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Andover Town 1 Baffins 1 (4-5 on penalties)

Written by Ollie Cook
15 Mar 2023

Roux Hardcastle was the hero yet again as Baffins booked their place in the Wessex League Cup final.

Rob Evans, Tyler Giddings, Dec Seiden and Josh Rose were all suspended or cup-tied, whilst Jason Parish was among the injury list.


Danny Thompson was forced to make changes for the trip to Portway, as Dan Aitken, Harvey Wellham and Tom Vincent all started the semi-final clash.


And it was Baffins who had the first chance of he match as a long ball over the Andover defence was met by Kelvin Robinson, whose flick-on found Vincent who couldn’t convert inside the box.


But, just 120 seconds later, it was Vincent who broke the deadlock in the semi-final — this time bursting through the hosts’ backline and calmly slotting home.


Vincent had another opportunity to double his side’s lead before Hardcastle made a crucial stop from close-range to deny David Jerrard.


Baffins went into the break disappointed with only a one-goal lead, and the hosts took full advantage with Jerrard angling a shot into the far corner after a surging run.


But just two minutes later, Andover were reduced to ten men as Gary Thorne was shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Wellham.


Substitute Liam Brewer had two chances after emerging from the bench, but couldn’t convert before Andover saw red again. This time it was a straight red card for Josh Bertie after a strong challenge on Aitken.


Rovers couldn’t find a late winner, and the match headed for penalties for successive rounds in the League Cup.


Dillon North, Charlie Oakwell, Joe Johnson, Ed Sanders all found the target from 12-yards before Hardcastle was the hero again, denying Malachi Johnson from the spot.


That left Vincent with the responsibility of booking a place in the final, and the forward took the chance by slamming home into the back of the net.


Baffins will face Fareham Town or Petersfield Town in the League Cup final on Saturday 6 May at AFC Portchester’s Wicor Recreation Round, 4pm kick-off.

Match Report
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