Match Report: AFC Totton v Bridgwater Town
AFC Totton 1 Bridgwater Town 1
By Sean McGlead at the Testwood Stadium
AFC Totton and Bridgwater Town had to settle for a share of the spoils in this physical battle at the Testwood Stadium.
Bridgewater came into this game on the back of a tremendous 4-1 win a Wimborne Town last Tuesday, whilst the Stags also had a big 4-0 win in midweek at local rivals Bashley.
Stags boss Steve Riley was forced to make one change to the side that won the New Forest derby, by bringing in Matt Renouf in goal, in place of Steve Mowthorpe, who had to serve a one match suspension. Joe Maxwell was also recalled to the squad, but Joe had to settle for a place on the bench. Steve Riley decided to go without a substitute goal keeper.
Totton started quite well with Craig Feeney getting down the right and putting in a good cross that flew across the face of goal, unfortunately, there was not a blue shirt close enough to get on the end of it.
The Stags were trying to get forward, with Liam Hibberd doing his best to get up field and support the forwards, the only problem was more often than not, there was not enough quality finding its way into Feeney & co.
Feeney himself tried to turn supplier once more, he cleverly beat the Robins left back Jack Allward, whilst seemingly penned in by the corner flag, Feeney then ran along the goal line and put in another low cross that the Bridgwater defenders cleared. Once more there was little in the way of blue shirts close enough to get near Feeney’s cross.
Bridgwater were looking increasingly menacing going forward, especially Dean Griffiths and Kyle Tooze. It was Griffiths that gave Stags stand in keeper Matt Renouf his first bit of work to do, when he hit a low shot from the D on the edge of the box, but it was not powerful enough to trouble the former Sholing stopper.
The Somerset side then took a 19th minute lead when Stags keeper Matt Renouf’s attempted to bowl the ball out to Liam Hibberd, the intended ball to the Totton right back was intercepted by Kyle Tooze. The Robins No 9 then looked up and curled an absolutely beautiful shot into the top right hand corner from around 30 yards out.
Totton seemed to lose their way for a while, as Bridgwater dictated the play, Liam Hibberd gave away a free kick on the edge of the box after 29 minutes and it was that man Tooze who took it, this time Tooze curling effort went wide of Matt Renouf’s left hand post.
Bridgwater were continuing to look the most likely as the Stags were not creating anything in the final third. Craig Feeney was looking increasingly isolated.
Bridgwater were then awarded a penalty after 38 minutes when Liam Gilbert was harshly adjudged to have fouled Kyle Tooze in the box. After a few arguments between players and the referee Bridgy No 10 Joe Bushin took the kick. Bushin put his penalty to Matt Renouf’s right, Renouf got down and saved the kick, much to the joy of the Totton fans.
Renouf could now feel a lot better about himself, after atoning for his earlier mistake that allowed Bridgwater to take the lead.
Totton as yet had not had a real effort on goal, but that changed just a minute after the missed penalty.
A high ball towards the Robins left back Jack Allward saw him try to nod the ball back to keeper Ben John, Allward’s header lacked enough power to find the Robins keeper and Zac MOULAND nipped in to lift the ball over John and into an empty net to make it 1-1.
Half Time… AFC Totton 1 Bridgwater Town 1
The first half of the 2nd half saw little in the way of chances, but plenty in the way of endeavour, Dean Griffiths did manage to cut in from the right and put in a low ball that missed everybody in the box after 59 minutes.
On 68 minutes Totton were awarded a free kick on the right, after Craig Feeney had been fouled. Liam Gilbert put the ball into the box where it evaded everybody except Stags centre half Rob Flooks who stuck out a foot, but the ball went wide of the left hand post.
As the game entered the last 15 minutes, Nathaniel Sherborne and Craig Feeney played a neat one two on the edge of the box and Sherborne then shot low for goal, but Ben John got down to save Sherby’s shot.
Totton almost handed a 2nd goal to the Robins, after a defensive slip allowed Kyle Tooze to nip in behind the Stags back line and have a shot at goal from just inside the box. Tooze just had Renouf to beat, but Renouf got down the make a vital save.
Bridgwater almost stole the points in the closing stages when Joe Bushin met a right wing cross and nodded down towards goal, but Mat Renouf got down to push the header away to his left and the ball was cleared.
Full Time… AFC Totton 1 Bridgwater Town 1