ANDOVER Town lost to a penalty in added on time to a Laverstock and Ford who had their goalkeeper sent off in the first half.

So, despite having the better of the game, their was no Christmas cheer for the loyal Town fans.

Andover nearly got off to a dream start as Shaquille Gwengwe went close after 15 seconds testing Rob Crossley.

The home side had another couple of chances from Ben Eames and then the visitors were reduced to 10 men.

This happened after Jordan Ragguette, who had caused numerous problems for the Laverstock defence, was brought down outside the box by Crossley.

The referee deemed he was the last man and received a straight red card and forward Archie Lovegrove took over in goal.

The remainder of the half continued with a constraint stream of Andover attacks on the replacement goalkeeper.

Gwengwe did not have to wait long after the restart to get his reward for play in the first half. Powell Uka passed the ball to the waiting centre forward in what looked like an impossible position due to the tightness of the angle.

However, his accuracy was incredible, and his shot sailed over the head of Lovegrove.

Laverstock were quick of the blocks immediate after the goal and a momentary lapse by the Andover defence saw the ball go into the back of their net.

Fortunately, it was off-side.

Andover went looking for a second goal and Gwengwe fired over and he also managed to send a ball across the face of goal, but no one was able to tap home.

Then, against the run of play, Laverstock created panic in the home defence as they failed to clear the ball and a foul saw the visitors awarded a penalty.

Laverstock Captain Adam Bourner placed the shot to McHardy’s left hand side sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.

The visitors seemed to be rejuvenated by the equaliser Then, with only added time left, all the points slipped away.

Another goal mouth scramble ended with Andover’s Nickoy Pinnock being red carded for hand ball, and another penalty was award.

Once again, Bourner made no mistake from the spot to score the winner.

On the day, Andover were by far the better side on the day and created more chances, defended more robustly and played exciting football. Let’s hope the new year brings the rewards the squad deserve.

May I take this opportunity to wish all the readers of these reports a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.