STAGS SWEPT ASIDE BY SWANS
Slimbridge 5 AFC Totton 2
AFC Totton’s Christmas programme got off to the worst possible start after they were smashed 5-2 at Slimbridge’s Thornhill Park yesterday afternoon, despite leading 2-1 at one stage.
The Stags made three changes to the side that lost 2-1 at Cirencester last time out Matt Bozier was injured, whilst Adam McWilliam was unavailable and Dave Allen dropped to the bench. In came Liam Farrugia, Jack Smith and Jack Masterton. The bench consisted of Ollie Bradley, Richard Bakery, Liam Callaghan and of course Dave Allen.
Unfortunately, it was another afternoon of poor defending that contributed to this loss.
The Stags got off to a dreadful start conceding the opening goal after just 3 minutes when Solomon Wanjau-Smith swept the Swans ahead.
Totton reacted well to that early setback because after 10 minutes they forced a corner on the right. Jack Masterton swung it into the box where it was cleared as far as Pip Nolan, who latched onto the clearance before he fired home with the help of a deflection.
Totton were galvanised by that goal as they proceeded to knock the ball around confidently at times.
On 17 minutes the Stags were in front when top scorer Craig Feeney picked up Alex Haynes pass on the right of the area before he rifled home into the bottom left hand corner, it was an emphatic finish from the Stags top scorer.
A short while later Feeney saw another effort go wide as the Stags seemed to grow in confidence.
Totton had a bit of luck when Dion Chambers played in Wanjau-Smith whose 1st touch let him down as the ball rolled harmlessly to a relieved Stags keeper Matt Hall.
Totton retaliated with a chance for Alex Haynes that went wide in the 22nd minute. The game was really entertaining with both sides looking capable going forward.
There was a couple of chances for Slimbridge’s Ryan Beckinsdale who fired wide with his first 1st effort, and he fired over with the 2nd.
Totton had a half chance when Feeney dinked a ball in for Jack Masterton only for Swans keeper Lewis Adams to get to it just ahead of the Stags midfielder.
Slimbridge’s Danny King had a couple of efforts a minute apart, the 1st was saved by Hall, whilst the 2nd was well off target.
Totton were close to increasing their lead when a long throw from Nolan on the left found the head of Silvano Obeng and keeper Adams had to make a save to deny him.
The hosts were almost level a minute before the break when Wanjau-Smith came in unnoticed at the back post with an effort that was well stopped by Hall at point blank range.
The Stags were still ahead as we entered added time at the end of the half and in the 2nd minute of that added time the Stags conceded a free kick 20 yards out to the right of the ‘D’. It was floated to the back post where William Peck came in to head the Swans level. From a defensive point of view, it was disappointing as Peck appeared to arrive without anybody picking up his run.
Half time: Slimbridge 2 AFC Totton 2
Slimbridge certainly came out looking very menacing early in the 2nd half with Wanjau-Smith shooting straight at Hall and King firing over after a simple ball over the top, King will feel he should have done better with that opportunity.
Totton had a chance when a move ended with Obeng flicking a ball on to Feeney inside the box, but on this occasion, Feeney put the ball over the crossbar.
Chambers then sent a wayward shot in on goal that was well wide, but a moment later the Swans were in front when Callum Chugg got under a long ball and his header dropped close to him, this allowed Myron Turner to steel the ball and from that point he proceeded to fire past Hall, once again it was a poor goal defensively.
If that was not bad enough just 4 minutes later, it was 4-2 to the swans when Matt Hall could only parry a shot to substitute Jamie Martin who was quickest to the rebound and he made no mistake. Once again you do have to question why Totton were so slow to react.
It went from bad to worse for the Stags because on 75 minutes a basic ball down the middle saw Adam Price beat the Totton defenders to the ball and he swept home a 5th goal for the hosts.
In the dying moments Slimbridge keeper Adams had to make a double save from Craig Feeney for what would have been a mere consolation for the Stags.
Full time: Slimbridge 5 AFC Totton 2