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New Street dent Brock title hopes with superb away win
Brockenhurst 0 Andover New Street 1.
Phil Andrews’ New Street side upset the form books and did their near neighbours Whitchurch United a favour when Craig Blakeman’s early strike brought victory for the first time since the middle of December and seriously dented the Badgers’ championship hopes. Adam Battison and Sam Pike set up Blakeman for what turned out to be the winner on five minutes.
Perhaps with tongue in cheek Andrews’ reaction was “I’m a little disappointed we didn’t win by more. Craig scored early then Adam Battison hit the bar.” Teenage striker Shane Lock fired just wide before at the other end Steve Caswell cleared off the line to protect his side’s lead. More good work on the right by Blakeman and Nic Oliver ended with Matt Styles fouled just outside the box and Battisson’s free-kick tipped over the crossbar.
Lock again was just wide and Mark Keogh matched Caswell by clearing off the line.
The home side were not in it until ten minutes from the end when Street were forced to hang on and nine minutes injury time did little for the nerves. Andrews added: “They played into our hands as at the back Stuart (Anderson) missed nothing. We deserved it as our work rate was back and we harassed them. Mark Keogh was exceptional and Matty Styles made a big difference in the midfield. "I believe we have underachieved by around 15 points but it was the comments today which pleased me the most as Brock were as good as gold after and said it was good that we beat them by playing football and not by kicking them off the park.”