AFC Totton V Barnstaple Town – Preview
This weekend see’s the ‘Pitching in’ Southern League campaign get underway, and for the Stags Saturday cannot come quick enough, as it gives players an opportunity to try and put last Saturday’s cup defeat at Binfield well and truly behind them.
Barnstaple Town, known as ‘Barum’ in North Devon, would have been cussing at the fixture computer when they were given one of their longest trips of the season for the opening day. A trip to Hampshire for them is a three and a half hours + drive.
This is not the 1st time that the North Devon club have had to travel to the Snows Stadium on the opening day of a season, it also happened in 2017/18, on that occasion the Stags ran out 3-1 winners with the Totton’s goals coming from Craig Feeney, Stuart Mott and Nimes Pina, Karl Rickard replied for Barum, a repeat result this weekend would be very welcome for Glenn Howes and his troops.
Barnstaple have generally struggled in Division One (South) since their promotion into it in 2015/16, They will be hopeful that they can do better this term after Manager Dean Edwards signed five new players in time for the start of this season, whilst retaining most of last seasons squad. Barums new additions are Ollie Tomlinson on loan from Plymouth Argyle, Jamal Bokhammas, a central defender from Torquay United, Theophilis Ofori, a young midfielder, formerly of West Ham, Eddie Ndi, is a forward who came from Swedish 2nd Division football and Lewis Toop has also joined Barums ranks, Toop has formerly played for Bristol Manor Farm, Roman Glass St George and Tytherington Rocks.
The Stags have met Barnstaple Town seven times since 2016, Totton have…………Won 4 Drawn 1 Lost 2. Our best results against Barum came in 2018/19 when Totton won 5-0 at the Snows Stadium and 4-0 at Mill Road. Last season we met just the once and the Stags were edged out 1-0 at Mill Road, the return game at the Snows stadium was due to take place back in April, but as we all know ‘Covid 19’ put pay to all games from mid March onwards.
Barnstaple come into Saturdays clash on the back of a 2-0 FA Cup Preliminary round win over Helston Athletic from Cornwall. The Cornish club may be from the South West Peninsula Premier Division, but they are a club who appear to have money behind them, and they have several players who have played at higher levels, so that was an excellent win for Dean Edwards and his squad prior to Saturdays opening league fixture.