SYDENHAMS Premier Division leaders Andover Town are back on track after sliding down the slippery slope of two straight league defeats.

Having lost to AFC Portchester and title rivals Blackfield & Langley, Town took their frustrations out on reigning champions Portland United 4-0 at the Portway Stadium.

Mike Gosney’s return from holiday made a difference with the former AFC Totton winger influential from the off.

Unsurprisingly it was he who got the ball rolling for the eighthminute opener, sweeping a pass across the pitch for Jason Silver to chase.

Silver’s pace proved to much for the Portland defence and he set up Zach Glasspool to fire home his 30th of the season. It might have been 31, but Glasspool later had a penalty saved.

With both Silver and Gosney causing havoc with the speed and accuracy of their crosses, it was all Andover at the start of the second half.

The game then went into a lull but, from nowhere, Town bagged their second thanks to tenacious play by sub George Hallahan.

Seemingly chasing a lost cause, he retrieved the ball near the corner flag and set up Gosney to slam it into the roof of the net.

Two became three when Silver’s clever flick-back invited Micky Hubbard to fire home and Gosney had the last word with a shot that went in via a deflection.

Portland’s interim boss Gary Bailey said: “There’s no shame in losing to them but, for 70 minutes, we were holding our own.

"One-nil after 70 minutes, you’ve always got a chance of pinching something, but we shot ourselves in the foot and they were ruthless.

"That’s why they are top.”

“Take nothing away from Andover, they’re a good side and were a threat on the counter, but we certainly contributed to our own downfall.”

Andover have an eight-point cushion on second-placed Hamworthy United, who have played four games more.

More importantly, it leaves them nine points clear of third-placed Blackfield & Langley who have one game in hand over Glenn Burnett’s table toppers.

Andover tomorrow (Tuesday, 7.45pm) face a home test against seventh-placed Lymington Town, who will be looking to make amends for Saturday’s 2-1 reverse at Bemerton Heath Harlequins.

Jake Burgess and George Plank scored for Bemmy, with Steve Walker on target for Lymo.

Bemerton now turn their attentions to tomorrow's Wiltshire Senior Cup semi-final against Chippenham Town of the National League South (7.45pm, Melksham).