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New Street away win takes them off the bottom
Hayling United 1 Andover New Street 2.
New Street collected their first points of the season and moved off the bottom of the table with a last minute winner at Hayling on Saturday, a win that was based on a solid defensive performance throughout.
They welcomed back Dave Tasker in goal and Brad Stead in the back four and found themselves under early pressure but the defence, with Tasker outstanding, held firm and the visitors slowly found a foothold in the game.
Jack Hutchings was too high and a Ryan Hethershaw effort well saved by the home keeper before a dangerous Hayling break was halted by an offside flag before Street gained some reward for their pressure five minutes before the break.
Lewis Alderman fastened on to a through ball and beating the advancing goalkeeper to open the scoring. The keeper then denied Hethershaw, turning a low drive round the post, and Dave Cotter fired across the face of goal as the half ended with the visitors on top and deserving their one goal lead.
Street had the first chance on the re-start but Hutchings was too high with a free-kick but as in the first half Hayling were the stronger in the opening minutes. Tasker saved superbly with his feet when a goal looked certain but the home pressure finally told and the Islanders equalised with a free header from Aiden Smallbones midway through the half.
Nic Oliver was too high after a fine run before, with 15 minutes remaining, manager Matt Styles came off the bench to add his experience to the fray. Tasker produced the best of many fine saves, getting down to turn the ball away at the foot of his post, and both sides were unsure as to whether to look for the winner or settle for a point and a cagey ten minutes ensued until the start of stoppage time when Street snatched the all important goal.
Keiron Reeves beat two defenders before finding Styles who instantly laid the ball into Hutchings’ path and the forward stroked the ball home.
The three points will lift the morale of all at the club after the sadness of recent days.
Reaction and pictures here later and in Friday's Advertiser