Match Report: AFC Totton v Tiverton Town
JENNINGS SEALS THE POINTS
AFC Totton 1 Tiverton Town 0
By Sean McGlead
AFC Totton entertained Tiverton Town at the Testwood Stadium yesterday, looking to return to winning ways, after a run of four consecutive losses.
Stags boss Steve Riley suffered a setback when Andrew Bridge had to withdraw from the starting line-up after picking up an injury in the pre match warm up.
Steve Riley handed Joe Maxwell his first league start for the Stags. The Totton boss also made another change by bringing Ellis White into the centre of defence ahead of Chris Onoufriou, Onoufriou had to settle for a place on the bench.
The game started with both sides looking up for it, The Stags in particular, were moving the ball around really well.
In the 2nd minute, a good Totton move saw a chance set up for Liam Hibberd, Hibberd sent his shot a few feet wide of the left hand post.
Tiverton were also looking good on the ball and the Devon side earned themselves a corner on the left hand side in the 3rd minute. When the corner came over Tivvy centre half Tom Gardener rose above the Totton defence to head down powerfully to Steve Mowthorpes left, but the Totton keeper produced a superb stop to prevent the Tivvy No 6 from giving the visitors the lead.
Totton again produced another flowing move that ended with Liam Gilbert playing in Kyle O Brien, the American midfielder’s effort lacked enough power to trouble the Tiverton keeper Chris Wright though.
Totton kept pressing, and further opportunities arrived for them with Sherborne and Maxwell both failing to hit the target.
At the halfway point of the first half, another fine Totton move ended bizarrely. Kyle O Brien received a ball just inside the box, facing goal, Kyle had just the Tiverton keeper to beat, but for some reason the Totton No 8 decided to square the ball to Feeney, but Feeney was surrounded by Tiverton defenders and he was crowded out, and so the chance had gone.
Tiverton then had a couple of efforts when James Mudge ended a neat move by shooting just wide from the edge of the box, then a long ball forward by Jimmy Hinds saw Tivvy captain James Richards get in between Hibberd and White, but Richards lifted his shot just over the bar.
In a really entertaining, and sometimes feisty game, both sides were wasting good chances. Totton had two more efforts on the Tiverton goal when Joe Maxwell took a 30 yard free kick that went a couple of feet wide after Craig Feeney had been fouled, then another good Totton move ended up with O Brien squaring a ball to Sherborne, who shot just wide of the right hand post.
Sherborne was looking more like his old self today, which was great to see. Sherbs had Totton’s next chance when he hit a thumping 35 yarder just over the bar, after a good move involving Hibberd, Gilbert and O Brien.
Tiverton then finished the half strongly with two more chances. Firstly, James Richards had a 25 yarder go just wide in 42 minutes, then this was followed by a Richards free kick that was parried away by Steve Mowthorpe, the rebound fell to Jimmy Hinds, whose effort hit the crossbar before it was cleared by the Totton defence.
HALF TIME….. AFC TOTTON 0 TIVERTON TOWN 0
When the 2nd half resumed Tiverton went straight on the attack, Ethan Phillips played through a ball to James Mudge, Mudge found himself unmarked in the box, the Tiverton No 11 then tried to place a shot into the far side of the net, but unfortunately for him his shot went just wide of the far post.
Totton then started producing some more good football, and this time the Stags left back Jamie Blackburn got in on the action. Blackburn put over a lovely cross from the left hand angle of the box, the cross swerved just wide of the far post. The slightest touch would have probably resulted in a Stags goal.
Craig Feeney had a shot into the side netting on 51 minutes, then on 53 minutes Nathaniel Sherborne had a fierce 25 yard shot saved by Chris Wright.
Totton were looking really good at times with Liam Hibberd and Jamie Bullpitt both having good games, Hibberd was getting forward at every opportunity and Bullpitt was looking threatening when he had the ball, and when he didn’t he was working very hard trying to win the ball back.
There was a bit of a scare in the Totton box on 63 minutes. A ball from the right into the Totton area led to a bit of head tennis, with headers from Richards and Howe only partially cleared by the Stags defence, Jamie Blackburn bizarrely headed the ball back into his own box at one stage before eventually the ball was belted away with the Totton supporters having their hearts in their mouths.
Apart from the odd scare, defensively Rob Flooks and Ellis White had defended superbly well for Totton. This was without doubt Ellis White’s best game for the 1st team.
On 67 minutes Zac Mouland played in Liam Hibberd who was on one of his overlapping runs down the right, Hibberd then cut in and left fly with a shot that Chris wright did well to save.
A moment later Kyle O Brien jinked around a Tiverton defender on the edge of the box before hitting a shot just over the crossbar.
Then finally Totton took the lead and the goal came in the 74th minute. Substitute James JENNINGS who had come on for Nathaniel Sherborne buried a 25 yard free kick into the net with the help of a deflection, the deflection was enough to wrong foot the Tivvy keeper Chris Wright.
Totton then created another chance when Zac Mouland flicked a header just over the bar from a Jamie Blackburn cross on 76 minutes,
A moment of madness from Tivvy captain James Richards saw him earn himself a 2nd yellow card. His dismissal probably killed off any hopes Tiverton had of getting anything from the game.
James Jennings had another opportunity with a 30 yard free kick. This time however, the Stags goal scorer could only watch as his shot was deflected wide for a corner.
Totton finished the stronger side, with Zac Mouland having a further chance to add to the lead. Zac had a shot that flew across the face of goal and went just wide of the far post in the 86th minute.
Then Jamie Bullpitt went on a surging run from the right hand side, as Jamie cut into the box he tried a shot at goal, but his effort went into the side netting.
Totton played the remaining time out sensibly by keeping possession and getting the ball into the corners.
When the referee blew for time there were loud cheers that signalled the Stags return to winning ways. This victory see’s Totton rise to third in the table.
FULL TIME….. AFC TOTTON 1 TIVERTON TOWN 0