SHARPSHOOTER Craig Feeney will have his sights firmly fixed on Sholing at the Testwood Stadium today (3pm) after rifling in six goals in five games for AFC Totton in the Southern One South & West.
The former Totton & Eling marksman hasn’t looked back since his summer move from Blackfield & Langley.
Having scored singles in the Stags’ opening week wins at Clevedon and Wantage, he followed up with a brace against Swindon Supermarine last Tuesday and plundered two more in Saturday’s excellent 2-1 victory at Evesham.
Totton did it the hard way in Worcestershire, falling behind after just nine minutes when Jared Wilson capitalised on good work by Ashley Edenborough. But they refused to let frustration get the better of them, even after having two clear penalty appeals turned down for fouls on Zac Mouland, and eased their way back into the game on 58 minutes.
Feeney raced onto a throughball and, with Evesham’s ex-Salisbury ’keeper Kevin Sawyer coming off his line to narrow the angle, the striker coolly dinked it over him from 15 yards.
That signalled Totton’s best spell and they capitalised with ten minutes remaining – the ice-cool Feeney curling a shot in off the post from the edge of the box.
Praising the on-song marksman, Stags boss Steve Riley said: “Craig’s had a good start. Scoring goals gives you confidence.
“He’s bulked up a bit since he was here a couple of seasons ago (dual-signed from Totton & Eling). He was a bit lightweight then, but he’s stronger and more powerful.
“He’s a nice, level-headed lad too. His finishing’s been clinical. Long may it continue.”
It wasn’t just Feeney who brought a smile to Riley’s face on Saturday, it was the whole team effort.
“In the second half, we were absolutely solid and created lots of chances. Our goalkeeper Steve Mowthrope snuffed out any half-chances for Evesham.
“I said at half-time that we’d get something if we kept a clean sheet second half and we stayed solid and managed the game well.
“Evesham are ruthless and organised, but our quality and workrate was phenomenal.”
Totton, third with 12 points out of 15, today renew old rivalries with neighbours Sholing who have suffered back-to-back defeats by Wimborne and Yate.
Riley’s old club Bashley, fielding three 16-year-olds, pushed Tiverton Town all the way in Devon before slipping to a 2-1 defeat.
The Foresters today entertain Wimborne who fell to their first defeat of the campaign 2-1 at Cinderford Town.