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Great win for Totton in Wiltshire
AFC TOTTON’S young braves rounded off a remarkable week as goals by Joe Noakes and Alex Moth sealed a 2-1 win at Chippenham Town yesterday.
Hardenhuish Park has often proved a tough hunting ground for Stags boss Steve Riley who lost there by an identical scoreline last term with a squad of seasoned senior players.
This year the Stags are tackling the rough, tough world of the Southern Premier Division with a group of inexperienced youngsters, but they rose to the challenge admirably to register their second victory in six days, having seen off Bashley 3-1 on Monday.
“I’ve been here a lot of times as a player and manager and it’s always difficult what with the pitch and everything else, and I can honestly say this is one of the most satisfying wins I’ve ever had at Chippenham,” said a proud Riley.
“It was deserved as well. The lads worked their socks off and everyone was at least an eight out of ten for effort and organisation.
“There’s a long way to go yet and all we can do is enjoy the moment. But back-to-back wins is pleasing and getting your first away point always gives you a lift, particularly as Chippenham put five past Frome on Monday.
“It was a great workmanlike performance from our lads.”
The only down side of victory was the loss of goalscorer Noakes to the recurrence of a knee injury.
The Havant & Waterlooville loan defender had given the Stags a tenth-minute lead, rising to head home Luke Roberts’ corner.
Chris Onoufriou’s clumsy challenge on Harley Burnell presented Alan Griffin with a 23rd-minute penalty equaliser and Totton had to reshuffle after Noakes had been stretchered off with Onoufriou switching to central defence and Jacob Joseph slotting in at right wing-back.
With the experienced Joe McCormack solid in goal, Totton kept their defensive shape and were always lively on the break.
The winner arrived on 68 minutes when Bluebirds’ Adie Harris was adjudged to have pushed Monday’s two-goal hero Zac Mouland, who had linked up well with Edwards, and former AFC Bournemouth youngster Moth proved deadly from the spot.
Noakes is touch and go for Tuesday's home game against Truro City (7.45pm), but Riley said: “Joe’s just come back from a knee injury and fell awkwardly, but hopefully it’s not as bad as people first thought. I hope not because he’s played really well in his three games.”
Full back Ryan Hill is expected to rejoin the squad after holiday, but striker Nathaniel Sherborne (knee) is still a week away from fitness.
Carl Preston’s 25th-minute opener for Poole had been snuffed out by Sam Reed with seven minutes remaining before Gillespie headed home a corner.
Bashley’s 1-0 home defeat by Bideford was overshadowed by a neck injury to Foresters’ full-back Brad Morris who was treated by paramedics on the pitch for an hour.
Morris fell awkwardly on the hard ground with co-boss Stewart Kearn explaining: “It was an innocuous challenge and I don’t think there’s any blame to be apportioned.”
Bash trailed to a 29th-minute Saul Halpin goal, but were unlucky not to level on the stroke of full-time when ex-AFC Totton defender Ian Richardson’s dipping 30-yard effort cannoned off the crossbar.
Striker/midfielder Dave Allen has rejoined Bash after an injury-hit season with Totton.
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