Combined Counties Division One
Westfield went into Saturday’s eagerly anticipated game against Hartley Wintney welcoming back Danny Perks into central defence after a month’s absence.
The visitors who have enjoyed a fine start to the season and are still in the FA cup were looking to extend their unbeaten run in the league but it was Westfield who started the brighter with Shane Cheeseman volleying over in the second minute. Despite opening the game on top Hartley went closest 12 minutes in when their number 10 shit tamely at Brawley from 6 yards out. This mattered not however as moments later Hamilton turned and wriggled free from his marker to smash an unstoppable half volley into the top corner from 12 yards. Westfield rocked by this, were forced back as the visitors took control and half an hour in Dillon side footed home after a lovely passing move with Westfield’s defence static. With the away side in control they thought they had found a killer third min’s before the break but Lee Allum somehow cleared Hamilton’s header off the line. This proved to be crucial as moments later Patterson was adjudged to have handled in his area and Panter drilled home. Not it was Hartley’s turn to be on the back foot as Westfield pushed forward looking for a quick equaliser. It should have arrived on the stroke of half time as Panter’s right wing cross found Finegan 6 yards out but his tame header fell into Allen’s grateful arms when either side would have surely been in.
The second half began with Westfield looking to continue the momentum from the first. Chesseman and Panter both had efforts which tested the palms of Allen but just as it seemed Westfield would get back on level terms Hartley restored their two goal advantage when Dillon slid home after Newman had blocked Hamilton’s effort. Westfield poured forward but as with many other occasions this season were caught on the break when Stephens slotted home at the far post. A clearly shell shocked Westfield then proceeded from the kick off to concede again as Williams took advantage of a mix up between Brawley and Perks to lob home into the empty net. At 5-1 down Westfield looked to play when possible but Coventry once again exposed defensive frailties in injury time as we weaved through the back line to make it 6. The action wasn’t over however and after a nice passing move which saw Cheeseman upended by Patterson, Damian Panter dispatched his second spot kick of the afternoon. However the official ordered a retake as he hadn’t blown and his whistle and from the second effort Panter chipped against the bar before volleying home the rebound. The referee correctly blew for an indirect free kick and this pretty much summed up Westfield’s afternoon