Andover Lions 1 Eastleigh Comrades 1.
Lions earned a second successive pre-season draw on a hot and humid Saturday morning against last season’s Southampton Senior Cup winners, Eastleigh Comrades.
It was no surprise when they took the lead in ten minutes when Robbie Owen opened his account with a fine header from a Darren Paris cross.
Five minutes later it was almost two when Owen again met a cross, this time from Aaron Jeffery, but his effort was blocked. More chances were to follow but Lions were wasteful in front of goal and coupled with some determined defensive works led by Daryl Horsfall the lead remained as just a single goal at half-time.
Boss Ray Cozze had a strong squad out and when they made their full quota of changes at half-time the expectation was that they would push home their advantage and go on to win the game.
However Comrades had different ideas and after Lions had lost some shape through their changes Comrades were having success on the counter attack and ten m,inutes from time after having a previous effort ruled out for offside Morse gained space inside the box and scored past 16-year old George Baxter who had a very promising debut.
The game ended in a draw which Comrades were happier with than Lions but Cozze was still reasonably happy with the way things went saying: “On another day we could have scored three or four before half-time but we are lacking that sharpness in front of goal that comes with playing matches and in that respect this game was useful for us.
‘I would be far more concerned if we weren’t creating anything but we did and if we carry on like that we will score goals.
‘I was pleased to see some of our new boys getting useful minutes in and in particular Robbie Owen who scored a really good goal and worked hard throughout and young George Baxter who came in and did exceptionally well for someone so young.”
Lions play Overton United at Berrydown, ko 2pm on Saturday,