AFC Totton: WWWWLW
On a bright, sunny, warm saturday afternoon, Totton welcomed playoff hopefuls Hungerford Town to the Testwood Stadium. The Stags went into the game on the back of their biggest win of the season, a 9-0 thrashing of relegated Andover. Hungerford suffered a 1-0 home defeat to Totton's title rivals Sholing.
Totton took just 5 minutes to take the lead in this one. Jonathan Davies split the defence with a through ball for Nathaniel Sherborne to slot the ball past the on-rushing Kieron Drake for his 100th goal for AFC Totton. Ten minutes later a free kick was given to Totton 25 yards out on the right which Gosney swung into the box; the ball just eluding the outstretched legs of both Stefan Brown and Jamie Whisken and running through for the keeper to gather.
On 16 minutes Hungerford's Richard Bland was booked for a foul on Ryan Scott. In the 23rd minute Gosney sped away down the left and played a low ball into Sherborne, who shaped to shoot several times under pressure from the defence before finally swinging his foot and missing the ball completely, allowing the defender to boot it to safety. A minute later and Hungerford picked up another booking. Jamie Gosling was the recipient after a foul on Carl Pettefer. The free kick from Gosney was fired into the wall and cleared. Jonathan Davies was then sent through on goal but was crowded out by 2 defenders and the keeper easily gathered the ball.
10 minutes later and Totton doubled the advantage. A shot from the edge of the box from Sherborne was blocked by a defender and the ball fell kindly for Gosney who hit his shot into the ground and the ball bounced up and over Drake and into the net. Totton almost scored a route one goal when a goal kick from Grant Porter went all the way through, but Michael Green couldn't reach the ball before the keeper. Moments later the scoreline was 3-0. Good work down the right by Jonathan Davies and Stefan Brown resulted in the latter sending Sherborne through on goal to finish well with his second of the game. A minute before half time, and Hungerford handed the game to Totton on a plate after a foul in the box on Ryan Scott gave Gosney the chance to score his second of the afternoon from the penalty spot. In added time at the end of the first half Hungerford almost got themselves a goal but were denied by some brilliant defending from makeshift centre back Nathan Campbell.
Half time: AFC Totton 4-0 Hungerford Town.
The second half started with some end-to-end play from both teams. Aidan Lewis did well down the right for Totton and his cross was headed wide by Gosney. Five minutes past the hour mark Totton put the result beyond doubt. Pettefer played the ball out to Gosney on the left of the box and his inch perfect cross was met by the head of Brown 5 yards out. Just seconds later Pettefer was involved again, as his pass down the wing found Davies, who crossed from the right to find Gosney whose header across goal left the keeper flapping and the ball settled in the corner of the net. 6-0, and another hattrick for Gosney to add to his collection.
Sherborne was replaced by Michael Charles on 68 minutes and left the field to a well deserved ovation from the crowd for his 2-goal contribution. And Charles was right in the thick of it from the moment he came on. Davies cut in-field from the right and gave the ball to Brown, who set up Charles on the edge of the box but his powerful driven shot grazed the top of the crossbar. With ten minutes to go Totton won a corner. Gosney delivered, and Brown headed against the bar from about 2 yards out. It's still shaking now. This was Brown's last action as he was replaced by Mark Osman seconds later. Two or three half chances fell Totton's way, with Hungerford making the occasional burst forward on the break but found Nathan Campbell and Jamie Whisken in the mood for a clean sheet and they mopped up every Hungerford attack. Jonathan Davies was replaced by youngster Callum Davies (no relation) on 83 minutes and his replacement namesake linked up well down the right with Aidan Lewis to create chances for Charles and Gosney.
And with five minutes to go, number seven arrived. Gosney received the ball out on the left, cut inside and played a neat one-two with Charles who drilled the ball across the face of goal and, for the second time in 2 games, Gosney bagged a quadruple with a simple tap in from 3 yards. There was time at the death for a chance to add a bit more gloss to the scoreline when a foul on Charles gave Totton a free kick 25 yards from goal, which Gosney preceded to smash into the wall with virtually the last kick of the game.
Full time: AFC Totton 7-0 Hungerford Town.
Totton remain 8 points clear of Sholing, who have a game in hand. 5 points from the final 3 games will ensure Totton go up as division champions, while 4 points would be enough because of The Stags' vastly superior goal difference. Hungerford stay in 6th place on 69 points, just one place and one point away from the playoffs with a game in hand on 5th placed Almondsbury Town.
AFC Totton Hungerford Town
Grant Porter Kieron Drake
Aidan Lewis Jamie Leacock
Michael Green Jon Boardman
Nathan Campbell Mattie Day
Jamie Whisken Richard Bland
Ryan Scott David Asker
Carl Pettefer (C) Tom Browne
Jonathan Davies (Off 83) Jamie Gosling
Stefan Brown (Off 80) Adam Wallace
Nathaniel Sherborne (Off 68) Jemel Johnson
Michael Gosney Ryan Crockford
Mark Osman (On 80) Simon Herbert
Michael Charles (On 68) Scott Davis
Sean Hankin Chris Collin
Callum Oliver Adam Cashin-Murray
Callum Davies (On 83) Richard Guy
Goals: Sherborne (5, 41), Gosney (36, 44 pen, 65, 85), Brown (64).
Referee: Mr N Lugg.
Assistants: Mr G Mays & Mr N Norris.