SHOLING bolstered their Southern League Division One promotion bid by putting a dent in local rivals Totton – with the Boatmen edging past the Stags 2-1 at the Mackoy Stadium.

407 fans braved the January cold to watch third placed Totton contend with fifth placed Sholing, but many in the ground were left wanting after a gritty opening 45 minutes.

Brad Targett saw an early shot tipped round the post by Lewis Noice, whilst at the other end the largest piece of action was a penalty appeal.

Ethan Taylor showed nifty footwork to open up the Totton defence inside the six-yard box, but before the attacker could pull the trigger, he was down on the ground.

Match official Iain Parsons waved away claims for a penalty, deeming Taylor to have gone down too easily.

Whilst the first half was largely forgettable, the second period started at electric pace.

Both sides showed more attacking intent, leading to the opener after just two second-half minutes. Hisham Kasimu blasted through the Totton defence from the left wing, teeing up Taylor with a squared ball.

Whilst it appeared Sholing defender Dan Miller got the decisive touch, Taylor was credited with the opener.

Undeterred by their guests fast start to the second half, Sholing quickly looked to make amends and find an instant reply.

Targett again proved a handful for the Stags’ defence, drawing a save from close range after driving in from the wing.

It would be Stu Green who grabbed the equaliser just three minutes after Taylor’s opener, with the attacker latching on to a Sami Makhloufi through ball to blast past Noice and level affairs.

Finally the game was befitting the large crowd that had turned up to watch the local rivals, with Totton midfielder Freddie Read sending a dipping effort narrowly over the bar from 25-yards out.

The deciding goal would come from a similar distance – with Dan Mason smashing a free-kick from about 20-yards out.

The free-kick was struck with such venom, ‘keeper Noice could only stay rooted and watch as the ball flew past the wall and into the back of the net.

Sholing then held on for the remaining 13 minutes with little difficulty, with three hard earned points enough to lift them over Totton, into third place.