Villa fall to Hartley Wintney

Isthmian League – South Central Division

Tuesday 17th October 2023 – 7.45pm

Hanworth Villa 1

  • Sam Merson (89′ pen)

Hartley Wintney 3

  • Mason Obeng (11′)
  • Jayden Smith (69′)
  • Jayden Smith (90′)

Match report

Attendance 114

Hanworth went into the game against Hartley Wintney with a number of key players missing through injury, including ever-present George Wells, defensive partner Guy Ansah-Palmer and striker Kyen Nicholas. Wintney coming into the game with an impressive goal tally were always going to be a tough opponent, which turned out to be the story of the night.  

Sean Fraser came into the side to replace Wells in the centre of defence.

How we lined up

Starting eleven

  • 1 Gary Ross
  • 2 Ben Geraghty
  • 3 Louis Collins
  • 4 Bruno Robertson-Tingle
  • 5 Sean Fraser
  • 6 Matthew Gbio
  • 7 Theo Crawford
  • 8 Seanen McKillop
  • 9 Sam Mead
  • 10 Steven Gody
  • 11 Sam Merson


  • 12 Gagendeep Samra
  • 14 Ben Merson (replaced Gody, 62′)
  • 15 Kyron Richards (replaced Geraghty, 75′)
  • 16 Rayan Djouadj
  • 17 Aston Nunn (replaced Mead, 63′)

First half

The visitors were soon looking to take the initiative and in the second minute an early ball into the box from Reece Wylie was safely collected by Gary Ross.  

Hanworth also had a couple of early chances, and with four minutes on the clock Louis Collins picked up the ball in his own half, the ball through to Steve Gody was just too hard, and was collected by Callum Coulter. A minute later and this time it was Gody with the opportunity to play the ball through from midfield, Seanan McKillop just failing to latch on to the ball.  

A long throw from Sam Merson in the 7th minute found its way into the goalmouth, but Coulter was on hand to punch the ball to safety. Another Merson throw found a similar area, this time Coulter flapped at his attempt, but a red shirt was not on hand to capitalise and poke the ball home.  

Early goal conceded 0-1

After 11 minutes Wintney took the lead, a shot from Marcio Neves was parried out by Ross, Mason Obeng picked up a rebound on the edge of the area, and stroked the ball past the Villa stopper.  

Looking to get back into the game, another Hanworth throw into the box was flicked backwards by Matthew Gbio, but Coulter was once again on hand to take possession.  

Liam Gavin picked up a yellow card for the visitors after a shirt pull on Merson in the 23rd minute. From the resulting free kick, Bruno Robertson-Tingle shot high and wide after a pass from Gody.  

Jobson stretchered off for the visitors

Wintney were then forced into an early substitution, after Kanye Jobson went down with a serious looking injury, after a lengthy amount of treatment he was stretchered from the field being replaced by Mark Amaning.  

McKillop found himself with space just outside the penalty area, and a clever cut back saw Theo Crawford shoot, the ball though going high over the crossbar.  

Neves, who was looking dangerous on the left wing, crossed into the box where Wylie was just beaten to a header by Collins, who headed behind for a corner. The resulting kick was met by CJ Fearn, who headed narrowly wide of the right hand post.  

In the 44th minute Crawford played a diagonal ball across the field to Gody, who let rip with a dipping shot that fell just onto the roof of the net. And six minutes into added time in the first half, Hanworth had their best chance to equalise as Merson’s shot was parried out by Coulter, Gody running in saw his shot saved, and with that came the end of a pulsating first period of play.  

Half time 0-1

Early in the second half and Wintney’s Marcio Neves made a purposeful run down the right wing, cutting inside he managed to get a shot on target, which was held by Ross. Ben Geraghty found himself in the referee’s book after a foul on Smith.   

Gody, in the 52nd minute, made a break down the left and send in a cross into Sam Mead, his shot just shaving the wrong side of the upright.  

Hanworth were seeing plenty of chances, and a good interchange between Gody and Collins resulted in Collins’ cross being mishit by a defender out for a corner. The corner kick was cleared only partially by the Wintney defence, as Gody played a line ball to Merson, his cross into the box being headed narrowly wide by Mead.  

On the hour mark, Wintney’s Smith played a ball into Taylor Morgan, and after a tussle with Gbio, saw the Villa defender win out, forcing the ball out of play. 

Substitutions to try and change the tide

 A double substitution in the 63rd minute saw Mead and Gody replaced by Aston Nunn and Ben Merson.  

Villla go two down 0-2

After a decent amount of Hanworth pressure, and attempts at goal, it was the visitors that were to score a second after 69 minutes. Smith picking up a loose ball played a one-two with Morgan, Smith then powered his way into the Hanworth area, and rounded Ross to score.  

Penalty shout and a substitution

Hanworth had a shout for a penalty in the 74th minute, as a cross from Merson glanced a defender’s arm, but the referee waved away the calls. Geraghty, who was looking tired, was replaced by Kyron Richards.  

Sam Merson took a shot from some 20 yards out, but Coulter was on hand to grab the ball without looking too troubled.  

With 8 minutes left on the clock, Wintney broke forward as Neves found Smith, his first time shot being well saved by Ross. Gbio then received a yellow card for a foul on Neves, as he tried to force the ball out wide.  

Villa win a penalty and get a goal back 1-2

With 89 minutes gone, Ben Merson crossed into Sam Merson, his shot being palmed away by Coulter, Collins picked up the loose ball but in an attempt to run at goal found himself tripped. With the referee pointing to the spot, Sam Merson stepped up to shoot wide of the ‘keeper to give Hanworth a slim chance of getting something from the game.  

As the clock entered additional time the game turned into what can be only classed as a farce. Nunn found himself unceremoniously upended midway in the attacking half, the ensuing free kick by McKillop found Crawford, his shot skimming off a defender for a corner. 

Killer blow as Wintney get a controversial third 1-3 

With nothing to lose, Ross headed up the field to add additional attacking power in the box. The corner was played in and having pin-balled around for what seemed like an eternity, was eventually cleared upfield to Smith, with only Fraser in front of the Wintney attacker. Smith went on to place the ball in the back of the unguarded net.  

Those in the know were waiting for the Assistant to raise his flag for offside, but nothing. With players and supporters shouting that the play was offside, all that appeared was a yellow card for Ross for dissent. The goal was wrongly awarded to give the visitors a two goal advantage.  

Full time 1-3

An unfortunate end to a highly entertaining game, would the phantom offside free kick enabled Hanworth to grab a last gasp equaliser, who knows? Some may feel robbed by the final seconds, but nothing could detract that Hartley were good value for their victory.