ANDOVER travelled to the Island for this second round Sydenhams Wessex League Cup tie against East Cowes Victoria with both sides knowing that the prize for the victors will be an away trip to Blackfield & Langley.

Despite the heavy rain in the 24 hours leading up to kick off, the pitch was given the go ahead by an inspection in the morning.

Andover were missing several key players - Adam Pattison, Wat Jones, Ben Dillon and Scott Walker - were all missing for varying reasons whilst Zac Hine remained suspended.

Liam Hammond returned to the squad alongside Denis Lepure whilst Michael Donovan recovered from a muscle injury to take up his place in the starting 11.

Both sides worked hard but lacked any real chances of note. Tom Pattison, hugely influential so far this season, departed the game early in the first half with an injury that may keep him out for several weeks. After the chaotic thriller that was the midweek local derby, Andover couldn’t open the game up despite some encouraging build up play.

Josh Bertie and Josh Hewson had half chances but nothing of note was opening up.

The second half saw George Baxter play his first 45 minutes of the season for Andover and he looked assured in goal as Dease Kerrison had in the first half.

Liam Hammond suffered a bad looking head injury which saw him taken to hospital but, thankfully, reports are that it’s not too serious.

The home side failed to make any chances throughout the game and as it looked to be heading towards a penalty shootout, Andover were awarded a penalty with 10 minutes left.

Ben Emans stepping up and coolly slotting it to the right of the outstretched hand of the East Cowes keeper.

And so it finished 1-0 to Andover. Ron Bertie will look back on this as job done. Travelling to the Isle of Wight with an under strength squad in poor conditions and with several players picking up injuries on the day, he will be delighted with the clean sheet and passage to the last 16.

Not one for the spectators but that was almost inevitable after the win over neighbours, New Street, during the week.