AFC TOTTON can take plenty of positives into tomorrow’s Calor Southern Premier fixture at Frome Town.
Although the Stags’ three-match winning streak was ended 2-0 at Poole Town on Tuesday, both managers agreed that they deserved more.
Poole boss Tommy Killick admitted that his play-off chasers had been caused “problems from start to finish” on a night when two-goal Gosport Borough loan striker Justin Bennett proved the difference between the sides.
And though Stags boss Steve Riley was naturally disappointed with the outcome, Totton’s performance again belied a side sitting third to bottom of the table.
“We had loads of chances and our enthusiasm, energy and fitness levels on a big pitch were fantastic. I couldn’t fault the lads,” he said.
“We had a lot of frustrated players afterwards and some of the big refereeing decisions went against us on the night, but everyone I spoke to said it was great stuff from our lads and we didn’t deserve to lose.
“Even Poole’s ex-Totton players all said we were the better side.
“We deserved more, but if someone had said before the St Neots game that we’d take ten points from the next 15, I’d have bitten their hand off.
“We’ve got another tough game at Frome tomorrow, they’re all tough in this league, but we’ll take the positives out of Tuesday and go again.”
The sheer number of chances Totton created at Poole was particularly impressive considering they were without AFC Bournemouth loan winger Harrison Gilkes.
“Harrison tweaked his hamstring and was a massive miss for us because he’s been one of our most creative players,” said Riley. “But it just goes to show that we can still make chances without him.
“Lewis Ross did a great job on the right-hand side and I was really pleased for Nathan Hurst who came on for the last 25 minutes and did well. “Even when we were 2-0 down we still pressed forward and (goalkeeper) Steve Mowthorpe didn’t make a save in the second half.”
For seventh-placed Poole – home to Truro City tomorrow – the result was the ideal response to back-to-back defeats at Hemel and Burnham.
“Hopefully we can at least take some momentum from it, get ourselves back on track and improve our performance levels tomorrow,” said Killick.