Lions' season tailing off after home defeat

Dean Smith in action for Andover Lions

Dean Smith in action for Andover Lions

First published in Sport

Andover Lions 1 Bush Hill 3.

Andover Lions failed to capitalise on their return to form from their previous week’s victory at Upham and slumped to a third consecutive home defeat against table toppers Bush Hill.

In what could have been predicted as a possible title decider at the turn of the year Lions’ Achilles heel of poor discipline returned to gift the title favourites a two goal lead in a first half.

Bush Hill started better and captain ames Lavender clipped the bar with a speculative effort from 45 yards that caught the wind and bounced over Sam Baxter and behind.

On 14 minutes they took the lead when Parker finished crisply from 18 yards with Lions left short on numbers at the back. Within a minute the lead was almost doubled but Baxter pulled off a fine double save. Ten minutes before the break Lions failed to deal with a free-kick and Nick Kesby rose to head home leaving them with a mountain to climb in the second half.

With the wind behind them Lions soon found themselves on the front foot and Casson Spencer was unlucky when lobbing over the bar from an Alex Campbell pass but within five minutes he had made amends by turning in neatly after a Darren Paris corner was played on by Danny Lewis. Baxter kept Lions in the hunt with a fine reflex save and Paris shot wide from outside of the area. Despite some concerted pressure Lions failed to capitalise and five minutes from the end Terry Parker curled in a free-kick and Bush Hill comfortably saw out the remaining minutes.

Chris Paris said: “We spoke at length about where we have been going wrong in recent matches but within minutes the same old problems had come back.

Discipline has been a major problem since December now and that coincides with when our run of form ended. That’s no coincidence.

The second half we gave them a good go and with one break we could have equalised but Bush Hill defended well and deserved more from the game than we did.”

On Saturday Lions are away to Hamble who are currently on the tails of Bush Hill in the race for the title, kick off is at 3pm.

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