SMITH SEES RED AS STAGS LOSE HAMPSHIRE DERBY
Winchester City 2 AFC Totton 1
The Stags were less than happy at a couple of decisions that played a major part in them being edged out 2-1 by play off chasing Winchester City at the Simply Wealth City Ground last night.
The game couldn’t have started any worse for the unchanged Stags when Jamie Barron’s left wing corner was swung into the Stags box and Shane Murphy’s didn’t connect with the ball as he attempted to punch it away, the ball then hit former Stags centre half Rob Flookes and it went in the net and the Stags were a goal down after just 4 minutes.
City were boosted by the goal and they continued to look the better side on those early exchanges with IK Hill sending in a low drive in on 8 minutes that Murphy saved comfortably,
Totton’s 1st foray into the City box came Stuart Green picked up a ball around 35 yards out before he burst forward, working his way into the area and he managed to get a shot in from around 8 yards out, that City keeper Ryan Pryce pushed away.
on 24 minutes Totton striker Craig Feeney saw a deflected shot saved by Pryce, the ball ran loose and Alex Haynes fired the rebound in and Pryce saved again to deny the Stags.
Totton had been the better side after City’s bright start but the Citizens started to get on top again with Tyrell Mitford sending in a shot that went wide and Ik Hill then pulled a save out of Murphy, the Totton keeper did really well to hold on to Hills fierce effort.
The Stags then finished the half strongly with Green almost playing in Haynes, but a last ditch challenge denied the ever improving Stags midfielder, who was once again proving to be one of the Stags better players on the night.
Then a minute before the break the Stags finally found a way through after Craig Feeney turned a shot at goal, the ball took a deflection and ran straight into the path of Justin BENNETT who rifled the ball into the roof of the net.
Half Time: Winchester City 1 AFC Totton 1
The 2nd half saw the game swing from one end to the other with ‘genuine’ chances few and far between.
Goalscorer Bennett almost played in Green for Totton but City snuffed that out and the Stags Callum Chugg got in a timely tackle to prevent Simba Miambo getting in a shot on goal.
Then came a controversial moment when Stags centre half Jack Smith was adjudged to have elbowed City’s Oli Bailey. The City striker went down after Smith came to deal with some danger for Totton, he outstretched his arms as he tried to get to the ball in front of Bailey, but from where I was stood I never saw anything like an elbow, but the referee thought it was and Smith was sent off.
Totton were coping quite well despite being a man down with chances still in short supply.
The game was still being played at quite a pace, there was lots of huff and puff, but little in the way a decent flowing football.
As the game entered the final 10 minutes the referee once again made a huge call in awarding City a penalty following a challenge by Dave Allen on Bailey. Again, it looked an incredibly harsh decision. City captain Jamie Barron took the penalty and Murphy saved, the ball came back to Barron and he tucked it past Murphy to give City the lead.
There were further late chances for City with Rob Carr, Oli Bailey and Jake Rawkins all having efforts in the dying moments.
Full Time: Winchester City 2 AFC Totton 1