Dixon treble as Town hits eight by the sea

Basingstoke Gazette: Michael Dixon's hat-trick helped Andover Town to a big win on Saturday Michael Dixon's hat-trick helped Andover Town to a big win on Saturday

Hayling United 0 Andover Town 8.

WITH Andover Town and Petersfield Town racking up no fewer than 18 goals between them on yesterday, next Saturday’s fixture which pits the two at the reopened Portway Stadium could not have fallen better and the club is anticipating and hoping for a bumper crowd to welcome the club to their new home.

Neil Benson’s side took apart Hayling United who could only muster ten men at kick-off and were forced to play centre forward Lewis Edwards in goal for the first half, at the end of which they were 6-0 down. Benson rested Lloyd Foot, who was on four bookings, with the Petersfield game in mind and had new signing Lewis Alderman on the bench and they went for the hosts from the start and were 4-0 up inside 20 minutes. Using the strong wind Michael Dixon finished a long ball to put Town ahead in two minutes and four minutes later a poor clearance from Edwards fell to Lewis Benson who netted from 30 yards to make it 2-0. With the next attack Dixon’s fine play set up Ollie Yates for number three and when Alex Dockree hit the bar there were still only nine minutes showing on the clock. Michael Weatherall dealt comfortably with Hayling’s first attack on 20 minutes but seconds later it was 4-0 as Ryan Inskip’s free-kick found Ike Robertson who netted.

The healthy Andover support at that point were looking forward to double figures and they were half way there just before the half hour when Lewis Benson’s free-kick was saved by Edwards but from the corner, Yates’s kick sailed straight in. By then the home side were up to their full compliment but Town were going for blood and Benson moved into the corner of the penalty area before hitting a screamer to complete the half dozen. There was even time for Benson to all but claim a first half hat-trick when he hit the bar from close to the half way line.

At the restart the home side moved Edwards onto the field and replaced him with Sam Widger and with the wind in their faces the goal fest eased. Alderman came on for Dockree and Hayling tested Weatherall on the hour when Tom Bailey’s effort was saved but the home side’s tribulations had not finished as they lost Wayne Emery to injury and were again down to ten men for the last 15 minutes.

Town again took advantage and a minute later substitute Tom Riddell scored the goal of the day, finishing in style after a fine movement involving Benson and Yates before late on Alderman’s cross was put away by Dixon to complete his hat-trick and Town’s eight.

Benson was pleased with the commitment as well as the clean sheet following the six goals conceded in the previous two games saying: “We were aware of the goalkeeper situation and once Dixon had scored early we went at them. In the second half it took us 20 minutes to get to grips with the wind and to their credit they got bodies behind the ball.”

Looking to the Petersfield game Benson added: “We can only do what we have to do and take the games as they come. As I have said before this club was only formed in July and we have come a long was in a short time. Of course we were disappointed with the Tadley and Cowes games but the player’s response was excellent.”

Meanwhile Petersfield beat Ringwood 10-1 and they stay second, unbeaten two points behind Town but with three games in hand going into Tuesday’s game at US Portsmouth.

With thanks to Graham Cousins.

More from Andover Town with pictures and a preview of Saturday’s reopening of the Portway Stadium in Friday’s Advertiser.

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