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Riley: Young guns have it all to do at Sholing
After some promising performances in the Calor Southern Premier Division, peaking with wins over Bashley and Chippenham, the inexperienced Stags were well beaten 5-2 at home by St Albans City last weekend.
But having taken time to analyse the performance Riley has concluded that, unforced errors aside, it was nowhere near as bad as the scoreline suggests.
“We need to get back to being a solid unit and cut out the errors that gifted St Albans their goals – and that’s what they were, gifts,” he said.
“The best team won last Saturday, for certain, but we wouldn’t have lost by that sort of scoreline if we’d cut out mistakes at crucial times, like the one straight after we’d pulled it back to 2-1.
“We’ve got Joe McCormack in goal and (assistant manager) Chris Ferrett but, apart from that, we’ve got mainly young lads who need guidance.
“But we’ll take a lot from the St Albans game.
“We’ve been working on a few things and the lads will learn to make better decisions.”
Although Sholing now play two rungs below the Stags in the Sydenhams Premier Division, Riley does not share Boatmen’s boss Dave Diaper’s view that Totton start as favourites at the Silverlake Arena tomorrow.
“We’re two leagues above them – but that’s on paper,” he said.
“Sholing have got good players who’ve played at a higher standard and they’ve been playing with each other week in, week out for many years.
“They beat us 3-2 in pre-season and we didn’t do much in the first half. But we gave them a game in the second half and we’ve got to try and match that tomorrow.
“If everyone puts in a seven or eight-out-of-ten performance against Sholing, we’ve got a chance.
“It’ll be a tough test for our lads with a lot of players knowing each other, but it’s got the makings of a good local derby. We should look forward to these sort of matches, it’s quite a mouth-watering tie.
“And if we could get a replay at our place on Tuesday it wouldn’t be the end of the world.”
Totton are again without star striker Nathaniel Sherborne, still two to three weeks away with a knee injury.
Ex-Fawley AFC midfielder Lewis Ross remains sidelined with a foot problem sustained at Bideford in the second game of the season.
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