THE largest crowd of the season was at the Portway saw Andover Town beat Blackfield and Langley 5-3 in the Wessex League Premier Division top of the table clash.

This moved the home side level on points with the leaders, they are only second on goal difference, but have two games in hand on Blackfield.

Andover made two changes to the team that started in midweek. Aaron Nesbeth came in for Liam Hibberd who was recovering from a bout of food poisoning and Alex Dockree replaced the unavailable Michael Hubbard.

Blackfield set the early pace and scored the opening goal inside the opening three minutes as Connor Doe punished some hesitation in the Andover defence.

Against their highly rated opponents Andover really needed a strong response and Conner Cocklin provided it eight minutes later.

Joe Chamberlaine, wide on the left, spotted Cocklin free on the far side of the area and his header looped over Goalkeeper Brad Snelling.

Throughout the game the visitors were always willing to attack and Lloyd Thomas did well to stop ex Saint Jamie White’s on target effort that quickly followed the goal.

At the midway point of the first half Blackfield were marginally the better side but they failed to dominate an Andover back line well marshalled by Luke Dempsey.

The pace of the game moved up a notch during the final ten minutes of an absorbing first half during which three goals were scored in seven minutes.

The first came as Mike Gosney set up George Hallahan who fired in low past Snelling for Andover’s second.

Blackfield responded with a goal of their own and then two minutes later Andover were ahead again as Hallahan scored again, his fourth in three games.

This goal Andover’s third owed much to the persistence of Zach Glasspool who eventually supplied the assist There was still time before the break for Andover to appeal for a penalty when Hallahan appeared to be fouled and at the other end Thomas must have been relieved when Doe’s effort struck the post.

The early minutes of the second half were mostly played in Andover’s half.

White hit the bar from close range and a fine reaction save by Thomas Denied Liam Robinson.

As the hour mark approached Blackfield were reduced to 10 men.

Dockree got the better of a challenge by Joe Byrne who responded by hauling him down just outside the area.

Dockree was clear on goal and the referee had little option but to show Byrne a straight red.

The match was far from over but finally who Andover goals in two minutes sealed the points for the home side.

Reece Rusher’s delicate chip was enough to send Glasspool clear and he duly celebrated his fiftieth appearance firing in past the stranded Snelling.

Within a minute a long clearance found Jason Silver with time and space and he duly ran on to complete a memorable afternoon for the Andover supporters.

Four minutes into added time, former Town Player Rudy Plummer scrambled the ball into the net to add a degree of respectability to the final score line.

Town are without a fixture next weekend, but face an home encounter with another highly rated side Hamble Club the following Tuesday.

Tonight, they are in Russell Cotes Cup action at home to Fleetlands.