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Tuesday 14th November 2011 ko 7.30pm

Andover Open Cup 1st Round

ANDOVER LIONS 6 (Augustus 25 Nassoori 41 Reynolds 69 Spencer 77 87 Chesters 82)

WYKEHAM GERRI’S 0

Att 43 (h/c)

Entry FREE

Nothing for sale

With the demise of Southern League Andover FC in July, a phoenix club has sprung up a few hundred yards down the road from the old club’s Portway ground at the Charlton Leisure Centre. And yes, once again its an athletics stadium, with absolutely no cover, or even a cafe. A warm drink would have been handy on a cold night! A few hoppers turned up and around 5 turned tail, pub-bound when they realised the rumour of a programme didn’t materialise.

Andover now play their football in the Hampshire 2004 league, two notches below Wessex League level, at a nominal step 8. The visitors are another level down, playing the Andover & District League, the suffix being an abbreviation of “Geriatrics!” And one or two of them looked a little aged to be still playing! I went and got the line-ups from the referee and caught the competition secretary paying him his £20 fee. I asked whether there was the possibility of extra time, he laughed and said “No-straight to penalties,” before informing me that Wykeham had lost all 8 games so far this season, somewhat heavily!

So a massive mismatch and Gerri’s played accordingly, to the point that it took them nearly an hour to force a corner! Thankfully as they tired, the goals came at an increasing rate, to liven up a dull game. I’m not sure whether this is a rebirth for Andover FC, I hope it is, but in the final analysis I was pleased to tick off an unusual ground under lights.