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Millers Targeting The Great Escape

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TOTTON & Eling's battling troops came off merrily whistling "The Great Escape" after Saturday's 2-0 win at Fawley.

With 14 games still to play in the Sydenhams Premier Division, belief is growing in the Millers camp that they could yet make a bolt for freedom from the bottom two.

Given that it took T&E 13 attempts to bank their first league point and they only registered their maiden win two weeks ago, it's hardly surprising they had been written off as relegation certainties.

The Millers are still clamped to the foot of the table, nine points adrift of safety, but, with games in hand over Fareham and Christchurch above them and a healthy return of seven points from their last three outings, chairman co-manager Andy Tipp is daring to dream the impossible.

"The lads were whistling 'The Great Escape' theme tune as they came off the pitch and in the dressing room," he smiled.

"There's a real good camaraderie and I honestly believe there's a possibility we could get out of this.

"We need people to stand up and be counted and it was a real battling performance at Fawley."

Conor Thorne struck first after 15 minutes, controlling a bouncing ball and volleying into the bottom corner.

With the clock seemingly taking an eternity to tick down, there were a few fingernails being bitten in the away dugout as they prayed for the whistle, but substitute Stuart Brown calmed nerves with a 25-yard stunner before the referee finally blew.

"It was a local derby between two clubs who are similar in size and neither pay money and Fawley have beaten us as much as we've beaten them," said Tipp.

"But this time I felt we had a bit more quality.

"Fawley are a young side who will keep running all day long, but we defended well again and that's three good results for us since young Matt Fredericks has been in goal.

"Steve Marwood and Danny Steer were strong at centre-half, 16-year-old Ryan Lomax was outstanding at left-back and another young lad Keenan New, son of (former AFC Totton assistant boss) Sean, came on as a sub and did well.

"It was quite a bitty, stop-start, ragged sort of game which neither team wanted to lose and I was pleased when Stu finally put the ball in the net for the second goal because I didn't want it going on any longer! It was one of those games you felt wasn't going to end until their late pressure paid off."

Totton & Eling's fighting form will be tested to the hilt this Saturday when mighty league leaders Petersfield Town visit Millers Park.

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