Andover Town thrashed Ash United 7-1 at Portway last weekend after the game was shifted from Ash’s ground just 30 minutes before kick-off due to a floodlight problem.

The sudden changes in plans led to the match attendance reduced to fewer than three figures.

Town won a free kick wide on the right that, in true Premiership fashion, hit the first defender before the legs of goalkeeper Sam Bell twice stopped the home side taking an early lead.

First he blocked a Ben Emans effort from a narrow angle and then denied Ryan Griffiths after Brendan Holmes created the opening.

Ash were awarded a free kick for a totally unintentional handball - such things are now punishable – but Ruben Guerin’s header was too close to keeper Karl Steinborn Busse, but the play was very much largely in the visitors half.

A David Gerrard corner was headed off the line and there was at times some desperate defending with the ball more than once cleared over the bar. A break by Luke Cains won the visitors a corner that came to nothing and play returned to the other end with Bell failing to hold a cross but recovering well to block Emans at close range.

Griffiths was again denied by Bell’s legs with Holmes’s follow up striking Griffiths on the goal line before the breakthrough eventually came after 34 minutes when a fiercely driven low cross from Holmes was turned in to his own goal by a defender.

A long range effort by full back Connor Auns was not too far away but Town were not to be denied and the third corner in the space of 60 seconds was bundled over the line by Nathan Primus to double the lead.

There was still time for two more goals before the break as Bell failed to hold a Jerrard shot allowing Griffiths to slot home the loose ball before Ash reduced the deficit through a Cains penalty after the tall striker had been bought down in pursuit of a through ball.

Anything said in the visiting dressing room at half time as regards reducing the deficit went out of the window within a minute of the restart as a corner on the left was bundled over the line by Griffiths.

The best Ash move of the game ended with a George Hedley shot grazing the far post and after a mass of substitutions from both sides, Cains broke clear again but badly fluffed his shot only for his blushes to be spared by a very late offside flag.

That was a break in the almost one way traffic and Andover had innumerable corners, most of which caused panic in the six yard box but it was not until the last quarter of an hour that the pressure paid off with three more goals in the space of five minutes.

Holmes, who virtually played as a right winger in the second half, saw his overhit cross returned by Emans from the other flank for Griffiths to sweep the ball home to complete his hattrick, with the next two goals coming from substitute Josh Berti.

His clever reverse pass sent Emans clear on the left and the cross was clinically converted before he finished low into the corner after moving unchallenged into the penalty area.

The game then drifted to a finish, happily with very little stoppage time.

Credit to the very youthful Ash side for their nonstop effort and for playing the game throughout in the right spirit but defensively they simply were not good enough on the night. Better finishing by the home side could have made the scoreline even more embarrassing, but is a boost for Town as they look forward to the clash with New Street in a week’s time.