IN A closely fought contest, Hythe and Dibden managed to secure a 1-0 victory over Andover New Street in the Russell Cotes Cup, writes John Gorman.

While this match didn't replicate the goal-fest from their previous encounter on Saturday, it showcased a tight battle between the two clubs.

Visitors' line-up showed only two changes from the weekend while Street made five changes to their eleven with the weekend’s League trip to US Portsmouth no doubt in mind.

There was a debut for Henry Anoma from the Under 18 squad and then a sixth change when Paddy O’Brien turned his ankle in the warm up and Ben Rodwell took the goalkeepers jersey.

Hythe made a confident start, kicking down the slope but as Street eased their way into the game, Anoma showed plenty of pace, skill and confidence and a Shane Lock run was stopped by weight of numbers.

Harry Lawton, who had a superb 90 minutes in the middle of the field, made ground on the left but there were no green shirts in the right place to meet the low cross.

Aaron Randall, looking comfortable on the right side of the defence against the experienced Jamie Beasley, made a saving challenge before Street were awarded a free kick, but only after a long discussion between Beasley, visiting skipper Steve Walker and the referee, with the kick eventually winning a corner that came to nothing.

There was no real excitement in either goalmouth but Anoma, whose pace can genuinely be described as “blistering”, and Lock were too high from the edge of the box before the half ended with the game scoreless.

 Lock was again too high on the restart and Randall collected a soft booking for kicking the ball away before the deadlock was broken after ten minutes with what seemed a strange goal.

The ball was either thrown or lobbed into the area – the view was restricted at that point – and Marcel Laptas almost gently nodded it home at the near post.

A Lock through ball was lifted high into touch by goalkeeper Taylor and after a spell of Hythe pressure Taylor kept out a Cameron Thatcher shot at the second attempt.

Beasley failed to make contact with an inviting cross at the other end and as the usual second half substitutions started Leyton Tulk and Malachi Dotse replaced Brad Walters and Anoma, and the latter can be happy with his first hour at senior level.

Lewis Wiliams and Dotse combined well on the left with the latter’s shot flying to safety off a defender before the latter was narrowly beaten by the keeper to a through ball.

Ross Cook joined the fray but with Hythe and Dibden happy to defend their lead Street could not find the breakthrough and the game, like the previous two between the Clubs this season, was decided by a one goal difference, this time in the visitors' favour.