ANDOVER Town dropped their first points of the Sydenhams Premier Division campaign in a 1-1 draw at reigning champions Portland United.

Glenn Burnett’s side went into battle without key men Mike Gosney, Liam Gilbert and the suspended Luke Dempsey, but handed a debut to new midfield signing Micky Hubbard from Sholing.

It was stalemate until, with 14 minutes to go, Portland broke the deadlock.

Andover lost a midfield challenge and Sanchez Baker – who was just about to be substituted – finished clinically after being put through one-on-one by Alex Halloran.

That brought the best out of the visitors and, seven minutes later, new boy Hubbard threaded a pass through for Zach Glasspool to equalise.

Portland boss Simon Browne reflected: “They’ve won eight out of eight and we’re the first team to take points off them. We would have taken it before the game.

“But, possibly, I’d look at it as two points dropped. We didn’t convert our possession into clear-cut chances, but they’ve got some decent players and I knew it was going to be a tough game.”

*ALRESFORD  Town showed ten-man Cowes Sports no mercy, crushing the Islanders 5-0 at Arlebury Park through Chigozie Agwuegbo - his first for the club, Aaron Blaxall, Chris Mason, John Cole and Sam Doswell.

Cowes had goalkeeper Ed Hatt red-carded on 68 minutes at 2-0 down and his replacement Dave Thurman was immediately beaten by Mason's penalty. 

Magpies boss Richard Luffman tweeted: "We're looking more like the Alresford of old. Much better performance and still have Sands, Hall, Everett, Parry & Harding to come back in."

*THE pain continues for Petersfield Town in the Sydenhams Premier Division.

The rock-bottom Rams were steamrollered 9-0 at Hamworthy United on Saturday, meaning they have conceded 28 goals in their last four games, including the 5-0 FA Vase mauling at Hamble Club.

Hamworthy had a field day – Dan Cann and sub Ed Zanin leading the way with hat-tricks, supported by singles from Danny O’Sullivan, Carl Preston and Steve Smith.

Former Poole, Blackfield & Langley and Winchester City man Cann has just joined the Hammers’ strike force from Wimborne Town.

BAFFINS Milton Rovers’ first ever visit to St George’s Park proved a memorable one as they soundly defeated Newport IW 4-0 in the Sydenhams Premier Division.

Joel Jackson volleyed the Portsmouth visitors into a 23rd-minute lead and the rest of the damage was done in the last 20 minutes - Jackson’s second swiftly followed by 20-yard strikes from Blu Boam and Lewis Stockford.

Newport’s best chance came at 1-0 down when, after the Baffins ’keeper had failed to gather a low cross, Connor Kelly turned the loose ball against the post from an acute angle before it was scrambled clear.

Baffins are seventh, a point ahead of local rivals AFC Portchester, who have played four games fewer.

Ian Saunders’ Royals also ran out 4-0 winners over Bashley at Wicor Rec.

Dale Mason finished off a flowing move for 1-0 and, after Bobby Scott’s hammered drive had been turned behind by Bash stopper Mike Edgar, Andy Todd scored from the resulting corner.

Ex-Saints trainee Scott got the third, blasting home after Bash had failed to clear their lines, and a second goal from Mason completed the rout, outpacing the back-pedalling defence before thundering the ball into the top corner.

Bash finished the game with ten men when, with all three subs on, Rae’mur Henry bowed out with a leg injury.

*FAREHAM Town stopped the rot of six straight league defeats by drawing 2-2 at Shaftesbury – Sammy-Lee Kessack bagging both goals.

The Reds, already with players missing, lost skipper Josh Holmes to injury, while George Davis had to come off at half-time, weakened by tonsillitis.

Fareham, 17th, return to league action at Cams Alders tomorrow (Tuesday, 7.45pm) against 18th-placed Newport IW. Both clubs are locked on seven points, but Port have two games in hand.

*BOURNEMOUTH Poppies, who have drawn Eastleigh away in the Hampshire FA Senior Cup third round, triumphed 2-0 at Amesbury Town through Fawzi Saadi and Sam Makhloufi. It was Makhloufi’s 11th goal in 15 games.