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Town given shock by New Street comeback
Andover Town 3 Andover New Street 2.
Andover Town consolidated their four point lead at the top of the Wessex League Division One today but not before surviving a stirring second half comeback from Andover New Street, who at half-time were staring down the barrel of a serious hammering.
Three-nil down inside half an hour Matt Styles’s side took the game to Town and with the help of two identical own goals all but snatched a point which looked a million miles away an hour earlier.
“I’m not normally a shouter or a screamer in the changing room” said Styles after the game “but it got to me as all three goals came from mistakes and I didn’t want my team to ship seven or eight as we don’t deserve that.”
A number of Town’s games this season have seen them hit the net early and this was no different as after Cameron Hough and Ope Aromona had carved out chances, from the second Claudio Herbert corner on nine minutes Alex Dockree flicked it on and Lewis Benson arrived late to tuck it away from almost on the goalline.
With New Street still taking it in Herbert slung in another long cross and Ryan Inskip was there to make it 2-0. Lloyd Foot then brought a save out of Street keeper Dave Tasker before Town made it 3-0. Jordon O’Donnell found room to sling in a long cross over Tasker and Michael Dixon just needed it to hit him on the far post for his eighth of the season.
With Town going for the jugular Hough’s shot was deflected wide but Street showed that they were ready to fight as Lewis Alderman’s drive was saved by Jake Wellesley-David, Ryan Lake headed over and skipper Mark Keogh volleyed wide from Jack Hutchings’ cross just before the break.
Styles and assistant Matt Davies took off Tommy Gentleman and Ryan Hethershaw at half-time and pushed Dave Cotter further up and soon after sent on Prince Xamela and within minutes they had a toe hold on the game as Cotter’s cross shot deflected off Lloyd Foot and wrong footed Wellesley-David . Town had switched off and Davies then shot over after he was set up by Lewis Alderman before on 66 minutes it was 3-2. Bizarrely it was an identic al own goal as Cotter again shot across the goal and Foot deflected it in past Wellesley-David.
Town boss Neil Benson reacted by sending on Oli Yates and Tom Pigford but Street had the home defence at full stretch but despite Xamela and Cotter’s efforts it was Town who took the honours.
“Andover Town are a very good side and I am sure they will challenge at the end of the season” said Styles “but at times we matched them player for player and once we had belief in ourselves we played the best 45 minutes of our season.
“We are not getting the results we deserve but I couldn’t have asked for any more.”
Weather permitting Town are again at Winklebury on Tuesday for their League Cup tie with Premier Division Newport IOW while New Street go to Stockbridge on Wednesday in the North Hants Senior Cup.
Read Neil Benson’s reaction to the win here later and see the full round up with pictures in Friday’s Advertiser.