STUART Mott doesn’t play for AFC Totton too often these days – but when he does, it’s usually memorable.
That was certainly the case at Privett Park yesterday as the Stags pulled off a shock 2-1 FA Trophy first qualifying round win at higher league Gosport Borough.
Totton had only found out on Friday evening that, under a new rule, Eddie Perrett was ineligible to play having picked up two bookings in the competition.
So, with Jack Barker ill, Mott – back down south from North Yorkshire where he is stationed with the Army – stepped in.
It took him just 12 minutes to make his mark with an audacious strike from 30 yards which set the tone for a battling victory.
Ryan Pennery levelled it up for Gosport on 22 minutes and, truth to tell, Borough – led by swash-buckling player-manager Craig McAllister – had enough chances to have at least merited a draw.
But Totton defended manfully and it was one of their rear gunners, Callum Chugg, who won it just shy of half-time with a powerful header from Charlie Gunson’s assist.
Modest hero Mott said: “The ball came to me from a clearance and I didn’t know whether to hit it or not, but I had a good touch and thought: ‘Yep, this one’s on.’
“I connected well and it caught in the wind and, luckily, it’s gone in. Any other day it probably goes in row Z.”
Totton boss Louis Langdown said: “Motty was available last week. He’s naturally fit, but he went and played 90 minutes for Portchester so he would be ready for the Trophy game if needed.
“When a goal like that goes in, you stand and applaud it whichever team you’re on, and I think Gosport did.
“But it clicked them into gear and they became more of a threat. Everything went through Macca (McAllister), he’s so good at what he does. He was bumping our centre-halves right, left and centre.
“But Adam Siviter’s made a couple of good saves for us first half and we’ve stood up to them with the ball coming into the box continuously.
“To be honest, Chuggy had a tough time of it with Macca, but he’s scored a fantastic, towering header.
“Flavio (Tavares, new wideman) came on and did really well. We managed to soak up the pressure without getting out of shape and, when we had the chance, we attacked with pace on the break.”
It was a game that saw Stags striker Justin Bennett and assistant boss Adam Wilde return to their old Privett Park stamping ground and Langdown smiled: “Beating anyone from a league above is nice, but especially considering all the links between the two clubs.
“Winning £3,250 (from the FA Prize Fund) is nice too. It all helps.”
Source : DailyEcho