Money worries overshadow derby clash

Daily Echo: Steve Riley Steve Riley

IT’S been a turbulent time for local clubs in the Calor Southern Premier Division.

AFC Totton have been soldiering on all season against a backdrop of heavy debt and power struggles at the Testwood Stadium.

More recently it’s been Bashley making the headlines. A motion is now in place to fold the cash-strapped club at the end of the season and, in the meantime, they will see out the rest of the campaign without a playing budget.

The struggles of both clubs are particularly poignant for Totton boss Steve Riley, pictured left, who, prior to joining the Stags, spent seven happy years with the Foresters.

Speaking ahead of tonight’s showdown between the two at Bashley Road, Riley said: “It’s a shame what’s happening at Bashley, but they need people to put money in for the running costs. Being where it is it’s hard to hold functions there, so raising funds is difficult.

“I had some brilliant times there with the promotion-winning season (from the Southern One South & West) and there are lots of good people down there.

“We’ve had a difficult time of it too, but it will be good to get a decent crowd down to Bashley tonight to help our neighbours.

“We’ve got a full squad and we’ll be up for it and I know Paul Gazzard and John Pyatt will have Bashley up for it too.”

With both Totton and Bash winning at the weekend, the pair now sit 21st and 22nd respectively with Bedford now residing in bottom spot.

“There’s a little mini league going on at the bottom with both our clubs in similar positions,” said Riley. “Hopefully it will be a good contest tonight.”

Bash co-boss Pyatt said: “I am no quitter and being involved with a bunch of lads who are sticking with it, despite not getting paid, inspires me even more.”

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