Andrews celebrates Fleetlands return with a goal … Paulsgrove spared cup blushes by late, late winner
Matt Andrews marked his Fleetlands return with a goal in a Hampshire Premier League Cup victory at Liss.
The striker banged in 25 goals in 27 league and cup appearances for the Coptermen in 2019/20.
But his appearance at Liss was his first of this season - and he opened the scoring in a 4-1 away triumph.
‘Matt reached back out to us,’ explained Fleetlands boss Rich Bessey. ‘He said he can’t commit fully because he’s got a young family but he’d be happy to sign out to help us out.
‘He knows his limitations, he’s not match fit because he hasn’t played - but when he hits a shot it stays hit.
‘It was his first game (of the season), his first goal - and from his first shot!’
Bessey handed a maiden first team start to 16-year-old midfielder Will Ayre and 17-year-old striker Rory Newman.
Ben Cooper, 18, Josh Chandler and Matt Johnson were also drafted in.
Cooper and Chandler both scored and Sam Martin converted a penalty - his first goal in over two years.
Defender Billy Butcher scored a last-minute winner to spare Paulsgrove’s blushes in the Hampshire Premier League Cup.
Drawn away to lower division AFC Petersfield, Grove dominated the tie virtually from first whistle to last.
Yet penalties were on the cards before Butcher popped up to extend his side’s winning run to four games since ex-boss Wayne Grant left last month.
‘If you’d had OPTA Stats there it would have shown we had about 90 per cent possession,’ said Grove manager Steve Ledger.
‘We peppered their goal for 89 minutes but we just couldn’t score. They put 10 men behind the ball and literally defended for their lives.’
Minus regulars Shane Cornish and Jake Daniels, Grove also had Jack Goodman in goal with Taylor Revy nursing a wrist injury.
Ledger also had two 16-year-olds on the bench - Daniel Lambe and Charlie Clark - who came on in the second half.
‘The work ethic was second to none,’ praised Ledger. ‘The whole squad’s attitude (since the change of manager) has been fantastic.
‘Billy Butcher has been absolutely immense - him and Mike Mallory at the back have been head and shoulders stand out.’
Hayling United boasted two hat-trick heroes as they caned lower division AFC Netley 8-0 away.
Sam Neal and George Gregory both struck three times against a Netley side who had lost their opening Division 1 SE fixture 13-0 to QK Southampton the previous week.
Toby Wilson and Jake Lynch - the latter from 25 yards - sealed the Humbugs’ progress.
Hayling boss Dan Bishop said: ‘If we’d have really pushed the lads and it was a better pitch it could have been a cricket score, but we wanted to manage the minutes and walk away with no further injuries or cards.
‘It was comfortable but professional at the same time. Credit to them, too, they chased shadows for 90 but never gave up.’
Former FC Strawberry striker Connor Mansfield grabbed his first goals for Meon Milton in a 3-0 HPL Cup win against Kingsclere.
Mansfield’s brace was added to by sub Adam Beckett as last season’s Mid-Solent League champions claimed their first win at a higher level.
Tim Mbuga netted twice as Clanfield exited the HPL Cup with a 4-2 loss at Senior Division rivals Sway.
The central midfielder’s brace had seen Clan lead at the interval after falling behind early on.