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Stags get back to winning ways
6:15pm Saturday 9th March 2013 in Sport
AFC Totton ended a run of six league games without a win by beating Redditch United 2-0 in the Southern Premier Division this afternoon.
A goal in each half by Luke Roberts and Jono Davies cheered a season’s best league crowd of 605 at the Testwood Stadium.
Jono Davies returned from injury for Totton and young Luke Roberts got another league start in place of the injured Mike Gosney.
New strike signing Craig Feeney from Totton & Eling was named on the bench.
Redditch started the sharper, catching Totton unaware with a quick throw-in and forcing an early corner.
It then needed a solid intervention by Ross Bottomley to stop Jermaine Hylton in full flight as he threatened to burst clear down the left.
On 13 minutes Bottomley went in a little too hard on William Richards, who shoved him in retaliation. After both players had been lectured by referee Nunn, Connor Deards fired the free kick across the face of goal and wide.
After 15 minutes without mounting a serious threat, Totton mustered three chances in as many minutes.
First Stefan Brown – starting a second month’s loan from Basingstoke Town – was denied by an excellent save from Bradley Catlow after latching on to James Coutts’ through ball.
Two minutes later Davies cleverly span and found Baily Cargill on the left. The AFC Bournemouth youngster delivered an inviting cross into the six-yard box where Catlow did just enough to block out Richard Gillespie.
Within a matter of seconds Totton earned a free kick on the left and Ryan Hill’s well-struck delivery whizzed narrowly past the leap of Gillespie.
On 25 minutes yet another opportunity came the Stags’ way, but Gillespie narrowly failed to find the far corner after Roberts had found him in space on the right of the area.
Redditch responded when Hylton skipped past Hill and forced a corner off goalkeeper Ross Casey at his near post, but the youngster did well to punch away Deards’ inswinger.
Catlow again came to the visitors’ rescue on 31 minutes, getting down to claw away Cargill’s fierce strike at the foot of his left-hand post in the mayhem that followed a Totton corner.
Then Coutts picked out Gillespie with a cracking ball into the area but, though the striker did everything right in nudging the ball over keeper and defender, his control let him down and Redditch managed to clear.
Hylton sent a swerving 20-yarder just over in response, but Totton were quickly back on the attack with Jamie Whisken back-heeling an effort over from Cargill’s free kick before the outstanding Catlow again denied Gillespie one-on-one.
The Stags finally made one of their chances count on 43 minutes.
As a free kick came in from the left, Whisken headed it on and, after an initial touch by Brown, ROBERTS side-footed it over the line.
Casey was called into action soon after the restart to block out Richards’ strike before, at the other end, Coutts swept a chance wide.
There was another warning for Totton on 55 minutes when Hylton drove straight through the heart of defence, only to shoot narrowly over.
As the hour mark arrived, DAVIES put clear daylight between the sides with a brilliant, curling free kick from the edge of the box which deflected in off the Redditch wall.
The visitors might have pulled one back in similar fashion three minutes later when Bottomley was adjudged to have tripped Richards.
Josh Quaynor’s free kick was bending towards the far corner but Casey got across smartly to push it away.
Feeney came on for his debut in place of Gillespie on 67 minutes and, soon afterwards, Jamie Rudd replaced Davies.
But it was Redditch substitute Matt West who almost made a difference, forcing another top-drawer save from Casey who showed strong hands to turn his rising effort over.
Feeney, though, was getting himself into some good positions and almost scored on 81 minutes with a glancing header just wide from Rudd’s cross.
The Stags looked to have a good shout for a penalty turned down for a shove on Brown after sub Luke Whitley’s raid along the by-line had caused havoc in the visitors’ defence.
The goal-mouth action kept going into stoppage time when more good work by Hylton set up Redditch sub West, but he drilled his low shot wide.