DESPITE the miserable weather on Saturday, the Andover Town Community Day could not have a provided a more exciting match to showcase non-league football.

The game delivered lots of goals originating from a number of well rehearsed set plays, a mind blowing free kick, a penalty and some enthralling front of goal action.

Petersfield Town were striving to achieve their first points since last year and the home team were desperate to bounce back after their cup exit at the hands of Whitchurch United.

The game ended with a 5-3 win for Andover in front of a good crowd of over 200. However, the result does not tell the whole story.

The home side fielded a strong team, but were still missing the injured Connor Cocklin, but with a full compliment of forwards available.

Within the first two minutes the home team had already made a smattering of attempts and half attempts on goal.

However, the first attacking move by Petersfield Town led to McAulie Stubbs bringing down Billy Connor just outside the penalty area.

Luke Kendall took the free-kick which went round the wall and seemed to travel in slow motion to beat Luke Cairney.

The goal was against the run of play, but before the home supporters had resettled Petersfield were on the attack again.

A lightning like run down the far touch line by Kendall led to a Joe Wright tackle to prevent a second goal.

Unfortunately it was deemed inside the penalty area and a spot kick was awarded and Kendall dispatched the spot kick to make it 2-0.

It took Andover nearly another 10 minutes to make their mark on the score line.

Mike Hubbard took a free-kick not far from the corner post which found Luke Dempsey, who hammered home.

The next period of the game saw Andover making opportunities more akin to their usual play. Jason Silver had a terrific game making chances for George Hallahan playing in the role normally fulfilled by Zach Glasspool, who started on the bench.

It was not until a few minutes before half time did any of the opportunities come to fruition, when a Mike Gosney cross fed by a Wright pass found Hallahan in a traditional centre forward position and Andover levelled.

However, the home team celebration was cut short when Petersfield won a free-kick in the same location as their first goal was scored from. Kendall stepped up again and then, to the astonishment of the crowd, put the ball in exactly the same place. It was like a televised replay.

If Silver impressed with his crosses in the first half the second 45 minutes belonged to Andover’s Gosney.

Seconds after the whistle had blown to restart the game a well placed cross from Gosney found Hallahan once again on the penalty spot and Andover were level again.

Just minutes later, Hallahan had another chance which looked like it was in from the stand, but went just wide.

A third of the way through the second half Hallahan was replaced by Harrison Gilkes.

Gilkes had made his first appearance for Andover against Hamble Club a few weeks ago. After being on the pitch a matter of minutes, Gilkes had set up Ben Cook twice and Gosney once in front of goal.

Gilkes looked quick and focussed, and in fact nearly scored at the end of the game only to be denied by Luke Eaton in the Petersfield goal.

The away team continued to look dangerous on the break and Kendall was clearly not prepared to settle for a draw as he relentlessly chased chances.

Andover replaced Cook and brought on their top goal scorer Glasspool. Clearly the home team were not prepared to settle for a draw either.

Then in the 79th minute, the home side were awarded a free-kick from a long way outside the penalty area.

Gosney stepped up to take and the crowd hoped he would use the opportunity to pass in for a Glasspool classic. However, what actually happened was even more spectacular. Gosney launched the ball to avoid the wall and it found the top corner of the net for a stunning strike.

Not long afterwards, Glasspool scored one of his inevitable goals from an assist by Silver.

This combination have proved effective on previous occasions and in this game it was only a matter of time before it would happen again.

The game finished with a result that looked like it had been a comfortable win for the home team.

But it was hard fought and Petersfield battled to the end with spells of play in which they threatened to outscore the league leaders.

Andover have a chance to extend their lead at the top of the Wessex League Premier Division to 15 points, when they entertain eighth placed Horndean.