ANDOVER Town were looking to improve their league position at the foot of the table as they entertained Alton Town at the Portway, writes CHRIS ROBINS.

Town made six changes from the side that lost to Ringwood previously and also included in the squad was new signing Nic Turpin making his return to the Portway.

Town started brightly with early pressure on the visitors goal, but the attacks never amounted to anything.

Then with just seven minutes on the clock, Andover found themselves in a familiar position, when a cross from Alton’s Taylor Watts, found the head of Matthew Bunyan, whose powerful header was initially saved by Kieran McHardy but he couldn’t hold it and the ball trickled over the goal line to put the visitors in the lead. Andover didn’t seem deterred and some good play found Nickoy Pinnock in space but his shot was wide when the home fans thought he might have scored.

Then once again Andover were on the back foot with just a quarter of an hour gone, a good solo run by Bunyan, who proved to be a handful for the home defence all afternoon, took the ball direct to the goal and his shot beat McHardy to give the visitors a two-goal cushion. A few minutes later a powerful shot by Andover’s Harvey Willis, looked goal bound but Lewis Broughton made a fine save. As the match reached the half hour mark Andover forced a couple of corners but couldn’t capitalise on them. The game continued to flow end to end. As the match was close to half time, Alton had a free kick that found the head of the Bunyan but he was just wide of the goal. The visitors had another free kick from the right and it found the danger man Bunyan again, but he was denied a hat trick by McHardy who made a superb save.

The second half started with Andover on the ascendency with the lively Pinnock having the first attempt on goal without luck. Alton then replied with Black going close. Again, Pinnock saw a shot well saved again by Broughton in the Alton goal.

With fifty minutes gone, the crowd appreciated the arrival of Nic Turpin from the substitutes bench.

Andover were giving a good account of themselves but poor finishing was letting them down.

As the half progressed, the game continued to flow back and forth but neither keeper called into much action.

With around a quarter of an hour left, McHardy was in action as he took the ball cleanly off Bunyan who was bearing down on goal. A good through ball to Brendan Holmes, saw the Andover captain take the ball towards goal but the finish was just wide of the target.

A defensive error by home defence nearly cost them another goal as Bunyan broke through but his finish was poor. Andover began to take control of the match looking for the elusive goal. This saw a shot from a corner cleared off the Alton goal line, then a strong shot from Holmes was well saved by Broughton.

The match ended with Alton taking the three points and Andover rueing the missed chances.

In Town’s rearranged fixture on Wednesday, title-chasing Hythe and Dibden inflicted.

A Sam Woodward brace and goals from George Pooley, Robbie Pittman and Filippos Terzidis saw the host score five without reply.

Town face Verwood Town on Saturday.