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Away day joy as Lions win at new boys Bush Hill
Bush Hill 1 Andover Lions 2.
Andover Lions had the best possible start to their season with an excellent away win against title favourites, and early pacesetters, Bush Hill in Southampton on Monday. Manager Ray Cozze was without a number of key players but the remainder turned in a disciplined and hard-working performance against a side which has won the Southampton Senior League for the last five seasons.
The Lions had the better of the opening passages with Brad Craney bringing a smart save from Deveraux.
Reynolds and Craney then created an opening for Lane who shot just wide but Bush Hill looked dangerous when they did get forward and in the last minute a fierce cross shot flew across Sam Baxter’s goal.
The second half saw Bush Hill come out in determined fashion and they forced The Lions onto the back foot with their robust style. Nick Craig was unlucky not to open the scoring for Bush Hill when his shot from the edge of the area came back off the bar with Baxter unsighted behind a crowd of players. Just before the hour Bush Hill did take the lead when Harding headed home a free-kick but the Lions continued to play good football and their hard work paided off on 76 minues when the impressive Helder Da Silva, Reynolds and Hind set up Lane to tuck home a deserved equaliser.
Rather than settle for a hard earned point, Lions pushed on and four minutes later they took the lead when Craney again won the ball in midfield, drove past the defenders and into the area before finishing calmly from 12 yards out.
Ray Cozze was understandably delighted after the game. “This was a real team performance today, everyone gave 100 per cent and did exactly what we talked about doing before the game. “We knew this was going to be a real tough place to come and win and credit to everyone involved that we did that. “The boys showed real character to come back from a goal behind and we finished the game strongly on a hot punishing afternoon.”
Tomorrow Lions travel to Durley and will be looking to build upon their fine start.