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Another win but single goal keeps Town off the top
11:34am Tuesday 1st October 2013 in Sport
Andover Town 2 US Portsmouth 1.
With the completion of the Portway Stadium upgrade nearing completion Andover Town returned to their temporary home at Winklebury and showed their nomadic lifestyle was not affecting their ability to entertain as they once more were victorious.
Frustratingly New Milton’s 10-2 demolition of Fleet Spurs at the same time kept Town off the top by just one goal but Saturday contained several eye catching performances, none more so player-coach Lewis Benson who ran the show from the middle of the park and found time to have a hand in both goals.
Up front Michael Dixon and Claudio Herbert gave the vistors an uncomfortable afternoon and at the back Loyd Foot was immaculate with Ryan Inskip not far behind.
Keeper Michael Weatherall’s confidence also continues to grow and his double save midway through the first half was out of the top draw.
Herbert had already gone close when Town took the lead on seven minutes as Benson collected a throw and worked his way along the goal line before picking out Dixon for a tap in from close range.
Minzah Uddin shot wide for the Services before Tyler Betteridge and Dixon went close at the other end.
US Portsmouth were denied by Weatherall’s double save which proved pivotal as a long clearance was nodded down by Dixon for Benson to half-volley home from 25 yards to make it 2-0.
Sturt had a further chance but shot wide while Herbert’s skill created space but he shot wide just on half-time.
Services’ keeper Pete Houkes tipped an Inskip lob over the bar from the restart and Town dominted with their superior passing game bringing near misses, the closest from substitute Tom Riddell from a Bettgeride pass just pat the hour.
Dixon made way for young Ed Chappe to make hius senior debut after impressing in the Under 18 side and he was soon in the action as his shot from Herbert’s pass clipped the bar.
Substitute Tom Riddell could have sewn the game up late on but was crowded out at the death before Pompey gave themselves a glimmer of hope when Sam Steel’s cross was volleyed home by Sturt deep into injury time, but it proved no more than a consolation.
With thanks to Patrick Barlow and Graham Cousins.
Reaction and more here later and in Friday's Advertiser