LAVERSTOCK AND FORD 2 – 2 ANDOVER TOWN
By reporter Graham Cousins
If ever a football match can be truly be described as a game of two halves, then this one is a strong contender.
Laverstock had won all their league games so far this season and were much the better side during the first half of this encounter. However, they did let themselves down with some poor finishing which arguably cost them two dropped points and let Andover off the hook in the process.
The Angel Call Handling sponsored Andover Town were much more determined in the second period but it was only in added time that they gained a valuable point and extend their own unbeaten run to six games.
Goalkeeper George Baxter was handed his first start of the season and from the start was kept busy and few in the crowd were surprised when Laverstock took an early lead.
Andover failed to cut out a cross from the right and and Russell Jones unmarked on the edge of the area powered in a low drivethat Baxter could d o little about. However, it has to be said that the initial cross appeared to have come from an offside position.
At regular intervals, Laverstock failed to accept their chances the easiest falling to Jake Rawlins who with only Baxter to beat despatched the ball high and very wide.
As for Andover their best opening came just before the interval when Josh Bertie went clear and was on target but the effort was not strong enough to deceive the goalkeeper.
In the second half Andover Town had the Church Road slope in their favour and quickly used it to their advantage as Adam Patterson weaved his way through the home defence but his final touch shaved the outside of the post. Andover started to spend long periods inside the Laverstock half and had a strong appeal for a penalty waved away.
The home side were still a threat and their mix up in the visitors goalmouth gave Andover a welcome reprieve. However they did find the back of the Andover net but it was ruled out for afoul on Baxter.
Ten minutes were left when Andover may have lost concentration for a moment but it was enough to allow Laverstock score their second goal.
There was a time when this would have caused Andover heads to drop but this season they are made of sterner stuff and with four minutes left Ben Emans scored to set up a frantic end to the game with a goal that owed much to Dennis Lepure’s assist.
A minute later Andover made their third substitution and sent on Sam Guinness and in the third minute of added time he sent over an identical cross which Emans volleyed into the net for the Andover equaliser.
The result moves Andover up to third in the still embryonic league table.