Match Report -

Match Report - , by Roger Allen

Hythe & Dibden v Andover Town 21/11/18

Hythe & Dibden 5 Andover Town 0

FREE scoring third in the Table at home, bottom of the table away – a cert home banker with goals would be most people’s views beforehand. In the event there were the goals and there was the home win but it was nowhere near as one sided as the score suggests with two goals coming in the last five minutes after Andover had largely matched their hosts in all aspects – apart from taking their chances.

Both sides started the game with attacking intent and continued in the same vein for the ninety minutes with Andover’s Jake Watson having a header saved and Nic Turpin too high after some defensive uncertainty gave him the chance. At the other end a Cain Prentice header was half stopped by goalkeeper Dave Tasker with his defence completing the clearance before the first real chance of the game. A low cross from the right found visiting striker Shaquille Gwengwe unmarked in the box but his control let him down and the defence quickly recovered. The home side were enjoying more of the play and after Prentice had been thwarted by Tasker and then put another effort in the side netting, they took the lead with twenty five minutes gone. There seemed little danger as a cross reached George POOLEY on the right of the area but there was hesitation between defender and goalkeeper and his shot slid just inside the post.

Hythe were forced in to a change when Matt Smith fell awkwardly, sustaining damage to arm or wrist, and Hythe attacks, as was the case throughout, too often foundered on the offside flag. Tasker saved at Liam Goulding’s feet before Andover skipper Brendan Holmes, a creative influence throughout, found Turpin on the right and the shot was only inches too high. Ellis Grant in the home goal was comfortable with the ball at his feet and possesses a powerful left foot but as with all keepers with that quality mistakes will occur. Such was the case some five minutes before the break when his intended pass to his full back went straight to Gwengwe but the forward slipped and the keeper recovered to block the shot – but it was a chance gone. The last action of the half saw Prentice, after his speed had taken him clear, denied by Tasker and the half ended with just one goal for a lot of effort by both sides. HT 1-0

The visitors started the second half the stronger with Holmes going close with two shots from distance and Grant making a point blank save during a goalmouth scramble. Hythe were still having problems with the offside flag – and that remark is in no way critical of the Assistant – and with play, like the first half, still end to end Prentice should have perhaps scored but shot straight at the goalkeeper.

It took just a minute for that to be forgotten as Hythe did double their lead as a diagonal cross from the right found Sam WOODWARD and the striker made a difficult finish look easy. Goulding saw a shot tipped over the bar but before the half reached its midway point Hythe added number three. Another cross from the right by Robbie Pitman and WOODWARD’s finish was first time and gave Tasker no chance. Both sides made the usual second half substitutions but the green shirted home side were now on top with Pittman too high and Woodward denied a hat trick by Tasker’s legs. The Andover substitutions had necessitated changes to the defensive line up and they conceded two more goals in the final five minutes. PITTMAN scored number four with a powerful header from a Jo Tessem cross and Filippos TERZIDIS wrapped matters up by rounding Tasker and rolling the ball in to the empty net.

A deserved win for the home side that took them in to second place in the table yet Andover played their part in an enjoyable game but missed chances were there undoing – goals win matches as the saying goes. The usual warm Hythe welcome and hospitality and the first de-frosting of the car this winter. No doubt it will not be the last. FT 5-0 (John Gorman)