ANDOVER Town have not featured in the Salisbury Hospitals Cup since they won the Trophy at the end of their first competitive season.

A decent crowd of over 100 was present to witness their return to the competition as the club took the opportunity to give some of the clubs academy vital experience.

Four of the youngsters were therefore involved in this first round tie against Western League side Westbury.

In the early stages both Luke Dempsey and Ryan Penny went close but it was Craig Blakeman who gave Andover the lead in the 16th minute with a fine solo effort.

Half way through the first half Adam Mercer had the best chance for Westbury but was foiled by Kieran McHardy’s excellent interception.

Andover’s young goalkeeper did even better just before the break tipping a strong volley over the bar.

The first half had been keenly contested and this continued to be the case as the second half got underway.

However, Andover looked the most likely to score and so it proved just past the hour mark.

From just outside the D Michael Hubbard latched onto a loose ball and fired in a unstoppable strike to record his first goal for the club.

Westbury worked hard to get back into the game and reduce the deficit but it was Andover who looked the more positive.

Emmanuel Ali just failed to get on the end of a low cross and Penny was just wide following another good effort.

With 10 minutes left Ali netted from close range and send Andover into the next round when they will be away to Amesbury.

Andover are back in league action on Saturday, when they entertain AFC Portchester.