Saturday’s visit to Hartley Wintney saw the points shared without a goal being scored as the ball seemed to spend more time in the air than on the floor although hardly surprising given the dry bumpy surface following the dry summer thus far.
Manager Paul Hughes made three changes from Tuesday’s side, Paul Hodges and Manny Adebiyi came in for Steve Ngunga and the suspended Amos Nasha while 18 year-old Florian Envoudou Ada lined up for his first start in place of Bruno Tavares.
A succession of United corners in the first ten minutes came to nothing, the first was played to the near post by Cole Brown, Paul Hodges seeing his shot blocked wide and then from the following corner a diving clearance for another saw United vehemently appealing for handball without any reaction from referee Mr Staynings and the final of the three was cleared by the home defence.
The hosts went close on 17 minutes when Zidan Akers ran onto a pass out to the right, he cleverly chipped the ball over Joe Wilson and moved into the box only to find the side netting with his angled shot.
Minutes later United charged forwards again when a long pass down the right flank was chased and kept in play by Florian Envoudou Ada who proceeded to cut the ball back from the bye-line to Moses Emmanuel, his initial effort was blocked and when the ball ran back to Envoudou Ada, his effort was also snuffed out by the Row defence.
With seven minutes remaining before the break another United attack saw Brown collect the ball on the right, his pull-back found Emmanuel who saw his shot deflected wide. The resultant corner by Brown was flicked away at the last minute by a home defender just as Cameron Black arrived looking to head home.
Just before the hour, a 20 yard free-kick from Hartley skipper Harry Cooksley was watched wide by a confident United stopper Jacob Adams and two minutes later United substitute Ayo Faniyan burst away from his marker in the centre circle and made it into the home area before an excellent Aaron Goode block saw the strikers’ shot fly wide.
The final twenty minutes probably threw up as much action as the previous seventy, firstly a long range effort from Cooksley went wide of the United goal and minutes later Faniyan collected the ball in the box and hit a shot on the turn that took a deflection and looped inches wide with Adam Desbois in the home goal looking a little panicked.
Dan Wishart slammed a free-kick into the wall with Sanmi Odelusi giving Desbois fielding practice (it’s still cricket season really) and a minute later Faniyan beat Desbois to a throughball and found Brown, he in turn fed Emmanuel but his drive drew the best save of the game as Desbois dived to his left to keep the effort out with a strong hand.
Additional time of five minutes brought a chance apiece but still no goals. For the hosts a left side corner dropped invitingly to Aaron McLeish-White who volleyed wide and then for United Manny Adebiyi and Joe Wilson combined with the latter’s cross being pushed over by Desbois as it looked to find the top corner. Paul Hodges corner was headed wide by Black and both teams had to settle for a point as the game was brought to a close by the referee.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Andy Corbett.
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