Andover Town 2 Horndean 1.

Manager Neil Benson made four changes from the side that started Saturday’s game as Horndean visited the Portway for a rain-soaked bank holiday fixture.

Town started brightly and from the first corner, Lewis Benson found Joe Woodward at the back post for his first Andover Town goal.

Celebrations were short-lived, however, as, from their next attack Horndean’s Nathan Kirby rifled a low short past Jake Wellesley-David to make in one-all after only four minutes.

The rain made for a fast-paced, end-to-end, game and after Craig Blakeman headed Benson’s free-kick just wide after 17 minutes, Horndean replied smartly by going close at the other end. Gradually Town settled down into their profitable passing style and began to create more chances. Benson and Herbert both went close before on the half hour a fine passing move covered the pitch from side-to-side eventually finding Ope Aromona in space.

His shot looked destined for the top corner before the Horndean keeper Beezley clawed it away and from the resulting corner Matt Scott and Danny Urry combined well to force another save from Beezley before, on 40 minutes, another Aromona cross found Ike Robertson unmarked in the six-yard box but he was unable to wrap his foot around it sufficiently and another chance went begging.

Horndean maintained the pressure and had a shot deflected wide before, on the stroke of half-time, more good build-up play saw Lewis Alderman’s excellent cross looked to be turned in by Robertson for a 2-1 lead at the break although the players seemed to go to Alderman for the celebrations.

Horndean went close on 54 minutes as only Jordan O’Donnell’s sliding challenge prevented the ball from nestling into the corner of the net. Nic Turpin, who replaced the tiring Herbert, was put through by Urry but his first-time volley just drifted wide only for Horndean, from their next attack, to see the ball cleared off the line and, despite their protestations, both referee and linesman refuse to award a goal.

Turpin’s persistence then fashioned a chance for Lewis Benson but the shot did not trouble the keeper and the game became more niggly, chances fewer and Horndean’s frustrations began to prompt yellow cards from the referee. Dixon and Hinchcliffe replaced Blakeman and Benson and Dixon almost made an immediate impact setting up Turpin whose shot was crowded out. Horndean had one last chance, forcing a good diving save from Wellesley-David, before the referee’s whistle brought the game to a conclusion lifting Town to tenth.

Wellesley-David, Alderman, Aromona, O’Donnell, Scott, Woodward, Herbert, L Benson, Robertson, Blakeman, Urry. Subs used: Dixon, Hinchcliffe, Turpin