When news happens, text AND and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Late Lions penalty defeats Premier League champions
9:00am Sunday 27th October 2013 in Sport
Locks Heath 1 Andover Lions 2.
Andover Lions produced one of their best ever performances since rising from the ashes of the Andover club of 2011 when beating Locks Heath in the second round of the PEHPL Senior Cup. Chris Paris took charge with Ray Cozze on holiday and took with him a team high on confidence after a fine start to the season. Locks Heath, who won the Hampshire Premier League last season and are currently among this season’s front runners were always going to be a tough test for the Lions and a marker for how far they have themselves come this season.
Andover though that they had a good claim for a penalty in the eighth minute when Ryan Steele appeared to be flattened but their appeals were turned down and within 30 seconds they fell behind when Jon Stevens latched onto a loose ball and lobbed Sam Baxter as the Lions continued to argue the earlier decision.
They responded positively and produced the best move of the match whenJamie Pollard, Tom Adams and Reece Rusher all combined with delightful one touch football culminating in an Adams effort coming back off the post. Ten minutes later they almost went behind after an almost calamitous mix up but Baxter saved well when one on one The Lions dominated the early possession in thesecond half and just before the hour grabbed a deserved equaliser. Brad Craney broke up a Locks Heath attack and set Casson Spencer free through the midde and when he was blocked out by a defender, the loose ball fell to Rusher who showed composure beyond his tender years for his second goal from two starts. It was no more than Andover deserved and they continued to pressure with a Spencer header and a Rusher free- kick missing everyone including an unmarked John Robb at the far post.
With time running out and extra- time looking likely Spencer was flattened by a clumsy challenge just inside the penalty area and Darren Paris calmly knocked in the penalty for what proved to be the winner.
Chris Paris was delighted after the match. “This was probably our best result, and one of our best performances from the last three seasons. The second half response was fantastic. I told the boys before kick-off that we have the ability and belief instilled in the team to come back from a deficit whereas last season we would not have done that. We haven’t won anything yet but we’re still in the cups and up there in the league. We’ve got a great team spirit and it’s going to be interesting to see how far we can go. We’re enjoying ourselves and feeling pretty pleased with what we did today”
Next week it’s cup action again as Lions travel to Bournemouth Sports in the Hampshire Intermediate Cup and then they take on Crusaders at Charlton on Tuesday November 5 in the Andover Open Cup.