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Late winner takes Town's unbeaten start
Team Solent 3 Andover Town 2.
Andover Town suffered their first defeat of the season on Saturday at Team Solent in a game which will be remembered for nine yellow cards and a red despite it being played between two disciplined sides, both of which should be in the shake up next May.
Referee Shaun Jenkins; red card was shown to Town’s Tyler Betteridge, who paid the penalty with a deserved second yellow just past the half hour mark following a clumsy tackle after having hard done to be his first.
On an immaculate surface at Test Park Andover Town started strongly and within two minutes Michael Dixon put his side into the lead with a low shot past Tom Taylor and moments Later the same man was just denied by Taylor’s legs before another effort clipped the post before rolling along the goallline to safety. Team Solent slowly worked their was into the game and Brad Benson was shown the first yellow card which set the bench mark for the next 80 minutes.
Ollie Yates was given an early chance to replicate his superb goal from last week but his free-kick was well kept out by Taylor but once his side had picked up their first disputed caution they upped their game and looked the more dangerous going forward and it was no surprise when a long ball caught the visiting defence napping and Jesse Waller-Larrson did the rest three minutes before the break.
Town began the second half as they did the first and Taylor did well to keep out Lewis Benson’s 25 yard drive but Solent came back and on 55 minutes Town keeper Jake Wellesley-Davies collided with Dan Brunnen and Mike Wheeler knocked in the penalty to put his side 2-1 up. It was the start of a frantic period as within two minutes Betteridge was sent off for his foul but the ten men reacted well and after good work from player-coach Lewis Benson Dixon equalised for Town. He was denied his hat-trick when a foul brought another booking which set up the final 20 minutes which was end to end.
Both created chances but it wasn’t until two minutes from time that another long pass found Larrson and his firm drive gave Wellesley-Davies no chance and his side the points.
Andover Town will feel with some justification that they deserved at least a point but will go into Saturday’s game at Ringwood Town still in good shape.
Team: Wellesley-Davies, Josh Rees-Long, B Benson, O’Donnell, Foot, Inskip, Hough, L Benson, Dixon, Betteridge, Yates. Subs: Gunson, Speechley-Price, Pigford, Herbert.
More on the match plus reaction here later and in Friday's Advertiser