ANDOVER Town faltered in their battle on Saturday against, firstly a Hythe and Dibden team who demonstrated why they are in a promotion position, and secondly the wild March weather in north Hampshire.

Even though there was no lack of effort from the home side, especially from the midfielder Matt Devereux, the visitors had a much better handle on the blustery conditions and did not appear to suffer from a lack of precession on the passes which mattered. running out 4-0 winners.

Hythe were quickly into their stride and even before their first goal Josh Bertie had already cleared off the line.

The first goal came from a a midfield battle against the gusting wind which ended with a pass looking like it was going out, but Sam Woodward brought it back and Kane Prentice scored.

The first half saw Andover fighting the wind to get the ball across the halfway line as even the most forceful of kick towards Ellis Grant’s goal hovered above the ground and seemed to back track and land nicely for a Hythe attack.

Ben Emans had Andover's the first chance but Grant took the ball confidently at his feet.

Devereux’s work rate has to be applauded as he was the frequent recipient of a pass meant for further up the field.

Both Shaquille Gwengwe and Bertie were sent chasing on a number of occasions for a ball which barely reached the back of defence.

As the end of the first half Hythe put together an exquisite move by Julian Stahler and Woodward which highlighted their co-ordination and special awareness, fortunately it also drew out an equally remarkable save from Dave Tasker.

Hythe made it 2-0 before the break as a wind assisted shot gave them their second from Woodward.

The second half promised to be better for Andover as they would be running with the wind.

However it was the away side who seemed to adapt much better to the change of end and it was not long before they had scored again.

This time a first attempt was well saved by Tasker but no-one manage to clear and Prentice finished the manoeuvre with his second.

Andover had their chances but each time they lacked either the accuracy of a final pass or the precision of positional play.

Hythe’s fourth did not come from a break, but from a penalty area exchange of passes which ended with the ball just sneaking in between the goal post and Tasker, from Woodward for his second.

The last 15 minutes of the game were probably most frustrating for Woodward who could have scored on at least three more occasions. Each time his final shot was either wide, high or stopped by Tasker.

As the game entered added time Bertie was to have his final chance which hit a well placed defender and substitute William Green teamed up with Gwengwe for a a couple of last minute thrills.

Andover are at home again on Saturday when Ringwood are the visitors.