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Four goal defeat dents promotion hopes for Andover Lions
Lyndhurst 4 Andover Lions 0.
Andover Lions rounded off a disastrous week with a heavy defeat at Lyndhurst to virtually end their hopes of a top two finish.
It followed their exit from the Trophyman Cup at Crusaders, the Andover Open Cup at Whitchurch United and the loss of manager Paul George all within an eight day period. Caretaker manager Chris Paris was very disappointed with the manner of the defeat saying: “Some wanted it a lot more than others. Too many players’ work rate, attitude and discipline was poor and this was hugely disappointing after the great application shown against Whitchurch. ‘We knew chances would be few and far between and we failed to take any. We came away with nothing and that was exactly what we deserved.”
The opening 45 minutes were very cautious and clear cut openings few. Andy Burt, who was in fine form, saved the first real effort on 15 minutes when stopping a 25 yard effort. The Lions’ only managed two first half attempts with a Darren Paris shot blocked from a John Robb flick and Choppy Reynolds and Mark Bowsher combined to scramble a free-kick behind the far post. Burt made another excellent save in added time to send the Lions in all square and still very much in the match. Ten minutes after the break the Lions had a lucky escape when Curtis was caught in possession only for Lyndhurst to squander the chance and Andover responded quickly and Lee Cogan had their best opportunity with a header from a Reynolds cross. The miss proved crucial as three minutes later Lyndhurst scored despite Andover’s pleas for offside. Two minutes later it should have been worse as Alex Campbell conceded a penalty but yet again Burt came to his team mates’ rescue by pulling off an excellent save. With 15 minutes left Lyndhurst grabbed the all-important second goal but moments later Bowsher hit the bar with a towering header from a Paris corner then Tom Gilbert failed to connect properly when set up by Bowsher. Lyndhurst grabbed a third from close range on 85 minutes and a last minute fourth as a demoralised Andover capitulated in disappointing style.
They have no match this weekend and return to league action against table topping Forest Town on March 16 at Charlton Leisure Centre.