining, Wimborne bagged the winner. James Stokoe sent a cross-field ball out to Burbidge on the wing. He teased his defenders before floating a cross to the far post. Although Desbois got a finger-tip on it, Clarke was in the right place to head home.

Pressure from the visitors intensified: Stokoe cleared off the line, Matt Oldring, relishing the challenge, threw himself in the way of a shot, Benfield made two crucial saves, while both Ciardini and Jack Ball headed over. But Wimborne were determined to secure a third successive home league win, and after three minutes of added-on time, referee Parsons brought a thrilling game to an end.

Wimborne: Benfield, Penny, Hester, Arnold, Oldring, Kellaway, Syokoe, L.Holmes, Clarke, Burbidge, Young (Lee 75). Unused subs: Collins, McWilliams, Hall, Traynor.

Att: 326

Graham Dunn reports.