Diamonds dominate in Haslemere and take their goal tally past 50
On a typical cold, dank January afternoon, with the mist descending and the rain horizontal, a ruthless Andover side further stamped their authority on this league by putting Petersfield & Haslemere Neerdowell’s to the sword with some sweeping attacking hockey and clinical finishing.
Andover started the game as they meant to go on and had the opposition pinned in their own half for most of the first ten minutes. Mark Josling came off the bench like a coiled spring to sweep home a rebounded shot to put Andover ahead. Minutes later, with the ball zipping across the pitch Mark Josling and Richard Hoo combined to finish off another sweeping attack with a 1-2 on edge of the ‘D’ that resulted in a sharp finish at the far post. Dave Millings then coolly slotted a low flick from a short corner to make it three.
With 20 minutes on the clock, Petersfield were reeling and had no answers for a rampant Andover side. Josling completed his hat-trick with a sweet strike from the next short corner. Next it was Richard Hoo‘s turn to get on the score sheet with a well taken goal after running onto a through ball. Shortly before half-time Josling bagged his fourth of the match and Andover’s sixth after a turn and shot from the penalty spot.
Petersfield could easily have been forgiven for dropping their heads and giving up at half time in the face of such attacking prowess but credit should be given to them for playing in a good spirit right to the end. Unfortunately however, sensing blood and a big boost to their goal difference Andover continued the second half in much the same way.
John Priestley-Cooper continued his rich vein of form by completing a second half hat-trick with some clinical finishing of his own. His knack of being in the right place at the right time served to twist the knife as it plunged deeper into a mortally wounded Petersfield side.
Taking his tally into double figures for the season there was another goal for Richard Romer-Lee, the Frank Lampard of Andover Vets hockey who hadn’t had many chances this week due to the quality finishing of the strikers. Finally the rout was complete when JPC turned provider with a tricky lifted pass across goal to Greig Taylor who’s smashed finish on the goal line wouldn’t have looked out of place at Yankee Stadium.
It wasn’t all one way traffic and late in the game Andover’s keeper Dave Rutherford almost had to make a save but instead fetched the ball for a 16 yard hit. Other than when regaling tales of nights out in Brighton and how much he’d enjoyed ‘the sights’ whilst there, it was the biggest contribution Rutherford made all day who later confessed he’d been glad of the extra layer.
So Andover returned home victorious, taking their tally to played nine, won nine, scored fifty-nine, conceded three and two points clear at the top of the league with a game in hand.