Andover Lions v Alresford Town reserves

7.45pm  17 November 2015

North Hampshire Intermediate Cup, Quarter Final
Andover Lions 3 Alresford Town reserves 1 (att 24)

Given the weather, I took a bit of chance travelling to this game, but Andover Lions had been confident of the tie going ahead, as were Laverstock and Ford, my back-up fixture about half-an-hour's drive away.

I needn't have worried, both games were on, on a night when plenty of others bit the dust. The worst of the rain has passed earlier in the day, and it just very blustery conditions that players had to contend with.

The strong wind helped Alresford to their first half goal. A wind-assisted goal kick was latched onto by a forward who forced a good save from the home keeper. The resulting corner was blown straight into the net, albeit aided by an ineffective attempted punch by the keeper.

That goal cancelled out home side's opener, but Andover Lions looked the better side and it was no surprise that, with the breeze behind them, they dominated after the break.

They should have scored more than the two second half goals they managed, but it was enough to secure a place in the semi finals of a cup that this season has just six entrants, and only two of those are first teams.

Lions consider themselves the continuation of Andover FC, who played at higher levels of the football pyramid before going out of business in 2011. Their Portway Stadium is now used by a former college team who've rebranded themselves Andover Town and play Wessex League football.

Lions are based next door, inside the athletics track at Charlton Leisure Centre. It's a basic venue, but plus points are that spectators can stand pitchside, inside the track, and there's a steep grass bank on the far side which gives a good view.

Lions currently top the second tier of the Hampshire Premier League, so promotion this season would put them one step closer to challenging their rivals to the title of Andover's "true" football club.

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