JUST how important Andover Town’s 2-1 win over the visiting Bournemouth Poppies will be, will become more apparent towards the end of the season.

Andover were well below par and against a stronger side than Bournemouth could well have suffered their first defeat of the season.

Fortunately Bournemouth were not much better resulting in what was for long periods a turgid encounter, which only really came to life in the final 20 minutes.

However, the good news was that results elsewhere meant that Andover opened up a five point cushion at the top of the Wessex League Premier Division league table and still have a game in hand.

Alex Dockree, Joe Chamberlaine and George Hallahan were all unavailable, so Michael Hubbard and McAulie Stubbs came into the line-up, which also saw Ben Cook make his debut Town debut.

During the first half each side could only muster one shot of consequence on target.

For Andover Jason Silver’s effort was saved well by Nick Thomas, whilst for Bournemouth Eder Basista was the recipient of an even better save by Lloyd Thomas.

The second half started badly for Andover as with only three minutes gone Bournemouth opened their account.

A long ball came toward the Andover area, as Thomas and a couple of defenders sent each other mixed messages and Batista took advantage to score into an unguarded net.

This appeared to be the wake-up call that Town needed.

They looked more purposeful but struggled to find scoring opportunity.

A corner was cleared off the line, before a Reece Rusher cross was headed wide by Zach Glasspool who then missed a sitter following Mike Gosney’s cross.

To be fair the rest of Andover’s game was much improved and finally they were rewarded with the equaliser.

There was 20 minutes remaining, when a Andover free-kick was pitched into the crowed area and Luke Dempsey rose majestically to head home his fifth goal of the season.

With the minutes ticking away a draw was looking the most likely result until with eight minutes left, Glasspool redeemed himself for his earlier misses by scoring the second and vital goal.

Nick Thomas failed to gather a strong Liam Hibberd free kick and Glasspool was perfectly positioned to tap in the rebound and record his 20th goal of the season.

In doing so he became only the third Andover town player ever to reach this particular milestone.

Two minutes into added time Bournemouth almost did grab a share of the points, but the goal bound shot was well saved by Thomas.

Starting at Fareham on Tuesday Town’s next six league games are all away from home.