Fareham Town
Fareham Town
The Creeksiders

Fareham Town FC 3 - 4 Andover Town

Away | 14 April 2018 | Attendance: 211
The hosts who’ve been top of the table most of the season required just 1 point to secure promotion to Step 4 football next season, whilst the Town side showed 8 changes to that which had taken to the field at Newport just 36 hours earlier. Included in the squad were Vaughnie McGhee and Brad Silvester from the reserves, Craig Hardy who had returned from a week away, Curt Robbins was fit once more.

But Town started like a bunch of strangers and they could have found themselves 1-0 down almost from the kick off but Rushers effort went just wide and indeed Town’s goal led a somewhat charmed life early on and it wasn’t a surprise when Soetan scored from the spot after a missed clearance and a late challenge on Glasspool saw a penalty awarded.

Andover’s lead was doubled on 20 minutes. Jones was down with a head injury following a heavy challenge, but the referee played on and even then Town should have cleared the ball, but a clearance from Yokata was miskicked to Glasspool who couldn’t believe his luck, and neither could Gosney 10 minutes later after beating the offside trap and calmly lobbing Douglas, who was at the time keeping the scoredown to respectable levels.

But 2 minutes later and Town had a way back into the game, when Matt Andrews in the starting line up for a first time in a while let one fly with anger and meaning and Cairney in the home goal stood no chance.

We have goal of the season competitions, but Douglas put in a contender for save of the season with an amazing double save low down to his right from Gosney and then somehow getting his leg to the follow up and sending it wide for a corner. After Andrews goal, this galvanised Town somewhat and we looked more dangerous and it was noticeable how the Andover defenders were now arguing amongst themselves whenever Town attacked. Their noise levels went louder on 39 minutes when Silvester beat his marker to the ball, and calmly slotted over Cairney in the home goal.3-2 and very much game on once more.

Jones then had a grubber of a shot which had Cairney scurrying across goal and he was relieved this went inches to the right hand side of the post inside of to the left of it.

HT Andover Town 3-2 Fareham Town

The large crowd of over 200 were treated to a fantastic attacking spectacle in the 2nd half, with Douglas making several saves, Benjamin growing the longer the game went on, and Jones with an amazing block, whilst at the other end, Andrews, Silvester, Robbins etc were causing the home defence all sorts of problems with their running and movement and the only surprise was that by the 77th minute it was still only 3-2, and then came an incident which had Town sick to the stomach as a header by Andrews was ruled offside. You decide.

When its your day, you get decisions and luck like that for you and 3 minutes later the hosts had it at the other end when a shot from Hubbard hit a divot and bounced up, Douglas did his best to keep it out, but the bounce was just too much and all he could do was divert it into the top of the net and seemingly Andover were on their way to 3 points? But no Town came pouring forward once again and Andrews dragged Town back into it at 4-3 with a fine finish from a tight angle.

Cue panic stations in the remaining minutes of the game at the back for Andover, and Robbins could have done better with a volley after being set up by Silvester who was impressing throughout.

Deep into injury time Town had one last corner and we had the unusual sight of 21 of the 22 players in the penalty area. Despite Douglas winning his header, there were too many bodies in the way for a Town player to get a decent contact on it and the ball was cleared and the final whistle blown.

What a superb game of football we had been treated to and the Town players were deservedly rapturously applauded off at the end by the Creeksiders supporters who had seen everyone in red and black give their absolute all to get back into the game, but alas without success.

So it was Andover Town who had the points and with it a confirmed top 2 position and guarantee of promotion to Step 4.

Town supporters may remember how congratulatory they were to us a few years back as the Portway was the scene of the final scene of our great escape, so let us not begrudge them their success and with it wish them every success in either the Southern or Isthmian Leagues – which ever the FA decide to put them in.