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Second place Lions back to winning ways
Andover Lions 5 Durley 0.
Lions made six changes to the team that were beaten in the semi-final of the North Hants Intermediate Cup in what was their first league game for three months.
Bottom of the table Durley were the visitors and Lions made sure that they got back to winning ways with a comfortable victory that took them back to second in the table.
Lions survived an early scare and started to impose themselves with a patient passing game and took the lead when a fine through ball from Jake Curtis sent Casson Spencer away and the midfielder scored with the calmest of finishes.
Rustiness from the enforced winter break contributed to some poor finishing until on 26 minutes Josh Hind rolled the ball past a wrong footed Boswell in the Durley goal to increase the lead.
Just before the break Lions had a double let off when Buttler hit the bar with a header and Sheikh hit the rebound onto the foot of the post and behind to send Andover in still two goals up.
The second half was one way traffic as Andover penned Durley back for long periods.
Danny Lewis was enjoying his freedom in the centre of the park and had two good efforts from free-kicks and an audacious 35 yard effort tipped over by the excellent Boswell.
Just before the hour a last gasp block by Darren Paris broke to Spencer who raced clear and crossed for Hind to get the final touch for Andover’s third. Tom Gilbert soon added a fourth from another Spencer pass and a late goal from substitute Chris Boothe rounded off a comfortable 5-0 victory.
The victory pleased manager Ray Cozze but he was quick to point out that this was far from the best performance of the season: “We needed a win today to get Tuesday night’s defeat out of our system and to get some confidence in the team for Tuesday’s game.
Most of all we needed points on the board from what was our first league game since November.
The league is our priority as we want a top two finish to enable us to be in with a chance for promotion. Anything else is a bonus.”