A POOR start cost Oakwood sponsored Andover RFC dear last weekend as they went down to a spirited Petersfield outfit fighting for their lives.

The home side are battling relegation and were always going to be dangerous opposition, but Andover did not heed the warnings to avoid complacency and paid a heavy price.

Andover were further hampered by the loss of prop Carl Sievewright in the warm up but Toby Dixon stepped in from the bench to prove a worthy replacement.

The game began well enough for Andover with some solid defence from Jack Cooper and Jake Dixon followed by good pressure.

Petersfield negotiated this well though and soon showed they had a lively set of backs putting Andover on the back foot.

Poor tackling led to two home tries followed by a penalty for offside and Andover were suddenly reeling.

The 'All Blacks' seemed lethargic and on the half hour Petersfield punished them further with another try from a catch and drive.

Suddenly it was though a switch had been thrown and Andover spluttered into life.

A strong series of attacks followed with Jack Stott and Charlie Waite making inroads but Andover then suffered a further blow when Waite suffered a shoulder injury that forced him off.

CJ Feirn replaced him for his second appearance and made an immediate impact. After a series of drives Andover won a penalty and the quick thinking Ioan Gwynne Davies fine pass found Feirn out wide. The young colt still had work to do but finished superbly for his first senior try well converted by Rich Rettalick.

Soon after Feirn was at it again. This time wonderfully found by Stott he outpaced the defence and looked certain to score before he was halted by a high tackle. Despite awarding the penalty, no yellow card or penalty try was forthcoming from the official and Andover went into half 19-7 adrift.

Andover stormed out in the second half and after some good work from Tom Waite and the returning Simon Preece Gwynne Davies again showed his vision with a neat finish from close range.

Petersfield knew they were now in a game but were handed back the advantage with a penalty.

Skipper Alex Hibdige and his forwards were getting increasingly dominant but all the hard work was undone when Nic Reed was wrongly penalised for a superb piece of ripping and the home side added another try.

Andover came back again with Tom Waite now on the rampage. His powerful dash for the line was held up a meter short but Reed was on hand to finish well and alleviate some of the injustice Andover felt.

Unfortunately soon after the injustice almost boiled over as with Petersfield again on the attack, Preece effected what looked like a perfect turnover to win Andover a penalty but the referee decided otherwise and the home team again went over.

With only a bonus point to play for Andover poured forwards and with the last play of the game Jack Cooper took a ball from a ruck a drove over powerfully for Andover's fourth try.

Afterwards Director of rugby was somewhat frustrated ' Despite it being in the holiday period we brought a fairly strong side today and should have done much better. We warned the players before the game that complacency was a real threat and so it proved.'

'We didn't get the rub of the green with a few decisions that ultimately cost us probably a second bonus point, but you can't blame a ref for anything when you play that badly yourselves for half an hour.'

'We need to train well this week and go again against Trojans at home next week.'