Match Report -

Match Report - , by Roger Allen

Totton & Eling v Amesbury Town 16/03/19

Totton & Eling 1 Amesbury Town 1

TOP versus bottom. Promotion points at stake, the home side anxious to move away from the bottom of the table and the perhaps unexpected outcome of honours even at the end of an enjoyable ninety minutes.

A cold and windy, but happily dry afternoon, and Totton with the wind in their favour, made the better start and fashioned an early chance. Luca Cordeddu’s pace took him past the onrushing keeper but visiting skipper Jack Vallis got back to make a saving challenge. The game then got rather marooned in midfield with neither side greatly helped by the wind and a lack of goalmouth incidents before Amesbury enjoyed a spell of possession. Some neat play between Danny Finnegan and Jordan Matthews won a corner which went untouched across the six yard box before home keeper Nathan Jones saved a Luke Greenway effort at full stretch and then blocked Finnegan’s follow up.

But on the half hour mark the League leaders struck with a GREENWAY effort from some twenty yards beating Jones inside the near post. Archie Johnson’s superb cross field ball found Greenaway in space again with the shot deflected for a corner from which Jones beat away a shot from Keiran Stephens that he must have seen very late, before the last action of the half saw Jordan Matthews stopped almost in the act of shooting and all sought the relative comfort of the dressing rooms with the League leaders a goal to the good. HT 0-1

The wind showed no sign of abating and affected one clearance to the extent that it virtually demolished the small table and contents just outside the tea hut. Amesbury survived a scramble in their own area and at the other end Jones snatched a cross off Finnegan’s head before keeper and defender were fortunate to survive a poor back pass. Jones again defied Finnegan by leaving his area to meet a through ball before the home side marked the midway point of the half with a well fashioned and taken equaliser. A long ball inside the full back sent Adam Kana’Ah clear, the cross was hard and low and Harry BURNS turned it past Paddy Creese in the visiting goal.

Amesbury’s response was instant with Jordon Matthews striking the crossbar from the edge of the area and Jones denying the other Matthews with his legs. The home side were now under pressure but showed little sign of buckling under same as Lee Weeks saw a shot blocked, Jordan Matthews was inches wide with a lob that caught Jones off his line and Finnegan scraped the outside of the post. It was a sterling defensive effort very much led by Jones with two more excellent save and backed by bodies being put in the way and at the final whistle the home side had gained a deserved and hard won point.

An enjoyable game in the conditions played in good spirit and well refereed and though Amesbury perhaps carried more threat up front the home side, under new management, stuck to their task and belied their League position with their display. Amesbury in turn gained what could be an important point as they aim to make a swift return to the Premier Division, and as the referee blew for the finish so the rains came. FT 1-1 (John Gorman)