Andover 8, Downton 0

IT was like old times at The Portway on Tuesday night as Howard Goddard's Lions completed their first JWL double of the season with a one-sided eight-goal demolition of Downton.

Tormentor-in-chief was Vinnie Rusher, who crowned a superb showing when playing just behind the front two, with yet another hat-trick for the town club as well having a hand in four of the other goals.

Justin Bennett, presented with the Top Nosh sponsored player-of-the month award for October before the game, continued his remarkable scoring run with another two goals, Gavin Richards was rewarded for another battling display in midfield with his first goal for the club, Danny Sullivan came off the bench to notch another as did Sam Rae thanks to an eagle-eyed referee's assistant - at the other end of the pitch!

Match official Dave Beament from Bournemouth and his other assistant allowed play to carry on, despite the appeals of Rae and his team-mates that the ball had crossed the line only to rebound back off the stanchion holding the net at the side of the goal, before he put matters right.

The Lions, who won 3-0 away at Downton earlier in the season, dominated throughout and the highlights of the first half were Rusher's stunning two long-range strikes that gave them a 2-0 lead a the break.

Rusher made it 3-0 when he completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot after Downton's stand-in 'keeper Adam Knight brought down the opportunist Bennett 12 minutes into the second half.

Bennett struck against with a looping head to make it 4-0 with the first of his two goals three minutes later and the remaining half hour was just shooting practice for the Lions.

Kieron Drake was virtually a spectator in the home goal as he gained his easiest clean-sheet of the season.

Richards made it 5-0 when he headed home on the line from Rae's flick-on following a corner and Rae then added his name to the score sheet for the third time this season when heading home from another of Rusher's crosses.

Bennett then took his tally to 16 for the season with his second of the night to make it 7-0 when rifling home from just inside the box with 10 minutes left and Sullivan round things off with a crisp shot on the turn from inside the area to complete the scoring and put the Lions back into the top half of the JWL.

Team boss Goddard fielded an unchanged starting line-up for the first time this season and described Andover's performance as "just awesome".

"People tend to think," he added," that the opposition were not much cop but we were not much cop three months ago so it shows just how far we have come. Downton have had some good results recently, including a draw with Wimborne, but we were just awesome on the night and have had a great month in finishing unbeaten and scoring 37 goals."

Goddard admitted that return of Vince Rusher to the club was just like adding the missing piece to the jigsaw. "I've always felt his best position was playing in the free role behind the front two and he tore them apart.

"But pPutting eight goals past anyone is never easy but we've scored 54 goals so far this season and you can only play against what teams put in front of you."

Andover (3-4-3): Drake; George, Damen, Pratley; Kennedy, Richards, McNulty, Nurse; Butler, Rusher, Bennett. Subs: Rae (for Butler 70 mins), Phil Nichols (for Nurse 70 mins), Sullivan (for McNulty 75 mins).

lGoddard adds Keith Nichols, Joe Kearney, Ian Knight and Simon Beddows to the squad for this Saturday's Hants Senior Cup second round tie away to Brockenhurst. "We owe them one with them having beaten us both home and away in the leauge," said the Lions team boss.

The Lions are also in action next Tuesday night when they entertain Winchester City in the second round of the North Hants Senior Cup (7.45pm) but the Hants League high-flyers are expected to play most of their second string with their Hants Premier side also having a league game on the same night.

Havant & Waterlooville 6 Whitchurch United 0

JWL basement boys Whitchurch United crashed out of the Hants Senior Cup against Dr Marten's League premier outfit Havant & Waterlooville with their heads held high on Tuesday night.

Brian Drury's side, thumped 8-1 in the JWL by Wimborne last Saturday, went to Leigh Park with the attitude that they would enjoy the occasion and managed to hold a young Havant side to 2-0 in the first half.

"We did well to hold them to six considering we didn't expect to get anything out of the game footballwise," said Drury. "They were so good and it was a pleasure to watch such a superb passing side. We had chances, we even hit the crossbar twice, but they were better than even Wimborne were on Saturday."

Whitchurch, who were also in action last night (Thursday) against Vernham Dean in the North Hants Senior Cup, take on Blackfield & Langley in the JWL bottom-of-the-table clash at Longmeadow this Saturday (3pm) and next Tuesday will be attempting to make up a 4-0 deficit when they go to Thatcham in the return leg of the League Cup.

Whitchurch (4-3-3-): Smalley; Hack, Morris, Page, McLaughlin; Rees, Restell, Chris Iddles; Drury, Alex Iddles, Kemp. Sub: Bowden (for Kemp 75mins).