6 September: Andover Town 0-5 Portway Sports
We were run off our own ground by a side filled with grey guys. Jamie Overson had a frightful game in goal. As poor as he was, left back Paul Watson was worse. His 5.2 rating earned himself a lecture from me, and he didn't take it well, pointing out that everybody stunk.
He's not good enough to run his mouth like that.
I brought in striker Darren Lees on a three-month loan from North Leigh, in the Southern League's First Division. Darren is quick, and he's a nifty dribbler. He'll get a good run of games for us, while Alan Barrett and James Hawes are mending.
On the advice of my assistant manager, Charlie Webb, I hired a new scout. James Taylor has seen fire and he's seen rain, and he's seen enough footballers to tell a good one from a poor one. James is much more talented than his boss, head scout Alexander Stanton. Between us, James will probably be offered Alexander's job next season.
I haven't been pleased with my squad's depth, so I took a step to remedy that deficiency by signing Jack "Of All Trades" Walker, a 24-year-old free agent.
Jack has a colored circle in every position on the pitch, except for goal. He's more comfortable playing in the attacking roles. He'll often be our first man off the bench, and I'd be comfortable giving him a few starts, too.
20 September: Andover Town 2-0 Alresford Town
That's more like it.
Center half Darren Almond became our joint high scorer, doing his thing from the penalty spot. Alan Barrett celebrated his return to the pitch by lashing an Adam Hamilton cross past the Magpies 'keeper.
A minute later, he reinjured his elbow and he'll be out for another month or so.
27 September: Loxwood 1-1 Andover Town
Loxwood win on penalties, 6-5
Southern Senior Cup, Second Round
After 120 minutes of football and six rounds of penalties, we're out of our regional cup.
At the end of full time, neither team had scored. Darren Lees had the game's best chance, hitting the bar late in the first half. Our defense seemed to have solved the issues that plagued them against Portway.
Darren Almond finally broke the deadlock on 110', when he knocked down Paul Watson's free kick and lashed it across the face of goal and in. Four minutes later, Loxwood equalized, and on to penalties we went.
Loxwood gloveman Alan Hartford was the hero. He tipped Jack Taylor's rising drive over the bar, moments after he scored with his own spot kick. (His fellow 'keeper, Jamie Overson, made his penalty, too.)
We weren't expected to go any farther, but it still hurts to go out this way.
Before we return to league play, we'll host New Milton Town in the FA Vase.