REPORTER: Graham Cousins
ALTON TOWN 5 – 1 ANDOVER TOWN
After their promising start to the season this was a very disappointing result for Andover who never really got to grips with their opponents.
Much of the early play was confined to the middle third of Alton’s 4G pitch. Gradually the pace picked up and Zac Hine and Josh Bertie created half chances. However it was Alton’s Richie Hunter who had the first real chance but his effort sailed the wrong side of the post. The game finally opened up and approaching the half hour mark Phil Moore attempting to clear turned the ball into his sides own net.
The travelling Andover faithful were delighted. However within a minute Andover’s advantage disappeared when Scott Anderson punished some defensive hesitation and scored the Alton equaliser. Three minutes later Anderson was completely unmarked on the edge of the area and his well hit volley sailed into the top corner of the Andover net and Alton were in the lead.
Alton were now running the show but an exceptional save by Deese Kerrison prevented a quick third goal. However the reprieve was temporary as when just two minutes before the break Kerrison came for a high cross on the edge of his area but miscalculated and Anderson was able to fire into an empty net and complete his hat trick.
Throughout the second half Andover were only allowed one shot on target. Some reasonable crosses came in but failed to reach a target. This prompted discussion amongst the Andover faithful as to why Josh Hewson was languishing on the left flank and had not been shifted into a more central position.
The crowd who all observed social distancing watched several spectacular attempts on goal and arguably the effort by Alton’s Luke Perkins was the best but the save by Kerrison was equally as good.
During the games final ten minutes two of these efforts did reach their target. Matt Benham hit one from around thirty yards and two minutes later George Bowerman was even further away and neither gave Kerrison a chance.
At the final whistle there were some tired Andover legs and maybe playing on the artificial pitch had taken it’s toll.