WILDE STRIKES TO WIN HAMPSHIRE DERBY
Winchester City 0 – 1 AFC Totton
Attendance 216 (approx 40 Totton)
AFC Totton went into the last away game of the 2016/17 campaign with a depleted squad. Harry Medway (suspended), Neil Williams (unavailable), and Nathaniel Sherborne (unavailable) also Matt Bozier and Alex Haynes were among the names missing from Louis Longdown squad.
The game got off to a bright start with both sides looking to get forward and test each other. The first to do so was Andy Jenkinson who had the first clear shot at goal but his attempt went high and wide, after being fed the ball by former Stag Craig Feeny. The hosts went closer in the ninth minute when Joseph Briggs saw his header tipped onto the woodwork by the brilliant Pat O’Flaherty.
The Stags drew first blood just after the qquarter hour mark. The ball wound up wide on the left with Adam WILDE, who caught Lewis Noice in no man’s land with a fantastic lob from the half way line. The shot had the perfect amount of weight to leave the keeper completely stranded and give Totton the lead. Winchester did their best to respond and the outstanding Sam Roberts did well to clear off the line before Neighbour was denied again by O’Flaherty. The Citizens peppered the area with three corners in quick succession to no avail and their pressure culminated in a free kick hit over the bar by Jenkinson.
Totton continued to frustrate Winchester with a series of blocks before Jenkinson shot over again, whilst Dave Allen, Ian Oliver, Connor York and the aforementioned Roberts stood firm. The last real action of the first half was an Adam Wilde free kick that deflected up off the wall and goal wards, but Alfy Whittingham who was underneath the ball couldn’t direct the difficult chance goal wards especially with the close attentions of the keeper to deal with.
HT 0 – 1
After the break Winchester came out hungry to equalise but it was Totton who had the first clear opportunity. However, it wasn’t long before the City onslaught began as Joe Briggs squared for Danny King whose low drilled effort was turned behind by Pat O’Flaherty in another good save. Just after the hour mark Feeny was set free down the right hand side and found Neighbour who put in another low shot not far wide of the left hand post.
In perhaps what was Winchester’s best footballing move of the game they put together a good passing move involving Danny Smith and Robbie Matthews before the ball ended with Jamie Barron who was in the right place to apply his finishing touch, but he blazed his effort over the bar. With the hosts by now getting frustrated, Winchester’s Danny King fired a pot shot over the bar.
As the game wore on City continued to press forward but we’re again met with stubborn resistance as The Stags looked to hold onto their second clean sheet in as many games. A big talking point for Winchester will be when substitute Adam Tomasso looked to have been brought down in the area, but the referred showed him a yellow card. There was an offside flag in any case, despite the City team’s appeals.
The last decent chance of the game fell to Adam Roberts after some good work by Jenkinson and Neighbour, but Adam Roberts’ shot was deflected wide for a corner which came to nothing. Although Winchester were consistent with their pressure until the end of the game, there was no way through after some great performances by Totton’s resilient defence.
FT 0 – 1
Naturally The Stags will be delighted to pick up back to back wins as well as back-to back clean sheets. This coming at the end of the season when they have already achieved their goal of staying safe. After the last three games they have shown no signs of end of season lethargy showing the supporters as well as gaffer Louis Longdown they want to stand up and be counted for next season.
Totton’s final game of the season comes this Saturday 22nd April v Evesham United (who have already guaranteed their place in the playoffs) at The Testwood Stadium.
This game is Kids Go Free Day as well as entry for a fiver for Southampton season ticket holders, as the The Stags go into battle one last time for this season.