Winchester City 2-1 AFC Totton
Absolutely brilliant win for us, delighted for all the lads to bounce back after saturdays disappointing result in such a manner, very proud of each and everyone of the lads!!
We had a lot of issues ahead of the game, Liam Gilbert coaching course overrun and so he was unable to be there, plus Rob Carr had work issues that kept him away until the end of the 1st half, plus 3 or 4 very late due to the traffic issues around Winchester, so our preparation wasn’t quite what we would have liked.
Game started with us scoring quite early through Flooksy from a Baz corner, we controlled the first half and created a lot of openings, sadly we didn’t make the most of them with a final touch or pass letting us down, they created a couple of opportunities one of which Prycey saved well, the other a deflected shot that Bennett tucked away before the break.
2nd half they improved I thought and started to cause a few more issues, although strangely their best chances really were in the first half. They did have a bit more of the game though compared to the first half where we dictated the vast majority. They then got a red card with a stray arm that was adjudged as violent conduct, they are unhappy with that, so much so that the player has kicked the referees dressing room door in, not good...! They were actually very lucky in the last minute when Bennett lashed out, it simply had to be a red card but somehow only a yellow, so they benefitted from not having him banned.
That red card left them understandably protecting the point, so we had a lot of the play, we stayed patient but didn’t create as much as I would like, we got a pen though when Oli got slipped in and he chopped back and was taken out for a pen... pressure on Baz and his pen was saved but coolest man on the pitch Baz tucked it home for the winning goal. We then had to navigate the last 10/15 minutes, a few chances came and went for us, however they didn’t really threaten at all and we got a very good win.
Totton were rightly talked about as one of the favourites at the start of the season, they are a good side and have a formidable front 3, so to keep them quiet and to pick up 4 points against them is brilliant, especially when my record against them last season was decidedly poor, they are always a tough nut to crack but we cracked it today one way or another and I am chuffed with that.
I have heard a lot of things about how sides have had a man sent off a lot against us, that we are ‘clever’ - I am sorry but I refute that, there are a lot more streetwise sides than us, them sort of sides are the ones we struggle against. We won the fair play league last season and are 2nd again this season, that’s no coincidence I am proud of my players and my staff’s conduct, they are a pleasure to work with and give everything for the club and for me! If anyone thinks we are ‘clever’ then great, take it from me though, some of these lads are not very clever at all!
Brilliant win for us that keeps our dreams alive for another week at least, we have so much more work to do but we will keep pushing, starting with Bristol Manor Farm who believe me are a very good side, we need to be at our very best for that one!
One final thing... today marked us achieving more points than last season already. Season I joined for last few games we ended with 53 points, last season we achieved 61 points, we now have 63 points with 4 games left and we have 4 less games this season due to a reduction in the league size. I am proud of that, all you want is to see progression in your players and team, so in spite of a considerably reduced budget from the side we took over we have evolved really well and they are a special group to work with.
Great win and delighted for us all, let’s push again on Saturday, keep shouting the boys on!!
Up the citizens!