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Sparse crowd sees derby draw
11:51am Wednesday 6th February 2013 in Sport
Whitchurch Utd 1 Andover New Street 1.
A local derby that attracted a disappointingly small attendance ended all square after a game in which both sides lacked the finish to go with their effort and approach work. New Street will look on it as another point gained in their recent revival while Whitchurch will rue the dropping of two points at home as they continue to hover on the edge of the promotion race.
Paul Coventry was high in the first Whitchurch attack before Adam Battinson was inches wide at the other end after meeting a Craig Blakeman cross. Dave Tasker confidently claimed a cross in a crowded area before Coventry had a shot blocked and a Sam Argent run was halted by sheer weight of numbers in the visiting defence. Matt Everiss saw a shot fly past the angle of cross and bar before the home side broke the deadlock on 25 minutes. Coventry and Stuart Anderson chased a through ball, the forward went down under the challenge and Argent confidently converted the resulting penalty. Tasker had to leave his area to deny the same player before Shane Lock saw a shot charged down and another, taken on the turn, was only inched too high but it was the home side that were ahead at the break.
Home keeper Tom Hindmarsh had to back pedal rapidly to clutch a Steve Caswell cross under his crossbar before Argent was too high after making some space and then denied by Tasker as the visiting defence looked in vain for an offside flag.
A Lock effort was saved by Hindmarsh before Argent broke clear again only to slide the ball past Tasker and the outside of the post. New Street introduced Olly Yates and Nic Oliver and suddenly found an outlet on the left and a spell of pressure that brought them an equaliser with ten minutes left. A free-kick by the right corner flag was driven low into the six yard box and missed by defender and attacker alike until Lock gleefully tapped it home at the far post. A nervous final ten minutes, with both sides almost hanging on for their point, saw Louis Macey fire wide and Hindmarsh hold a Yates effort at the second attempt before the whistle probably brought relief as well as a point to both sides.