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Seven up again as Town thrash Ringwood to take runner-up
Andover Town 7 Ringwood Town 0.
Andover Town’s first Wessex League season ended on Saturday with a seven goal demolition of Ringwood Town but without the Division One title as Petersfield Town took the honours by beating US Portsmouth at the same time.
Neil Benson’s side went into the match looking for a minor miracle to even up the three drawn games which in effect had taken the title out of their own hands with striker Michael Dixon looking for the chance to end up as the division’s leading goalscorer.
Another good Portway crowd saw Ringwood go close inside four minutes when Brian Huckstepp’s volley brought the best out of Michael Weatherall before Ryan Inskip was narrowly wide at the other end. Visiting keeper Simon McDougall went full stretch to deny Tom Riddell who then beat the offside trap but overran the ball and shot into the side netting. It was not to be important as on 23 minutes Lewis Benson’s square pass from the left across the 18 yard box found Lloyd Foot who hammered home the opener.
Just before the half hour it was 2-0 as Benson’s corner hit the post and went in off Ryan Osman for an own goal with Dixon close by. By then Town were enjoying themselves and after Claudio Herbert had an effort saved by McDougall the same man saved again as Riddell and Dixon linked well.
With the news at half-time that Petersfield were also 2-0 up the pressure was off after Dixon had missed following another Benson run along the goalline he made amends converting another Benson corner for a 3-0 as the game resembled as turkey shoot.
On the hour Herbert was brought down in the area for substitute Ope Aromona to make it 4-0 from the spot which prompted an an appearance for Ike Robertson, recovered from his appendicitis and given a warm welcome by the home crowd.
Town were going for goals and on 66 minutes Dixon’s header from a Foot corner made it 5-0 and after Cameron Hough was introduced he was given the freedom of the park to drive home a 30 yarder for the sixth.
They saved the best goal until last as Foot’s cross into the penalty area was met by a horizontal Benson and his flying header neatly sealed off what has been a memorable first season.
At the final whistle the team acknowledged the support they had been given since the Portway was reopened and all now move up the road to Foxcotte Park for Wednesday’s Andover League Open Cup Final against Otterbourne before the curtain is brought down on Wednesday week at the Salisbury Hospital Cup Final at Salisbury City’s Ray Mac Stadium.
More news from Andover Town with reaction and pictures here later and in Friday’s Advertiser With thanks to Graham Cousins