Petersfield Town manager Connor Hoare was left to rue “a four-minute meltdown” after the Rams lost 3-2 at home to Andover New Street in the Wessex League Premier Division last Tuesday night (January 9).

A period of three goals in four first-half minutes gave Petersfield a mountain they couldn’t climb despite a good effort.

The Rams started brightly. Harvey Aston floated a ball out wide for Chad Cornwell, and his deflected cross was pushed wide by the visiting goalkeeper.

The visitors grabbed the lead 26 minutes in with a well-taken goal. The prolific Ross Cook received the ball in the final third and took a couple touches on his feet before rifling into the roof of the net.

Sloppy defending led to goals two and three. The second goal came from the left flank, with a deflected cross falling for Shane Lock to slam in from close range.

The third was scored by Lewis Williams. A slip inside the box from Jake Thomson proved costly as Williams closed in to put the ball past Ellis Grant and complete a crazy four minutes.

Ten minutes before half-time the Rams were handed a lifeline. A poor goal kick went straight to Dec Seiden, who scored from range past the out of position Andover New Street keeper.

Cook smashed the post 60 seconds later, but the hosts kicked on and tried to get back into the game. In the second half Kieran Alcock had an effort parried, Cornwell lost out to the keeper and Cam Langan put a header narrowly wide.

With the visitors sitting back defending their lead it became one-way traffic, but good defending and poor decision making in the final third by the Rams meant the visitors left with the three points.

In the ninth minute of added time Seiden slotted home a penalty to grab a consolation and make it 3-2.

“A four-minute meltdown mate cost us,” said Hoare.

“As soon as you’re 3-0 down in a game it’s pretty unlikely you’re going to be able to get back into it and get something out of it.

“It was a bit of a shock really because it was probably the best we’ve played all year.

“We got the stats back from the game – we had 24 shots. Andover New Street had five shots, but three ended up in our goal.

“Sometimes football happens like that, but the players know if we play like that we’ll win more games than we don’t. It’s one of those things.

“We had so many chances. I’m not sure how we didn’t win the match, but they were clinical and we weren’t.”

The Rams were frustrated by the weather on Tuesday night when their Wessex League Premier Division match at home to Fareham Town was postponed because of a frozen pitch.

Saturday’s away match against Moneyfields was also postponed after AFC Portchester pulled out of their groundshare arrangement with Moneyfields.

Next up for the Rams is a home game against United Services Portsmouth on Saturday in the Portsmouth Senior Cup (3pm).

Hoare is expecting his side to progress to the next round after winning 5-0 away at United Services in the Wessex League Premier Division earlier this season.

“United Services in the Portsmouth Senior Cup is a game we should be looking to win – especially with what happened last time we played them,” he said.

“We were completely in control, so I don’t see why we can’t do the same again.”