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Lions grind out crucial victory at boggy Michelmersh
2:00pm Wednesday 20th February 2013 in Football
Michelmersh and Timsbury 0 Andover Lions 2.
Andover Lions did their promotion hopes no harm on Saturday when two first half goals were enough to take the points at a boggy bottom of thew table Michelmersh and Timsbury.
It was their first game for six weeks and keeps them in second place in the league and it took just three minutes to open the scoring when Casson Spencer curled in a 25-yard free-kick after Dan Reynolds had been brought down. It was the ideal start but they failed to capitalise and several early chances went begging. Michelmersh and Timsbury had their first serious attack on 15 minutes and shortly after Reynolds had a fierce shot saved by the keeper. Two minutes later Josh Hind hit the post and then shot wide from a Pollard cross.
Ten minutes before the break Andover did extend their lead when the industrious Spencer crossed from the byeline and Pollard flicked in from close range. Just before the break Reynolds forced the ball home but the referee ruled that he had kicked the ball from the keeper’s hands.
Andover expected a difficult second half with the home team kicking down the slope and Andy Burt made an excellent save low down by his post from a header after a corner. Two minutes later Lee Cogan had a good chance blocked after Lance King had set him up then the Lions’ skipper shot over after being set up by a Spencer lay off. M & T continued to put pressure on but the Lions’ breakaways always seemed the more threatening with Spencer, Reynolds and Bowsher closing close. Spencer almost repeated his goal from a free-kick but Lions settled for a 2-0 victory from a match that they should have won far more handsomely.
Lions boss Paul George was relieved at the outcome after the home side staged a strong come back and he admitted that his side were hanging on at the end.
“We have only played one game all year and have had nothing for weeks so my message was ‘just get the three points. The only game we have played was a good performance against Durley and it was crucial we got some kind of performance.”
Lions have a line of big games coming up including cup ties at Crusaders and Whitchurch and three league games against the three teams who have beaten them this season.
“We were almost at full strength on Saturday and it was Casson Spencer’s last game before he signs dual registration forms and joins New Street. The pitch was boggy and horrible with a slope but we were 2-0 up at half-time and should have been out of sight with half a dozen.
‘To their credit Michelmersh battled and we were hanging on at the end.”
On Saturday Lions travel to Kings Worthy to take on Crusaders in the Trophyman Cup then next Tuesday night go up the road to Whitchurch for their Andover Open Cup tie.