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Town limber up for important double next week
“The margin of the win showed what quality we have in our squad” said Andover Town boss Neil Benson after his side’s stunning 7-1 demolition of Ringwood Town at Long Lane on Saturday.
“It was good to play that well after last weekend’s game with Team Solent and in front of some Andover people as well, whose support was very welcome and I thank them for travelling.”
On a flat but bone hard and parched pitch Town took a while to get going but once they did they impressed everyone, including the Ringwood manager Pete Alvis, who suggested that they were possibly the best footballing side he had seen at Long Lane.
“Ringwood were gracious in defeat and were very complimentary and looked after us very well” added Benson.
“I asked my players for a reaction and I got one - we sorted a few things out in the dressing room and in the week.”
“We are a young side and the key is consistency and when we get that we will have set down a yardstick for everyone else in what is a competitive league.”
Benson and Town have an interesting week coming up as on Saturday they return to New Milton Town for a league game, having beaten them 2-1 in the Wessex League Cup on the opening day.
The Forest club have since gone to the top of Division One with three straight wins although they are conceding on average two a game which is an area Benson may well be targeting.
“I always knew that young Tom Riddell is a class finisher and he proved it on Saturday and not many will relish dealing with Michael Dixon coming off the bench or from the start.”
Following the trip to New Milton the Andover sporting public will have their first look at the fledgling club as they go to Foxcotte Park on Thursday September 12 to take on Andover New Street in the Hampshire Senior Cup.
Both clubs are hoping for a bumper crowd on what is a football free night everywhere else and Benson is hoping to select from a full squad which should include Cameron Hough, Leighton Speechley-Price and Ope Aromona.
He said: “It is up to the squad to prove their fitness levels and keep their shirts by giving me a performance.
‘We will give New Street the full respect they deserve and I hope the supporters are given a good game and come back for more.”
Another aspect of Saturday’s game which pleased Benson was that there were no bookings after the handful against Team Solent which cost the club financially.
Having collected none in any of the pre season games Benson was anxious for his side to prove that his side were not in that category and their play and behaviour was exemplary.