ANDOVER TOWN u23’s 0 – 4 SHOLING u23’s
Reporter: Graham Cousins
The Hampshire Development League is a new venture this season and Andover are one of twelve teams competing in the league’s “East” division.
The league rules stipulate that each match day squad may include up to four over age players and also rolling substitutes may be used.
During this game Andover took full advantage of both options.
This was a disappointing result for Andover but they can have no complaints having been outplayed for long periods and having a player sent off midway through the second half.
Dave Tasker was by far the busier of the two goalkeepers and inside the first twenty minutes had produced three fine saves to deny the visitors scoring opportunities.
However, he could do little to prevent the games first goal when a log clearance was helped on by Josh Carey and into the net beyond Taskers reach.
Andover did manage to create a few half chances. Matt Deveraux’s lob landed on top of the net and a little later his well hit effort was parried away by the goalkeeper but Andover were unable to sweep up the ricochet.
Within a minute of the restart Sholing scored their second and on the hour mark netted a third to make it mission impossible for Andover. It got even worse for Andover when following a minor altercation an unseemly brawl erupted in which all but the goalkeepers were involved.
Zac Hine was subsequently shown a straight red and there was some surprise that at least two other players were not similarly dealt with.
With Sholing now having the numerical advantage Andover were unable to find a consolation goal and consequently Sholing’s final goal in the third minute of added time rubbed salt into the Andover wound.