HONOURS were shared as Wessex League Premier Division leaders Andover Town drew at Hamble Club 2-2.

If the Andover faithful were expecting a repeat of the easy victory their team had back in October they were to be extremely disappointed.

Hamble led at half time and the away team had to dig deep to recover the situation with two late goals.

Within the first minute of the game both teams had taken their first shot at goal, neither challenged the goalkeepers, but it did set the scene for the game to come.

Andover started strong with an early free kick, taken by Mike Gosney, finding the head of Zach Glasspool who made good contact but put the ball just over.

From the stand it appeared to have gone in and the away crowd celebrated, prematurely.

Although Andover’s start of the match was defiantly stronger, Hamble’s Nick Watts made a couple of telling runs on the far side showing glimpses of what was waiting the away team later in the game.

In this period Andover made a number of good chances. Glasspool had another shot, this time with his foot, from a Gosney pass.

The next time it was Jason Silver’s opportunity to take advantage of a Gosney assist.

The Silver attempt was saved by the Hamble goalkeeper Sam Webb.

Before 20 minutes had passed, Connor Cocklin tried to get his head to a corner cross and ended up landing awkwardly just in front of goal. He was attended to and stayed on, but was substituted at half time.

Alex Dockree joined in the Andover run of chances with a glancing header from a Gosney free-kick only to put the ball straight into the hands of Webb.

Midway through the first half Hamble began to start causing Andover problems.

Then in the 31st minute, following a short spell of home team extreme pressure, Jack McCarthy scored a cracking goal from the edge of the penalty area beating Luke Cairney into the far corner.

As the half came close to the end of normal time the home team pressure continued with a corner leading to a claim for hand ball in the penalty area, not given, and two further good chances. Watts had one of these chances and Andover were beginning to look vulnerable.

Then in injury time McCarthy was on target again after a goal scramble led to him placing the ball in the same corner as his first goal.

In addition to replacing the injured Cocklin with McAulie Stubbs the other Andover substitution made to start the second half was to bring on new signing on loan from Slough Town Harrison Gilkes for Reece Rusher.

Andover had a good start to the second half with a Glasspool assist to a Gosney shot being put over by Webb for an early corner.

Gilkes had his first attempt when a well placed cross was heading his way only to be grabbed by Webb to deny him a shot.

Hamble continued to play strong football. Both their forwards McCarthy and Watts were dangerous in the Andover half.

As the light faded and the floodlights reached full power the Andover forwards started to put a greater proportion of their moves together and an away goal looked more likely.

Silver had a number of chances one ending up in Webb’s grasp and another in the side netting.

Hamble made changes, as at this time they probably thought a home win was on the cards.

However, a long cross by captain Liam Hibberd found Gosney who, following a quick one-two with Silver, made no mistake in finding the back of the net.

Andover were beginning to look like the league leaders and the crowd now believed there might be more goals to come.

Less than 10 minutes later, Silver made and scored a delightful goal which looked extremely impressive from the stand.

As full time approached Gilkes made a fantastic run only to come down in the penalty area, but no spot kick was awarded This was followed by another few attempts by the away team in their endeavour to take all three points.

The game ended in a draw, the newly promoted Hamble Club showing they are a side to be watched and Andover showed their fighting spirit.

Next up for Town is a Salisbury Hospital Cup tie at Amesbury on Tuesday night.