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Two out of three for New Street
10:40am Tuesday 15th October 2013 in Sport
Tadley Calleva 0 Andover New Street 1.
A goal from player-manager Matt Styles 20 minutes from time gave New Street a precious victory at Barlows Park on Saturday, lifting them to 14th in the table.
It was a surprising but welcome win as they travelled with a depleted squad, but those who did make the journey did the club proud with a resolute defensive display.
Street fielded U18 ‘keeper Tom Crozier in goal with Styles as a lone striker and found themselves under early pressure.
Brad Stead and Cole Hinchliffe were resolute at the heart of the defence and though Street could make little headway going forward they continually frustrated the home side with Crozier proving his worth especially with a reflex save from a free header.
The young keeper was at full length to turn a smartly struck free-kick round the post as the half wore on and it was a frustrated home side that eventually headed to the dressing rooms.
The second half started as the first, with ex-Lion Mario Nurse at the heart of things for the home side, and with the temperature of the game rising the visiting defence still refused to buckle with Crozier well protected by the back four but always up to the task when called upon.
Slowly Street began to make some progress and with twenty minutes remaining Styles rolled back the years with a cool finish after Lewis Alderman, who never stopped running for the entire 90 minutes, found him with a superbly weighted through ball.
Encouraged by this Ryan Hethershaw was inches wide and Alderman had a shot blocked with hopeful appeals for a penalty quickly turned down.
Tadley redoubled their efforts but the Street defence would not budge and the final whistle signified three more points with a home game with fellow strugglers Ringwood Town to follow this coming Saturday.
While all played their part the display was built round the non-stop effort of the whole side and the central pairing of Stead and Hinchcliffe – the latter prime candidate for man of the match – with Mark Keogh and Keiron Reeves flanking them and the experienced Matt Davies holding the midfield.
Behind them Crozier belied his youth with an outstanding performance and is certainly one for the future.