ANDOVER New Street registered a second consecutive 7-1 victory as they defeated Ash United, thanks to a hattrick from Joshua Jeffery and a brace from Reece Rusher.

New Street perhaps approached this fixture with a mixture of confidence and concern. Confidence following the seven goals scored at the weekend and some concern at the absence of their three central strikers – Ross Cook, Chris Flood and Luke Hooper – for reasons of suspension, injury and unavailability.

The solution was to follow the example of a successful team rather higher in the Pyramid and play without a recognised number nine, with Josh Jeffery coming in to the line-up and skipper for the evening Shane Lock in a more forward role.

It took just three minutes for signs that all could be well as a Lee Morris cross from the left was headed on by Lock and Reece Rusher continued where he left off on Saturday, slotting the ball home at the far post. (1-0)

Ash had an immediate chance to equalise as a cross from the right evaded the home defence only for Tom Bale to lift the ball high over the crossbar.

It was a chance and a miss. Rusher was bought down on the edge of the area with keeper Sam Heard saving his free kick at the second attempt before tipping a Lock effort over the bar.

Street’s pressure was rewarded on 18 minutes when Danny Field sent Rusher clear on the right, the cross was pulled back from the by line and Lock made it two from close range. (2-0)

The visitors came back into the game but rather wasted a free kick in a dangerous position before Jay Ochiltree saw a close-range header well saved by Jordi Wilson in the home goal.

Adam Pearson received a lecture from referee Mason for a challenge before Jefftey found the net at the other end only for the offside flag to take precedence. With the half drawing to a close the difference became three as a long diagonal ball found Rusher in space on the left and a difficult finish was made to look easy. (3-0)

Street then replaced Ashley James with Matt Scott and the half time whistle quickly followed.

Having scored after three minutes in the first half it took just sixty seconds longer after the break for the lead to be increased. A through ball found the defence all at sea and Jeffery had both the space and composure to make it four. (4-0)

Joe Wright made his first appearance, replacing Lee Morris, and the home side continued to dominate and added three more goals in the space of thirteen minutes in the middle of the half.

A neat pass by Lock left Jeffery free to cleverly lift the ball over the advancing goalkeeper (5-0), Adam Pearson made it six with a towering header from a Mikey Davis corner (6-0) and Jeffery completed his hat trick when a Wright free kick was turned in to his path by Lock (7-0).

Both Davis and Jeffery saw further efforts saved before in a scramble for a loose ball by the post a green shirt went down and a penalty awarded but it was not to be eight as Danny Field sent the spot kick the wrong side of the post.

This was in stoppage time and perhaps caused a lapse in concentration as Ash immediately broke down the right and substitute Sanjay Baniya slotted the ball past Wilson with what was literally the last kick of the game. (7-1)

A comfortable win for the home side, made better by Follands and Newport sharing the points at Hamble, and a considerable improvement in the goal difference over the two games. Now it is a trip to Petersfield on Saturday and some difficult selection choices given the talent now in the squad.