Staley at the double to secure the spoils against Bath


Hartpury senior football team overcame a tough Bath university squad 2-1 to continue their good run of form. Student Isy Nzelo writes.

The two teams had also met earlier on in the season in November, with Hartpury coming away with the spoils in a 3-0 away win.

Hartpury had a changed line-up, with usual central midfielders Matt Liddiard and Brad Hooper both filling in at centre half in the absence of Matt Williams and Jordy Nkunga.

The change meant that Hartpury were able to play out of the back and dictate the pace of the game early on, with Ed Williams, who was playing up front, having an early chance smothered by the keeper.

Hartpury's first clear cut chance fell to captain Matt Liddiard. Jamie Edge whipped in an inviting corner and the ball seemed to fall at Liddiard's feet. On the swivel, he shot instinctively but the Bath goalkeeper made a fantastic save.

Hartpury's second chance resulted in the breakthrough goal. A good passage of play from Ollie Knowles and George Miller saw them combine with Williams, whose shot was once again smartly saved by the Bath goalkeeper, but Ross Staley was on hand to convert the rebound.

Bath responded well, as a swift counter-attack down the left and a switch of play released their striker through on goal, who smartly finished with a clipped effort over the on-rushing goalkeeper.

Hartpury were lucky not to go into the break a goal down. Bath again broke down the left, delivered a cut back and cracked a shot on to the Hartpury crossbar.

Hartpury started the second half much as they started the first, with Mitch Botfield coming on in the centre of the park, helping to retain possession and keep things ticking over. Adam Mann also entered the fray and his turn of pace immediately caused the Bath defence some problems.

It was Williams and Mann who combined to set up the winning goal for Hartpury, Mann was released down the right, his pace enabling him to get in behind the defence and produce a cut back to Williams. Williams hit the shot first time and it was once again saved by the Bath goalkeeper but, once again, Staley was in the right place at the right time to finish with the outside of his boot and take a 2-1 lead.

Hartpury brought on Matt Williams to sure up things at the back in the closing stages and he was as dominant as ever in the air.

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