ANDOVER Town moved 15 points clear at the top of the Wessex League Premier Division after Newport from the Isle of Wight had another fruitless trip to north Hampshire beaten 2-0.

The early part of the game looked like it was going to be an easy home win, but Newport fought tirelessly and the game ended 2-0 to Andover who gave a solid if not goal-rich performance.

Andover’s new signing Adam Costello made his debut for the home side at number five having signed from Blackfield and Langley.

Despite persistent rain, which had hardly stopped for nearly 24 hours, the pitch was fit for play and the game started well for Andover as after only a few minutes a Jason Silver pass made contact with Joe Wright in front of goal, but his attempt was efficiently stopped by Newport’s goalkeeper Gary Streeter.

Play quickly moved to the other end of the pitch, where a nifty run by Emerson Tattershall resulted in a poor finish.

However, Tattershall was to continue to perform these quick moves and proved to cause Andover problems midfield on a number of occasions.

Andover made a rapid counter attack and the ball was soon at the other end of the field where Alex Dockree was making a great run down the left hand side when he was brought down.

However, before hitting the ground he made an inspired pass to George Hallahan who thundered it home as Andover opened the scoring.

Shortly afterwards, Silver went down the far side and passed the ball across to Hallahan, the resulting Newport clearance attempt left them giving away a free-kick just outside the penalty area.

Gosney stood up to take and made scoring look easy. There was no challenge to his kick and Andover had their second goal in a game, that was looking like it could result in a very high score.

Over the next period of the match, Newport started to connect better. Tattershall continued to make testing runs and made chances for his team.

In one particular move he gave Aurcle Beya an opening with only Kieran McHardy to beat.

McHardy made no mistake with the save and gave a safe and secure performance throughout making some smart decisions when challenged.

Half an hour into the game Hallahan once again found himself in front of goal, but facing the wrong way, he was unable to execute a turn and shoot and his attempt went wide.

The remainder of the first half saw a number of home team attempts on goal with Ben Cook and Gosney nearly making it a third shortly before the break and a Hallahan volley skimming the cross bar.

Early in the second half a cross from Gosney found Hallahan in front of goal which he put wide, these type of attempts were coming thick and fast for the home team and it still looked like a large win margin was on the books.

Not long after the restart Hallahan was substituted by Reece Rusher and along with Silver they took up the centre forward positions with Rusher complimenting Gosney on the opposite wing.

Rusher played a good game using his speed and ball control to make a number of opportunities.

Newport continued to battle but their finishing just did not produce any results.

Charlie Urry found himself with one good opportunity only to find the flag had been raised for offside. The away team seemed to be getting increasingly frustrated. They had a strong midfield spell in the second half but still no return for their effort.

Costello nearly put his name on the goal sheet, when in the 66th minute a splendid cross from Rusher found the head of the new signing at the far corner.

Unfortunately, for Costello the attempt was put out for a corner kick.

Newport started to collect cautions which was a reflection on the frustration they continued to suffer from the lack of rewards for their efforts.

A foul on Silver gave Andover another free-kick just outside the penalty area.

Once again Gosney stepped up to take and the crowd almost held their breadth whilst he made his run up.

This time he was unable to place the ball with the same amount of accuracy, but the fans gasped as it went only just wide.

Andover made two more substitutions bringing on Aaron Nesbeth and McAulie Stubbs for Silver and Mike Hubbard.

As the game came to a close Gosney was to be presented with another free-kick opportunity.

This time it was too far out for a goal attempt, but the cross found Stubbs’ head, but it went wide for a goal kick.

A few minutes later, Rusher set up Gosney who uncharacteristically missed the target, trying to beat Streeter.

In the last minutes of injury time Urry nearly gave Newport a consolation goal.

It was a well structured manoeuvre which presented only McHardy to beat.

In true form McHardy made a terrific save however the flag had already been raised for offside.

The game ended with a home win from two goals scored early in the first half.

Newport showed spells of well structured play but were unable to finish any of their moves as Andover defended their lead effectively.

Andover’s next game is on Saturday away to promotion rivals AFC Portchester and then on Tuesday they entertain Fareham in the semi-final of the Russell Cotes Cup.