Town ease through in Andover Open Cup

Basingstoke Gazette: Cameron Hough made a welcome return to the squad on Monday Cameron Hough made a welcome return to the squad on Monday

Andover Town 4 Ludgershall Sports 1.

With all Saturday’s local Wessex, Hants and Wiltshire League games going west Andover Town took advantage of some more sterling groundwork at the Portway as they staged their Andover League Open Cup tie with Paul George’s Ludgershall Sports.

The 4-1 scoreline was about right as the Wiltshire Leaguers’ did not throw in the towel and deserved the generous luck which came their way as the college side hit the woodwork half a dozen times.

In fact with the last play of the match Chris Smith’s far post header made him the first opposition player to score at the Portway for nearly three years and took away Town’s unblemished home record, much to the annoyance of some of the defence which had gone to sleep with a couple of late injury stops and all looking at the referee for full time.

Manager Neil Benson went with a varied side with the London contingent, including top scorer Michael Dixon, not required and gave a start to midfielder Cameron Hough who has been off the scene for some time and who made a strong contribution.

Former New Street keeper Phil Antrobus pulled off a stunning early save to deny Ryan Inskip before Lewis Benson twice hit the post with fine drives. Murat Kurt then was wide at the other end then Gunner Yates hit the bar with a cross shot and Benson again hit the woodwork after some fine skill.

Just on the half hour Claudio Herbert was brought down just outside the area and the resulting outcome was never in doubt as Lloyd Foot’s free-kick curled in for the opener.

Four minutes later Benson made it two after winning a tackle and firing home after which Town relaxed.

After the break George rattled the bar with a header as Sports threatened briefly but with 15 minutes left Benson released Foot and he lifted the ball over Antrobus and in to make it 3-0.

Yates then set up Foot who hit the bar before the industrious Yates scored a fine solo goal to top a good performance.

Smith’s consolation deep into injurytime was no less than they deserved as Town now face the real possiblity of being drawn to face Andover Lions in the semi-final - a game which will surely whet the appetite of the rain drenched Andover football public.

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