TOTTON HIT WOODWORK MULTIPLE TIMES AS ANDOVER TAKE THE SPOILS
Totton & Eling were still missing Joe Selby, Rian Fear and Lewis Fear from today’s squad aswell as Luke Shergold. In came Liam Botcherby making the step up from the Reserve team, while Ethan Taylor joined The Millers from neighbours AFC Totton on a dual signing, with James Matthews making way and settling for a place on the bench.
Totton seemed to start this game the brighter side and had Ethan Taylor had almost embarrassed Andover keeper Dease Kerrison, after Ash Shergold’s through ball set Taylor away, Kerrison came rushing out and got to the ball first but the attempted clearance crashed off Taylor and luckily for Kerrison, to safety. The Millers certainly had the majority of the play in the opening 20 minute period but were unable to escape the attentions of the assistant referee on a couple of occasions – Burns with some good footwork on the left looked to find Taylor albeit in an offside position, while Danny Clarke also fell into the same trap following a clever one, two with Taylor moments later.
Either side of a Josh Hewson half chance for the hosts, Danny Clarke was causing all sorts of problems down the right hand side for T&E, in particular when his cross fell towards Ash Shergold to shoot first time, but the ball went wide of Kerrison’s post. But The Millers were so unlucky not to have taken the lead in the 24th minute as Taylor laid the ball back for Matt Hartmann, the former Philippine international saw his shot blocked before Ash Shergold was so unfortunate to see his left-footed shot come back off the crossbar, which may well have been helped on its way by Kerrison.
At the other end of the field, Kieran Nagle-Kelly blocked well from Tom Pattison’s attempted drive at goal. However, it wasn’t long before The Millers would strike the woodwork for the second time in an eight minute period. This time, Taylor doing well for find Danny Burns on the left, who looked up and unleashed a piledriver at goal, which Kerrison this time definitely did make a fantastic save and tip the ball onto the crossbar, so unlucky for Burns and T&E who must’ve wondered how they hadn’t gained the lead.
As the half wore on, Ryan Lomax’s freekick found Clarke in the area who could only head over due to heavy pressure from the Andover defence. Although it was now Andover’s turn to rattle the crossbar as the menacing Josh Hewson got away from Botcherby, he cut inside and let one fly from around 25 yards, which smacked the bar with Oli Eyres beaten in all fairness. A timely warning for The Millers that Andover still has intentions of their own. But Totton would finally find a deserved breakthrough on the stroke of halftime, Ethan Taylor’s decent delivery from a corner being powerfully headed back where it came from by Ryan LOMAX and into the far corner. HT 0-1
Having fallen behind in the first half, Anover certainly seemed a different side after the restart and went about looking for an equaliser straight away with Ben Emans forcing Eyres into a good save, but with no blue shirts on hand to put the rebound in The Millers survived the scare. Although, the half was only 4 minutes old when Town captain Brendon Holmes fired at goal, the ball moved wickedly in the air to deceive Eyres who could only spill the shot and that left HEWSON with the easiest of tap ins to restore parity for the hosts.
With the home side fired up, they came forward more and more with an Emans cross-cum-shot hitting the crossbar, but the turnaround was complete in the 54th minute. A inconspicuous ball played forward was unfortunately mis-controlled by Botcherby in the T&E defence and this allowed Josh BERTIE for find himself on a one on one situation with the oncoming Eyres helpless to stop Bertie’s calm finish. Just before the hour mark, The Millers were unlucky not to equalise, hitting the bar for the 3rd time in the afternoon. As Tyler Beech’s long throw in was helped on by Lomax towards Burns, the nippy winger shot at goal and incredibly hit the bar for the second time himself in the afternoon and frustratingly putting the writing on the wall for Totton.
Beech’s long throws continued to cause problems for Andover as Totton looked for a way to find an equaliser. Another of these throws fell to Taylor in the box, but his shot was straight at the keeper. Harry Barkaway has a shot from distance that went high and wide in an otherwise uneventful close to the game. Totton did finish the game on top but were unable to carve out any further opportunities. FT 2-1
With The Millers being on top of this game for long periods and creating the majority of the chances, they’ll be bitterly disappointed not to have taken anything from this game. Although all the right signs are in place, with good performances across the pitch, it’s surely a matter of time before the results will follow for Ben Hillman’s young side. Up next for them is another away game, this time taking on Andover New Street this coming (Saturday 26th September – 3pm) at Foxcotte Park.
Millers Lineup: Eyres, Botcherby, Beech, Nagle-Kelly, Lomax (c), Gain, Burns, Hartmann, Taylor, Clarke, A. Shergold.
Subs: Matthews, Moss, Ceesay
Adi Rose at Portway Stadium