OFF COLOUR STAGS SUFFER LATE HEARTBREAK
AFC Totton 1 Cinderford Town 2
The Stags play off hopes suffered a setback after this hugely disappointing loss at home to Cinderford Town this afternoon BUT those hopes ‘remain’ after some of the other clubs around them unexpectedly dropped points.
I will be honest with you, this was not the best of games from Tottons point of view, the Stags were not great today and that is really disappointing after a great point at Yate Town last week and an emphatic win over Paulton Rovers last Tuesday evening.
In a generally uneventful first 45 minutes the Stags did have the 1st chance of sorts when Justin Bennett got a touch to a Stuart Green cross, and this forced Cinderford keeper Alex Harris to push the ball away.
Cinderford 1st sight at goal came in the 12th minute when Robbie Atkinson latched onto a ball over the top and crossed to team mate Richard Greaves, who forced Murphy to make a save. Moments later Murphy had to make a ‘good’ but ‘comfortable’ save from Matt MacDonald’s deflected shot. Lorcan Sheehan also sent a shot over the bar for this visitors who were looking the more likely.
Totton started to re-awaken from their slumber and they earned themselves a free kick. Jack Masterton stepped up and put his free kick inches wide of Harris’s goal. Stuart Green then put a cross over to Bennett that ended up with Alex Haynes having an effort blocked close to goal.
Half Time: AFC Totton 0 Cinderford Town 0
Cinderford came out and started the better and Binns sent a shot fizzing past Murphy’s right hand post from over 30 yards out. Cinderford then earned themselves a free kick out on the right and Binns sent a decent ball into the Totton box and the Stags defenders seemed to stop ‘as one’ and any one of three Cinderford players had the simple task of tapping the ball home, and the man that did put the ball over the line was Nick Rhodes.
Totton were not creating anything worthwhile going forward. To make things worse the Stags were looking vulnerable when Cinderford broke forward, which they did quickly and in numbers.
When you are not having the best of days the last thing you should be doing is gifting chances to the opposition, but Totton did just this on 57 minutes when Dave Allen played a ball back to Stags keeper Murphy, and as he attempted kick down field, the ball went straight to Cinderfords Josh Hunt. Fortunately, the ball hit Hunt and went well wide. Cinderford then had another shot at goal when Atkinsons 25 yard effort went wide.
Totton then finally created something, but it was only a half chance and it came about when Perrett nodded a ball back across goal and Haynes scuffed an effort straight at Harris.
Then literally ‘out of the blue’ Totton were level though Craig FEENEY. The Stags top scorer scored a spectacular 25 yard half volley, following Murphy’s long kick down field that Green nodded across to Bennett, Bennetts header then landed at the feet Feeney on his 150th appearance for the club and he turned and hit a brilliant shot into the top right hand corner of the net. Keeper Harris did get a hand to Feeney’s shot, but it was so well hit any keeper would have done brilliantly well to stop it.
Cinderford went about looking to regain the lead Sub James Harding pulled a save out of Murphy, Murphy was needed again moments later to save an effort from Ben Watkins, fortunately Stags Jack Smith put the ball out for a corner before any spillage was mopped up by the Foresters.
With three minutes of added time remaining Cinderford were reduced to 10 men when centre half Jack Alderdice was given his marching orders following a foul on Justin Bennett.
With Jack Masterton having been substituted Bennett took a free kick that went just wide in added time, then Jason Brooks put a cross over for Bennett and Bennett couldn’t get enough power in his header to trouble Harris.
Despite being down to 10 men Cinderford were still getting forward and the forced a couple of late corners that came to nothing, but with seconds left on the clock the visitors capitalised on the Stags giving the ball away in midfield and they got in down their left and substitute Harding sent a low shot past Murphy from inside the box and into the far corner of the net. This sparked wild celebrations from the visitors bench and players.
On the day it was hard to argue with the result. Cinderford looked a very useful side and they were certainly one of the best sides to visit the Testwood Community Stadium this season.
Full time: AFC Totton 1 Cinderford Town 2