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One short of the dozen for Andover Town
Andover Town 11 East Cowes Vics 0.
There is an old adage that you can only play what is in front of you and on Saturday there was plenty of evidence that there is an element of truth in that.
It was rumoured before the game that half of East Cowes squad had walked out following their heavy defeat at Cowes Sports on the previous Monday and the line up showed just one player who was involved in the match between the sides earlier in the season.
With that in mind a heavy defeat was on the cards and that is exactly what transpired.
The main drama occurred after half-time when the weather forced the referee to take the players off as a storm hit the ground and when they returned Town upped the tempo and scored six times in ten minutes late on to eventually win 11-0.
Ironically the visitors set the early pace without troubling Town keeper Michael Weatherall while at the other end Michael Dixon headed just over following a superb four man move. Shortly after Dixon became the provider as he set up Lloyd Foot to score from the edge of the area.
Ike Robertson was unlucky following Oliver Yates’ pull back before Charlie Urry squandered what turned out to be East Cowes’ only chance. A second Town goal seemed inevitable and arrived ten minutes before the break as an unmarked Dixon duly obliged.
The wind increased during half-time and soon after an icy rain shower forced referee Paul White to take the players off and when it abated enough to continue seven minutes later Town went into overdrive. Two goals in as many minutes from Lewis Benson and Robertson and a Liam Newbold own goal made it 5-0 before a bizarre final 12 minutes when Town added six more.
The brave visitors were by then down to ten men through injury having only travelled with 12 and a Tom Riddell piledriver from the edge of the box got them to the half dozen. One of the club’s teenage protégés, substitute Charlie Gunson then netted after being set up by Foot then as East Cowes collapsed completely Riddell hit his second and Dixon completed his hat-trick with two in two minutes.
Just before the final whistle Foot topped and tailed an impressive performance with his 12th goal of the season. With Pewsey Vale and Petersfield to come they are looking increasingly like crucial matches and with the latter having put 14 past New Street on the same afternoon the season is beginning to take shape.
More from Andover Town here and in Friday's Advertiser