Thursday, 21 July 2011
Pre-Season Friendly: AFC Totton 0-1 Southampton Under 21s, 20/07/11 7:45pm
On a damp, miserable evening, Totton played host to a Southampton team comprising mainly of youngsters. One surprise inclusion for The Saints was Jason Puncheon, who last season was scoring goals in the Premier League for Blackpool, on loan from the League One runners-up. Before the match, Southampton first team manager Nigel Adkins went out onto the pitch to present Totton winger Mike Gosney with his Golden Boot award for the 36 goals he scored last season.
Both teams started well, with chances coming at both ends in the first half an hour. Ryan Doble came close to opening the scoring for Saints in the 9th minute when his shot from an angle flew across goal and wide of the far post. After 20 minutes, Sean Hankin, filling in at left back for Totton in the first half, let fly with a powerful 40-yard strike that hit Stefan Brown's leg and tripped him up.
It was then Sam Hoskins' turn to try his luck for Southampton as he shot through a packed penalty box only for the ball to be blocked by Stags defender Ian Richardson. Jason Puncheon was a danger from set pieces and delivered some dangerous corners throughout the game. On the half hour mark a Puncheon corner was punched away by Totton keeper Warren Carter but only as far as Lloyd Isgrove in the box who forced an excellent low save from Carter who did well to react in time and Jamie Whisken hit the ball to safety.
On 33 minutes, the young Saints took the lead. Andy Robinson collected the ball 30 yards out and took a touch before rifling a low shot into the bottom corner of the net that Carter got a hand to but couldn't keep out. Straight from the re-start Totton gave the ball away and Jason Puncheon tried his luck from the edge of the box but couldn't get his shot on target as the ball flew past the post. Lloyd Isgrove was then thwarted by Carter after being put through on goal by Puncheon.
Aidan Lewis then went on a surging run down the right wing before delivering a low cross into the box that Aarran Racine slid in to put behind for a corner. From a free kick on the halfway line, Totton nearly managed to shoot themselves in the foot when instead of going forward, the ball was played back to Carter, who was charged down by Doble and almost robbed of the ball before just about recovering.
Half time: AFC Totton 0-1 Southampton Under-21s
At half time Totton goalkeeper Warren Carter was replaced by regular stopper Grant Porter. And he was called upon almost immediately as he made 2 or 3 comfortable saves in the first 10 minutes. A triple substitution for Totton saw Sean Hankin, Aidan Lewis and Michael Charles leave the field to be replaced by Ryan Hill, Matt Oldring and Nathaniel Sherborne.
Right on the hour mark, Mike Gosney lined up a free kick from 25 yards, grazing the top of the crossbar with a fierce effort. It was to be his last action as he and Stefan Brown made way for trialists Joe Maxwell and our favourite anonymous player from last weeks game against Blackfield & Langley: Manny the trialist! Who this week finally has a name! Immanuel Soetan.
Soetan set about making a nuisance of himself as his speed caused Southampton's back four problems. But like last week, the end product was lacking and he was guilty of losing the ball one or two times when trying to find the time and space to get a cross in. On 72 minutes Nathaniel Sherborne did well to dispossess Matt Young and dance past a couple of Saints defenders and find himself clean through on goal. His shot was saved by substitute keeper Steve Mowthorpe who couldn't hold it, and he almost capitalised on the loose ball from the rebound but Mowthorpe managed to fling an arm at the ball and drag it away as Sherborne swung a foot it.
With 5 minutes to go, Maxwell controlled the ball 25 yards out and attempted to lob Mowthorpe, but the shot never had enough height on it and was easily caught. Harry Reed came close to wrapping the game up for Saints when his attempted lob over Grant Porter dropped just wide of the post. Totton pressed for that elusive equaliser in the dying minutes of the match but it never materialised as the young Southampton defence stood firm.
Full Time: AFC Totton 0-1 Southampton Under-21s
An almost full strength Totton team were pushed all the way by a physical young Southampton side. Both sides had plenty of chances to score but Andy Robinson's goal was enough to separate them. A good work out for both teams, and Totton will maybe feel they should have got something from the game with the chances they had. Next up for The Stags is another home friendly, this Saturday (23rd July) against Conference South side Farnborough FC.
AFC Totton: Carter (Porter 46 mins), Lewis (Hill 55), Whisken, Richardson (Hodnett 70), Hankin (Oldring 55), Davies (Davis 75), Pettefer, Campbell (Chester 72), Gosney (Maxwell 60), Brown (Soetan 60), Charles (Sherborne 55).
Southampton Under-21s: Dovey (Mowthorpe 62), Stephens (Young 71), Reeves (Sinclair 71), Robinson (Chambers 62), Racine, Dean, Hoskins, Moore (Ward-Prowse 46), Doble (Rowe 57), Puncheon (Reed 74), Isgrove (Saville 46).