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Red card spells black day for Andover RFC
1:10pm Monday 11th March 2013 in Andover
Fordingbridge 71 Andover 3.
SATURDAY was one to forget for Oakwood sponsored Andover as an early red card decided this fixture almost before it had begun.
Prop Alex Hibdidge was on the end of a refereeing decision after just four minutes which ended it as a contest.
The young prop was yellow carded for a seemingly innocous offence and the referee then turned the card red for an alleged comment and that was that for Andover.
This was always going to be a tough task for the young All Blacks but a player down so early left them totally deflated and Fordingbridge clinically took full advantage.
They ran in 11 unanswered tries and although Andover had a couple of periods where they showed what a threat they can be at this level, the score reflected the dominance of the home side.
Coach Andy Waite said: “Rugby matches are often about momentum as well as ability and not only were we a player down due to the red card, but the whole team was visibly upset.
‘This gave Fordingbridge all the encouragement they needed and to be fair to them they exploited it well.
‘I feel this would have been a close encounter had the referee not taken this action and we would probably have looked at at least a bonus point, but in the end although a number of our players played with great spirit we could not really get ouselves off of the canvas.” Andover went into the game with high hopes after last week’s win and with what they thought was a competitive team.
In the end all Andover had to show was a first half penalty from Jack Stott who then went off injured to add to their woes.
Aaron Hatcher, Dawson, Tom Raper, Graham Campbell, Alex Kane, Nick Reed and Tom Waite all tried valiantly to stem the tide and showed great spirit, along with youngster Josh Gibbs who, pressed into emergency service at full back , may have found his niche.
Waite added: “I think what referees need to understand is that coaches, players and supporters invest a lot into their sport, often as their outlet after working long hours and looking after families etc.
To have all of that taken away in an incident like this shows a lack of empathy and no understanding of game management.
‘This was not an offence that required a red card, especially at this point of the game. ‘In a sense it probably ruined it for Fordingbridge too, as I'm sure they would have wanted to win on a level playing field.”
On Saturday Andover travel to Overton for the Hampshire Plate quarter-final, for a game they need to win to keep their competitive season alive.
More from Andover RFC in Friday's Advertiser