ANDOVER Town’s tough start to the season continued as they went down 4-0 down to visiting Downton.

Hopes were high for the home side following their narrow 1-0 defeat on Monday evening at Whitchurch.

Downton had the first chances of the game from Declan McGregor and Louis Randell had which were set up by Charlie Copper who continued throughout the match to prove too fast for the home defence.

Andover’s first chance came in the sixth minute from newly signed Cole Oates.

The home side followed with a quick succession of free-kicks from Josh Bertie.

The second of which buffeted the top of the goal net, unfortunately from the wrong side.

Andover goalkeeper Kieran McHardy made a number of excellent saves. The pick of which came on 17 minutes, as he denied Shaun Prentice after he was through one-on-one with him.

The game became more even with Cooper causing problems for Andover at one end and Town having half chances with Nickoy Pinnock and Oates at the other.

Nearly half an hour into the game, Cooper finally gained some reward for all his efforts as another accurate cross saw Prentice make it 1-0 to Downton.

Then, in an almost identical scenario, Cooper set up Tyler Rutten, this time McHardy was able to stop the shot.

Only minutes later, Cooper found himself with his own chance to score, but McHardy came out to meet him and the shot was saved.

Downton continued to put pressure on the Andover defence to the point that when Daniel Telfer passed a ball across the front of goal it went in off an Andover player.

it was put it into his own net the back of the net by a home player in his attempt to clear

Just minutes later McHardy appeared to make a fantastic save.

However, a goal kick was awarded instead.

Shortly afterwards, Downton were awarded a corner from which Liam Dance made it 3-0 at the break.

In the second half Nathan Lunness was a solid figure in the Andover defence looking experienced well beyond the limited play with the club to date.

The first 15 minutes saw Andover play with a fire not seen before by this team at the Portway.

It looked like they believed they could turn the game around.Brendan Holmes had a shot which went wide and Jordan Ragguette ran relentlessly down the wing beating whichever defender was assigned to him.

McHardy carried on his great play from the first half as a one handed save from a shot by McGregor added to his repertoire.

Downton were not allowed the same freedom in the second half and Ragguette finally had his own shot on goal, but Lewis Gunstone-Gray was able to save.

As the game came to an end Lunness was involved in a clash of heads in the penalty area in one of his many clearances throughout the game.

Both he and the Downton player needed attention and whilst they were both getting back into play Prentice took a shot at goal which cleared the unprepared home-side defence.

Despite the score there are still clear signs of improvement from the Andover new side. Individuals are providing inspirational performances and it won’t be long before all the hard work pays off and the wins start to happen.

Next for Andover is a Hampshire Senior Cup tie away at Romsey on Tuesday night.