Andover Lions 1 Four Marks 2.
The Lions crashed to a surprise home defeat to Four Marks on Tuesday night as all of their good work of Saturday came undone in a crazy first half at Charlton.
It took just two minutes for Four Marks to take the lead after a catalogue of errors in the Lions’ back four gifted Tom Reffell with a tap in from three yards.
They regained their composure and on five minutes Robbie Owen equalised after a swift counter attack following a Four Marks corner.
Four Marks then regained the lead on 17 minutes when Danny Lewis brought down his opponent for a penalty that was comfortably despatched by Peters.
Worse was to follow as last season’s top scorer Dan Reynolds was dismissed for foul language and Lions found themselves with a mountain to climb in the second half.
To their credit they put their first half problems behind them and took the game to their opponents after the break spending most of the time on the attack with Casson Spencer, Owen and Tom Gilbert all going close.
Midway through the second half their’ problems increased as Owen was dismissed for a strong challenge, a decision that bemused crowd and player alike.
With nine men left there seemed no hope of an equaliser and with Andover throwing everything forward a third goal for the visitors seemed most likely.
Twice they went close, hitting a post and forcing a terrific save from George Baxter but Lions still had chances to get on level terms in a real end to end battle.
With five minutes left Guinness was dismissed for Four Marks before Dane Adams went close to an unlikely equaliser in the dying seconds after a Spencer cross had rolled across the goalmouth but the visitors held out to take the points.
Chris Paris was disappointed after the match. “If there ever was a game of two halves then that was it.
‘In the first half we were awful and our discipline a disgrace and we told them that at half-time in no uncertain terms.
‘The second half was a completely different scenario and a number of our players did not deserve to leave the pitch on the losing side. The match was played in a good spirit so I’m struggling to understand why there were eight yellow and three red cards shown. ‘Reynolds had to go but as for the other cards I really didn’t understand it.”