Andover football welcomes back the Portway Stadium

Andover Advertiser: Stuart Barlow and Neil Benson get ready to welcome in a new era at the Portway Stadium Stuart Barlow and Neil Benson get ready to welcome in a new era at the Portway Stadium

After months of perfecting the pitch, refurbishing the clubhouse and sprucing the stand, the Portway Stadium is to host is very first game in almost three years.

In what is all set to be a pivotal game in the Wessex League Division 1, Andover Town play Petersfield Town in a top of the table clash on Saturday.

Town manager Neil Benson said: “It has been an exciting time on and off the pitch seeing our club grow and a massive effort by many has taken place to get us to the stage we are. ‘We currently sit top of a very competitive league (albeit with certain clubs having games in hand) at the midway point of the season. With 12 of our remaining 16 games to be played at home I would like to call on our magnificent fans to help us create a fortress at the Portway that will assist in our quest to finish in the top spots in the league.”

Neil goes on to set the scene for this key match: “The last week has seen footballing highs and lows for both individuals and the team which has seen a win, a draw and a disappointing loss. However, the spirit remains excellent with a belief that on our day we can compete with anyone in the league. ‘This match will certainly be a real test as we entertain an excellent Petersfield Town side who arguably have been the most consistent performers in the league and have equally enjoyed success in the cups. With the two teams having scored 18 goals between them only last weekend I am sure today's supporters will see an exciting game."

It has long been councillor Ian Carr’s ambition to see the Portway Stadium brought back into use hosting an Andover town team. He said: “Test Valley Borough Council has contributed £200,000 towards the refurbishment of the stadium and it is hoped that this has helped deliver an asset the community can be proud of.

‘It is great that the project to rejuvenate the venue is almost complete, marking the start of a new era for Andover Town Football Club and the town’s residents.”

Kick-off is 3pm and gates open at 2pm.

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