ANDOVER Town missed the opportunity to stretch their lead at the Sydenhams Premier summit.

With second-placed Blackfield & Langley in FA Vase action, the north Hampshire club could have gone 13 points clear by beating Hamworthy United at the Portway Stadium.

Instead, Andover succumbed to only their second league defeat of the season, beaten 2-1 by Brendon King’s Hammers.

It began well enough for Town – Mike Gosney firing them ahead with a free-kick that took a massive deflection past the wrong-footed keeper.

Hamworthy’s Nathan Walker took advantage of a defensive mix-up to make it 1-1 at half-time and, with a draw looking the likeliest outcome, Andover’s world imploded.

They had defender Luke Dempsey sent off for handball and a penalty awarded against them which Walker converted for his second of the game.

Andover boss Glenn Burnett said afterwards: “No complaints or excuses. Today we were beaten by a good Hamworthy side.

“But we will regroup and keep working hard. Thanks to the fans for the fantastic support.”

*Alresford Town slipped to fifth after a 3-0 defeat at Fareham.

With several regulars missing, Fareham boss Pete Stiles admitted he didn’t have high hopes going into the match.

But, having scored early on through Ash Tattersall, the Reds didn’t look back.

Scott Hamilton stretched the lead before half-time and, with Alresford down to ten men, 16-year-old Max Simm wrapped up a comfortable win, sentencing the Magpies to their third straight league and cup defeat.

On Wednesday (7.45pm) Alresford host Hartley Wintney in the Hampshire FA Senior Cup third round.

*AFC Portchester got a short, sharp shock at Shaftesbury, beaten 5-1.

The Royals' cause wasn't helped by arriving at 2.20pm and being reduced to ten men after the break.

Recent signing Alex Rigley scored the pick of Shaftesbury's goals with a measured 35-yard lob over the stranded keeper. He was joined on the scoresheet by Nick Hewlett, Jack Mitchell and Malachi Benjamin (2).

Portchester tomorrow (Tuesday, 7.45) host Romsey Town in the Hampshire FA Senior Cup.

Romsey must pick themselves up after suffering a shock 2-0 home defeat by Sydenhams One basement boys Folland Sports, who scored twice through Oli Peters.