ANDOVER New Street suffered a 1-3 defeat against league leaders Shaftesbury Town in a dramatic clash at the DH Property Services Stadium that had fans on the edge of their seats – or rather, squinting through the thick fog that shrouded the pitch.

Despite the challenging weather conditions, both teams were eager to make their mark in this encounter.

After a mid-morning inspection cleared the pitch for play, New Street welcomed back key players Luke Dempsey and Shane Lock.

New signing Nathaniel Boakye made his debut in midfield, while Isaiah Blenkendahl, another recent acquisition, awaited his chance on the bench.

On the opposing side, Shaftesbury Town featured familiar faces for New Street followers, with Callum Sweeney and Claudio Herbert in their ranks.

From the outset, visibility was a significant challenge, but the visitors dominated possession early on.

New Street started to assert themselves, with Ethan Gee delivering a promising cross and Lewis Williams narrowly missing the far post with a powerful shot.

Jordan Barnett's crosses from the Shaftesbury left posed threats, and on the 26th minute, Callum Sweeney capitalised on a half-cleared ball, slotting it low into the bottom corner to give the visitors the lead.

Despite the fog, both teams continued to create chances, with James Mayo making crucial saves for New Street.

Aaron Randall, now a key figure in the midfield, showcased his importance to the team.

However, Shaftesbury finished the first half on a strong note, with two headers narrowly missing the target.

The second half brought even worse conditions, making viewing from the stand virtually impossible.

Shaftesbury extended their lead, sparking controversy over a goal that some claimed involved a foul on Mayo by Steve Morgan.

Despite the protests, the goal stood.

Lewis Williams, emerging from the murk, managed to pull one back for New Street, but within minutes, Shaftesbury restored their two-goal advantage, with Steve Devlin possibly capitalizing on a defensive error.

As the fog thickened, spectators struggled to follow the action, and no further goals were recorded.

Despite the challenging circumstances, New Street demonstrated resilience against the league leaders, and with a more settled side, they look set to make further progress in the Premier Division.

The referee, following guidelines, managed the game, though questions lingered about the visibility for assistant referees.

Ultimately, Shaftesbury secured three points, but the real losers were the 118 spectators who paid at the gate and never witnessed a clear game of football.

The match may have been played, but the foggy conditions left fans yearning for a clearer view of the action.