A POOR second quarter cost Andover dear as they crashed to a second consecutive defeat at Foxcotte Park last Saturday to visiting Trojans 26-10.

The visitors Trojans took full advantage of Andover's generosity to climb above them in the table and leave Andover again nervously looking over their shoulders.

Andover are still well clear of the relegation places, but they will need to improve quickly if they are not to be sucked back into the battle for the drop.

Andover began this game in determined mood, welcoming back James Smith in the back row, but without top try scorer Nic Reed up front.

Playing up the slope and against a light breeze Andover were immediately put under pressure by Trojans, but the visitors found the home defence in miserly mood at this point with Smith and Alex Arter both in fine form.

Indeed Andover's wide defence was sound all day with youngster CJ Feirn also having a fine game on the wing, but it was the normally tough centre of the Andover side that first creaked and then eventually cracked.

The scrum in particular was not at its best and after twenty minutes prop Carl Sievewright was forced off with an ankle injury.

The Andover lineout was a bright spot with Jake Dixon, Harry Batt and Smith enjoying the accurate throwing of Tom Waite, but too often Andover squandered the possession this created especially in defence with some poor options.

This led to continual pressure and after twenty minutes Andover suddenly cracked.

From a scrum penalty Trojans scored and instead of shutting up shop, Andover lost focus and the visitors struck again almost immediately.

Andover rallied, but a yellow card for Waite for a reckless tackle, left them short of a defensive lynch pin and Trojans scored again before the break to take in a healthy lead.

In the second half Andover introduced Jack Stott at Centre and did improve significantly .

Rich Retallick scored Andover's first points with a penalty and Andover looked set fair to start a comeback.

Out of the blue however a poor piece of defence handed Trojans a bonus point try and Andover had a mountain to climb.

Andover went at the task with vigour, but now it was the turn of the visitors to show some defensive resilience.

Andover began to mount serious pressure at last going through phases and on 17 minutes Andover won a penalty after a great carry from Toby Dixon.

Ioan Gwynne Davies went quickly, dived over, Retallick converted and Andover were back in the game.

Trojans did not panic as Andover had done earlier however and try as they might Andover could not force another breakthrough.

Time ran out and Andover had not even a bonus point to show from a frustrating game well refereed by Sean Flanagan.

After the game Director of rugby Andy Waite was not happy with his side.

'This was a very disappointing performance and it's hard to believe that these were mainly the same players that beat Winchester.' He Said

'Its as though some players think the job was done then and we could relax. We now know that is not the case and we have to get back to it quickly if we are to stay clear of trouble.'