Salisbury 3-0 Andover Town
BY REPORTER: BEN STOKES
Andover Town were valiant losers to a Salisbury side plying their trades in the higher echelons of non league football.
With the home side playing in front of their supporters for the first time in 5 months, Town anticipated an onslaught from the start but this failed to materialise. Instead, Zac Hine had the first chance of the game, firing over from a free kick 20 yards out. Not long after though, former Andover captain, Lewis Benson, fires across the goal from the right as the game began to spark in to life.
However, it wasn’t until the 20th minute when Morgan Browning had the best chance of the game. A Hine cross caused confusion and Browning scrambled to try and prod the ball in from close range only for it to go agonisingly wide.
Just when Andover began to grow in stature, a simple ball over the top caught the defence flat footed and Salisbury forward Harry Baker got to the ball before Ben Rodwell and slotted the ball home after 23 minutes.
For the next 10 minutes, Salisbury had a monopoly of possession but there was little in the way of goal scoring opportunities until a poor defensive header was cut out by Baker who scored his and Salisbury’s second.
Several minutes before half time, Andover almost pulled one back. A Michael Donovan free kick was met by Josh Hewson whose header hit the post with the goalkeeper well beaten.
Half time – Salisbury 2-0 Andover Town
As with many friendlies, a raft of substitutions meant the game lost its flow. However, when called upon, Rodwell made a good save when a shot from the edge of the box was initially parried before scooping up the rebound.
The last word went to former Town player, Benson, who finished from close range to make it 3-0.
Andover will be disappointed by the account they gave of themselves when they had the ball. Possession was too easily lost often through a lack of self belief against a side higher up the pyramid. However, their work rate and organisation will give them a reason to be positive heading in to the derby game on Saturday and if they can return to playing football they way they can, there is reason to be optimistic this season.
Andover: Rodwell, A.Pattison, Trapnell, Barkaway, Browning, Donovan, O’Kelly, Emans, Hine, Bertie, Hewson
Subs: Helmkay, Hammond, Tasker, Waters, Devereaux, Ragaz, Diaz-Benitez