STAGS PROGRESS IN RUSSELL COTES CUP
AFC Totton 2 Petersfield Town 1
The Russell Cotes cup may not be high on the priority list for some clubs, However, It’s a useful competition for the Stags because it offers Louis Langdown & Adam Wilde valuable opportunities to try new things in competitive matches and it gives squad players the chance to get some minutes under their belts. Last night for example Stags boss Louis Langdown made six changes to the starting line up that faced Cinderford Town on Saturday. Will Archer, Mitchell Byrne, Richard Bakary, Liam Farrugia and Liam Callaghan all started last nights game and they replaced Alex Haynes, Dave Allen, Silvano Obeng and Oli Bradley who dropped to the bench, whilst Robin Nicholls was unavailable for this game. The Stags also fielded Goalkeeeper Jack Martin on a short-term loan from Tadley Calleva. Martin is a Totton boy, so he would’ve loved playing with the Totton badge on his chest. Jack came in for Alex Cull, who was injured whilst training with Saints.
Petersfield who are currently 10th in Wessex League Division One, but they have as many as six games in hand on some clubs so in truth their true position is likely to be a lot higher once they catch up on their games. So, although the Stags were favourites this was never going to be a walk in the park for them.
The Stags were the better side in the 1st period with some controlled spells of possession, there were early chances for McWilliam and Feeney in the 1st quarter of an hour and it was on 16 minutes when the Rams had their 1st poke at goal when Ryan Kennedy fired high and wide.
Totton continued to dominate, and Callaghan was unlucky to see a shot pushed over by Petersfield keeper Matt Petts on 28 minutes. Totton’s luck with injuries this season goes on and on and Matt Bozier had to be replaced by Alex Haynes on the half hour, after he sustained an arm injury.
Feeney had a great chance to open the scoring on 31 minutes after he was played in by McWilliam, following a great run from deep from the former Montrose player, unfortunately for the Stags top scorer from the right side of the area he fired wide of the far post.
Petersfield best moment of the game so far arrived a minute after Feeney’s chance and it saw some great trickery from their No 11 Marvin Orepo, who waltzed through the Totton defence before Jack Martin made a vital save to deny him, when the ball ran loose it eventually saw a fierce shot come in that Martin did well to save, holding it firmly.
Totton then took the lead after Charlie Merritt intercepted an intended pass to Liam Callaghan and Callaghan collided with Merritt and won the ball off of him then CALLAGHAN took the ball inside the box and he sidestepped centre half Kris Stephens before firing low inside the right-hand post.
Petersfields Matt Low then saw an effort go well wide before Totton went back on the attack and McWilliam pulled a save from Petts despite being sat on his backside inside the box. Then there was another opportunity for Totton when Richard Bakary was denied by Petts. The last chance of the half came for the Rams when Harry Tremlett let rip with a powerful shot, but Jack Martin made the save look easy when in truth the shot could have easily beaten some keepers.
Half time: AFC Totton 1 Petersfield Town 0
The Stags made a change right at the start of the 2nd half when Silvano Obeng came on for Pip Nolan, although the subs board showed Liam Farrugia was being replaced.
Totton started the half well and Feeney was denied by Petts after he connected with Bakary’s right wing cross. Then for a little while the game went end to end with the Rams seeing Orepo’s effort go over the bar. Then on 51 minutes Totton doubled their lead when Silvano Obeng got down the right, and he whipped in a low cross that FEENEY swept home from close range for his 13th goal of the campaign so far. Petersfield responded by forcing a corner that arrived in the box where Kennedy fired over then Totton went forward and Obeng saw a chance go wide from Farrugias cross.
After further substitutions the game lost its shape and became scruffy and neither side were able to hold on to possession for long and with 5 minutes left to play Jack Martins intended pass was intercepted and this allowed Will Webb to lift the ball over him with Martin desperately trying to get back into his goal. It was a pity for Jack who had done very well up until this point.
Full time: AFC Totton 2 Petersfield Town 1