Monday, 30 January 2012

Cirencester Town 1-2 AFC Totton, 28/01/12 3pm


Totton are still keeping up with Brackley at the top of the league despite not winning away from the Testwood Stadium since mid-November. 3 away defeats on the bounce (Chippenham, Weymouth and Barwell) have put a small dent in The Stags' promotion bid, but the teams around us have also been slipping up so the situation is not as bad it could have been. This time we were away at Cirencester Town. The Centurions are second from bottom and lost 3-0 in the reverse fixture at the Testwood Stadium back in October.

The first real chance of this game fell to Totton after 14 minutes when Mike Gosney's free kick was headed goalwards by Jamie Whisken, but the ball was tipped over the bar by Cirencester keeper Charles Steward.

A few minutes later Gosney had another free kick 20 yards from goal. The Cirencester goal was never in any danger though as the ball cleared not only the crossbar but also the stand behind the goal, which echoed with the disappointed groans of the Totton fans.

Cirencester's first chance came in the 20th minute when Scott Griffin lost his marker and sent a curling left footed shot towards the far corner, but Dan Thomas made a superb diving save to turn the ball behind for a corner.

Griffin was at it again soon after when he found himself in a good position but was thwarted by Thomas who raced off his line to block well and concede a corner.

Nathan Davies had to be replaced by Aiden Bennett just after the half-hour mark after picking up an unfortunate off-the-ball hamstring injury.

Totton were then denied the lead when Nathan Jack's header from Jon Davies' cross looked destined for the back of the net with Steward well beaten, but Andy Gunn and Wayne Turk cleared the ball off the line.

With 2 minutes to go in the first half, Cirencester took the lead against the run of play. James Mortimer-Jones was given too much time and space just outside the box and unleashed a superb long range shot that cannoned off the underside of the crossbar and into the goal with Thomas rooted to the spot.

Half time: Cirencester Town 1-0 AFC Totton

The second half was just a few minutes old when Cirencester had the crossbar to thank for keeping them in front. Gosney swung in another good ball from the left and Scott Claridge inexplicably crashed a header against his own crossbar before the ball was scrambled away from danger.

Jon Davies then worked himself a bit of space in the box and hit a powerful shot that was tipped over the bar at full stretch by Steward.

Totton's dominance finally told just after the hour. Gosney whipped in another low corner towards the near post and Steward got down to parry it, but the ball bounced up kindly for Jamie Whisken who poked it over the line for his first goal of the season to bring The Stags level.

Cirencester didn't let the equaliser get them down and continued to push forward. Jon Else didn't really trouble Thomas with a couple of long range efforts and Scott Griffin headed wide from Lee Smith's cross.

The referee, who didn't exactly endear himself to either set of supporters, management or players then sent Jon Davies off after a second yellow card for talking back to the linesman. Davies was angry as he felt he had been fouled but the linesman flagged in Cirencester's favour.

The sending off didn't seem to affect Totton. If anything, it spurred them on even more. If Barwell could do it with 10 men last week, Totton could do it this week. 

In the 82nd minute, their endeavour paid off. Cirencester failed to deal with a Totton corner and after a bit of pinball in the box, Stefan Brown fired home at the second attempt to send the away fans wild.

Cirencester threatened to bring the scoreline level in the final minutes as Zak Westlake  headed wide from a corner, then Wayne Turk volleyed just wide when a clearance from a corner fell for him on the edge of the box but Totton held firm to claim all 3 points.

Full time: Cirencester Town 1-2 AFC Totton

Totton grabbed their first away win since a 2-1 win at Bedford on November 19th. Some will feel it was a deserved victory as The Stags dominated for most of the game and were slightly aggrieved at the dismissal of Jon Davies and a booking for Ross Bottomley for kicking the ball away, when it wasn't actually him who kicked it. Totton have now done the double over Cirencester who remain second from bottom, now level on points with near neighbours Swindon Supermarine after their 4-3 win at Evesham. Next up for Totton is the rearranged Hampshire Senior Cup quarter final tie at home against AFC Portchester. The winner will be away to Havant & Waterlooville in the semi finals. In the league, our next game is a home match with St Albans City next Saturday.

Cirencester Town: Steward, Claridge, Dunton (Bevan 86), Gunn, Davies (Bennett 32), Westlake, Turk, Mortimer-Jones, Smith (Bryant 75), Griffin, Else. Unused subs: Dunn.

AFC Totton: Thomas, Hill, Whisken, Bottomley, Baddeley, Davies, Campbell, Pettefer, Gosney, Jack, Brown. Subs: Porter, Richardson, Charles, Sherborne, Osman.

Cirencester: Mortimer-Jones (43)
Totton: Whisken (65), Brown (82)

Officials: Referee: Mr B Durie. Assistants: Mr O Ballinger & Mr P Moungarret.

Attendance: 126

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