Match Report -

Match Report - , by Roger Allen

Andover Town v Andover New Street 27/11/18

Andover Town 0 Andover New Street 5

ANDOVER New Street moved confidently in to the last four of the North Hants Senior Cup with a comprehensive victory over their local rivals at the Portway, the game going ahead on an ideal playing surface after some rather unnecessary confusion in late afternoon regarding the game being postponed. Seemingly this did not affect the attendance very much, if at all, with close on one hundred and fifty present to see a game in which the score line was a fair outcome.

On a dry but misty evening the visitors made the better start with Shane Lock – a constant threat throughout on the left flank – having a header saved and a volley following a free kick rebounding off a defender – who knew little about it -for a corner. Both sides had attacks halted by the offside flag before the first goal came after just ten minutes. A clearance by goalkeeper George Baxter was deftly headed on by Callum Sweeney into Kylen LEWIS’s path and with the defence caught square the tall striker rounded Dave Tasker and slid the ball in to the empty net. A dangerous free kick from Andover’s Jordan Ragguette found no takers in the box and at the other end Tasker was forced to go down at Lewis’s feet after the defence had again been caught square.

The home side’s first chance came when Dean Smith broke down the left and a clever dummy by Nic Turpin left Shaquille Gwengwe with a shooting chance which Baxter saved at the expense of a corner. Tasker was again forced to leave his area, this time to deny Lock, and two efforts from Josh Bertie at the other end raised hope for the home side only for New Street to increase their lead fifteen minutes before the break. Zac Hine, who had earlier replaced Josh Wilson in an injury enforced substitution, slid the ball through the middle, the defence parted rather like the Red Sea and LOCK’s cool finish made it two nil. Town’s response was immediate with Smith and Bertie working their way down the left and Ragguette bundling the ball past Baxter from the cross but the yellow flag in the mist on the far side meant it all counted for nothing. Lewis was then caught offside at the other end when had he looked across the line he would have been clear, and the last action of the half saw a Lock shot deflected for a corner. HT 0-2

Already two goals to the good the game looked to be moving in the visitors favour and two more goals in the opening fifteen minutes of the second half simply confirmed same. Lock and Lewis contrived a chance for Sweeney but the midfielder rather scuffed his shot before something of a rarity with the third goal coming directly from a corner. The mist in the corner diagonally opposite the Clubhouse now had the consistency of fog and when Andover were awarded a corner on that side the ball came out of the fog, cleared everybody in the six yard box, and finished high inside the far post. Enquiries to the bench confirmed LOCK as the scorer.

Goal number four came when the referee allowed advantage after a challenge on Lewis, the striker continued and his low cross was turned in by HINE. Sweeney had a shot blocked but the midway point of the half saw goal number five. The fog had now reverted to light mist on the far side and a cross from that area, pulled back to the edge of the area, was met first time by Jamie POLLARD, the ball beating Tasker’s despairing dive and nestling in the corner of the net. As Andover at least sought a consolation a superb and powerful volley from Turpin from outside the area was beaten away by Baxter – the force of same knocked him over – and the keeper then made a double save from Brendon Holmes but it was too little too late and the game finished with a Lock header that was too high and a Sweeney effort saved by a combination of goalkeeper and defender. FT 0-5

Given that Andover New Street are in the Premier Division and Andover at the foot of Division One the outcome was perhaps as expected but Andover did not help themselves defensively on the night, their defence was too frequently caught square – though in fairness they received little protection from the midfield in front of them – and New Street were simply quicker in thought and deed. Back to the search for valuable League points for both sides on Saturday. (John Gorman)

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