ANDOVER Town extended their lead at the top of the Wessex League Premier Division with a 4-0 win over reigning champions Portland United.

For Town it was their first game in a fortnight, following what has seemed like a winter break, with recent matches being postponed due to inclement weather.

Andover’s most recent team additions, Adam Costello and Ryan Case, both had a good match with Costello being particularly impressive.

From the start Mike Gosney put his stamp on the game with a signature run and cross, the cross went wide, but it put serious pressure on the Portland defence within the first minute of play.

Then on the eighth minute they took the lead as Gosney played a fantastic ball across the pitch for Jason Silver to chase.

The Portland defence were unable to keep up with Silver’s pace which allowed him to make a pass to Glasspool where the centre forward’s intuitive sense of goal direction did not let him down and he opened the scoring.

Following the restart Portland had a couple of chances. Sanchez Baker put a shot wide and then Tom Bearwish seemed to replicate the chance with an equally ineffective shot.

Case was playing further forward than in his first game with Andover two weeks ago and this put him in a strong position on a number of occasions to threaten the Portland defence.

The first challenge on Kieran McHardy in the Andover goal came from Lee Sharpe 20 minutes into the first half when a good cross, which could have been described as an attempt, was punched clear by the home side keeper to safety.

Several minutes later, Andover were awarded a free-kick just outside the penalty area. The kick was taken by Gosney and landed with Costello for a chance on goal. The subsequent clearance by Portland resulted in them handling inside the penalty area.

Andover were awarded the penalty and Glasspool stood up to take. Although on target Glasspool did not get it past Sean Lillington in goal and the goalkeeper cleared the ball.

Andover continued to apply pressure and although they had the majority of play the closing minutes of the first half became increasingly more frustrating for the home crowd as a string of good attempts came to nothing.

Glasspool was involved in a handful of moves with both Michael Hubbard and Gosney which could have ended more successfully. Hubbard then had another couple of chances, one of which Lillington put the ball out for a corner and the other went just wide.

The second half saw a continuation of the home side applying pressure. Both Silver and Gosney caused the Portland defence difficulties with their speed and accuracy of crosses.

Shortly after the restart Gosney with a free-kick just outside the penalty area, beat the wall but not Lillington.

Andover made their first substitution of the game and brought on George Hallahan for Glasspool.

The home side doubled their advantage on 68 minutes as a long pass to Hallahan looked far too ambitious, but he chased and retrieved the ball near the corner flag to pass back for Gosney who slammed it into the back of the net.

Silver continued to set up chances as he was able to find space due to his pace down the wing. A clever flick back by Silver found Micky Hubbard in a scoring opportunity.

At first it looked like he had hesitated too long, but Hubbard's shot made it 3-0 after 76 minutes. This goal was well deserved as Hubbard had worked hard in midfield as part of the efficient containing play.

Two further Andover substitutions saw Alex Dockree brought on for Case and Reece Rusher replaced Silver.

Dockree nearly added to the score when his headed over from a corner kick.

In the final minutes of added on time Gosney scored once more with a shot that was deflected on its way into the goal.

The home side win was dominating and clinical. Although Portland put together a number of moves which were promising they were unable to execute them well and their chances were few and far between. Andover looked like league leaders and the score reflects the run of play on the day.

Andover Town are in action again on Tuesday night, when Lymington are the visitors.