Four goal salvo as Town go five points clear

Tom Riddell scored on Tuesday but finished up in hospital

Tom Riddell scored on Tuesday but finished up in hospital

First published in Football
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Andover Town 4 Amesbury Town 0.
Andover Town went five points clear at the top of Wessex Division One on Tuesday after a straightforward victory over Amesbury Town at the Portway.
Three first half goals and a fifth consecutive clean sheet were the positives on a night where hard graft had provided a remarkably good pitch on which Town took full advantage.
Manager Neil Benson had a full squad to juggle and once Lewis Benson had threaded an inch perfect ball through to Michael Dixon to lob Danny Harrison on five minutes the result was never in doubt.
Callum Coker glanced a header wide for Amesbury who were two down on 15 minutes as Benson found Dixon and his cross shot was tucked away by Oliver Yates.
Harrison saved from Benson and Dixon then Alex Dockree and Cole Hinchcliffe went close before Jordon O’Donnell put Tom Riddell in and the youngster calmly made it 3-0.
Lloyd Foot then hit the post and Benson’s rebound was somehow kept out as Town went for the jugular in a fine first half.
Amesbury replaced the injured Harrison with teenager Paddy Creese at half-time and they showed they were in no mood to roll over as Riddell was clattered on the restart and was carried off.
Claudio Herbert replaced him and he too came in for some stick as Amesbury had four men booked by referee Colin Hopkins, three in quick succession for crude fouls on Herbert.
Tom Western found room to bring a superb save out of Michael Weatherall before Town made it 4-0 with the best move of the match on the hour.
Benson fed Yates wide on the left and his cross was dummied for Dockree to crash home from 15 yards.
In truth the last hour, plus the ten minutes of injury time, were an anti climax but the job was done.
Benson accentuated the positives saying: “It was a local derby and was keenly fought which is what we expected but young Riddell ended in hospital and Claudio, Lewis and Dixon were all clattered.
‘We have scored 22 goals, kept four clean sheets and taken full points since moving to the Portway which is table topping stuff.”
‘The superb pitch was a testament to the expertise of Ian Lucas who looks after the pitches for Southampton at Marchwood and St Marys and without him we would be struggling to play any games.”
Tomorrow weather permitting New Street host the local derby in the league at Foxcotte Park then on Monday Ludgershall Sports are the visitors to the Portway in the rearranged Andover League Open Cup tie.

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