AFC TOTTON boss Dan Sackman is remaining calm after losing ground in the promotion race to local rivals Sholing – believing there to be “so many points on the board to win.”

The Stags were on the wrong end of a tight game that ended 2-1 at the Mackoy Stadium, with Sholing leapfrogging Totton in the league-table.

Sackman, who came in as manager at the start of December, remains “overly positive”, largely due to the fact his side are willing to learn from their mistakes.

Speaking after losing twice in a row for the first time this season, Sackman told AFC Totton TV: “I told them that there's still 15 games left and I might be being a bit overly positive but it is true.

“We've still got so many points on the board to win.

“This is just one more game in the story of our season and there's absolutely no point in sulking.

“There's absolutely no point in beating ourselves up. Okay, so first time all season we've gone back-to-back losses. It happens.

“There are definitely some things we need to learn and very, very quickly if we're going to succeed this year.

“A little bit concerned that some of the repeat errors we've made over the last few games, but again, they're a really good bunch of guys.

“They want to learn, they want to take the information on and it's not through lack of trying, which if you've got that as a platform to begin with, then eventually you'll be okay and something positive will come out of it.”

After a quiet first 45 minutes from both sides, the second half saw the match burst into life – with Totton taking an early lead through Ethan Taylor.

However, the hosts quickly responded via Stu Green– before finding a winner 13 minutes from time via a wonderful Dan Mason free-kick.

Sackman continued: “We were happy with the whole game up until the first goal we conceded.

“To be honest, we knew it would be a really difficult place to come tonight.

“The surface made it tricky for both teams. I thought both teams dealt with it excellently and it wasn't going to be a pretty game for the purists.

“It is a concern that again after conceding, that Green has gone through one-v-one almost immediately. So we had the warning shot and then we didn't quite get the grips of it and they scored pretty quickly after.

“That is one of the things that especially as you go into the business end of the season when points become even more valuable, and you don't get opportunities to claw them back, those are your key moments that will either see you near the top of the league or not.

“So that's the bit we have to learn really quickly going forward.”

Totton dropped to fourth in the Southern League Division One South table, with the Stags hosting relegation threatened Mangotsfield United at the weekend.