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Ten man New Street no match for New Milton
ANDOVER NEW STREET 0 NEW MILTON TOWN 3.
Player unavailability again cost New Street dear on Saturday when they entertained a New Milton side trying to regain contact with the league leaders after a bad run of results writes Jon Gorman. Manager Matt Styles, with the luxury of 19 players available on Friday evening, found himself with just the bare 11 come kick-off time with no substitutes and worse unfortunately was to follow.
On a damp day and sticky pitch the visitors started the stronger before after just three minutes the home side were reduced to ten players. Ryan Lake had bravely turned out with a cast on his arm under his shirt but when the referee was made aware of same he deemed it too dangerous and the defender’s game was over. Home keeper Dave Tasker made the first of many saves when denying Sam Groves before turning a 20 yard drive from Manny Ohameje round the post. New Street, understandably, could make little impression going forward and the New Milton pressure paid off after 18 minutes when Tasker blocked a shot from Kabba Jack only for Groves to turn the loose ball in from an acute angle.
Within minutes the lead was doubled after New Street were caught in possession and Jack broke clear to slide the ball past the advancing Tasker. Some stout defending, with Matt Davies and Gavin Burgess at the heart of things, ensured there was no further addition to the scoreline before the break though the home side’s occasional forays forward had not posed any real threat to the New Milton goal.
The second half became something of a slog for both sides with little constructive football but a lot of effort. The ten man Street had more of the game than in the opening 45 minutes though Tasker was still much the busier keeper. The final goal came midway through the half when Jack Hoey forced the ball over the line in a goalmouth scramble. Ryan Hethershaw was too high when New Street forced their way forward but play was largely in their own half with the visitors wasting a couple of chances and msn of the match Tasker, saving superbly from Jack before the referee’s whistle brought a somewhat miserable day all round for the home club to a close.
The ten men can be proud of their efforts but the day proved again that if Street could consistently field their strongest side they would make greater impact on the league table - but the vital word, as far as the club is concerned, is “if”.