Tuesday, 30 August 2011
The sun came out on this Bank Holiday Monday clash between table-topping Totton and waning Weymouth. The Stags went into the game on the back of our first defeat of the season away at Leamington, while former Blue Square Bet Premier side Weymouth spent Saturday afternoon on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline at home against Bedford Town. Totton striker Michael Charles dropped to the bench with Nathaniel Sherborne starting up front with Stefan Brown in the only change from the side that lost to Leamington.
Totton began well and came close to opening the scoring after 4 minutes. Mike Gosney's accurate through ball to Stefan Brown set the striker in on goal but his curled effort was just wide of the far post. But The Stags have a habit of scoring early goals, and today was no different. After a corner from the right, Terras keeper Nick Jordan made a good save before a scramble in the box ended with central defender Ian Richardson turning the ball in from close range on 8 minutes.
Nathaniel Sherborne was then maybe too honest for his own good when he was clean through on goal. His initial shot was saved by Jordan but the ball came back to him and as he tried to go round Jordan, the keeper caught him. Sherborne stumbled and could have got a penalty had he gone down but managed to stay on his feet and as he was trying to correct himself his second shot was saved as well and the ball rolled away for a corner. Up the other end, Weymouth worked a short corner and when the ball was whipped in from the right, it narrowly evaded the heads of two Weymouth players and went straight through for a goal kick.
A long ball down the wing from Tom Baddeley to Sherborne set up another attack for Totton as Sherborne crossed to Brown who fired across goal and wide. Brown was involved again when he played the ball back across goal from Ryan Hill's cross and found Nathan Campbell at the far post, but his effort was put behind for a corner.
Half time: AFC Totton 1-0 Weymouth
Both sides had good chances to score after the break. Brown headed on a long ball out from the back and the ball bounced towards Jordan in the Weymouth goal with Sherborne being kept back by Poole. But Sherborne would not be denied and he nipped in between defender and keeper to get his foot to the ball before Jordan could catch it, unfortunately he knocked the ball wide.
Weymouth had their fair share of chances, however. Matt Groves saw a header go just wide, before Rob Wolleaston had a shot from the edge of the box that wasn't far away as it flew over Grant Porter's crossbar. Sherborne went close again for Totton when he brought down Ryan Hill's long diagonal pass on the edge of the box and superbly flicked it up and over his head and the head of the defender marking him closely; his shot going straight into the arms of Jordan.Sherborne was in again moments later but this time his shot cleared the crossbar.
With a quarter of an hour remaining, Totton gave themselves a bit of breathing space with a second goal. Jon Davies split the Weymouth defence with a through ball and Gosney ran onto it from an onside position to be one-on-one with Nick Jordan and placed a shot inside the near post to double the lead and make the home fans breathe a little easier. Sherborne and substitute Mark Osman both had chances in the remaining 10 minutes, but both somehow managed to fire wide when clean through on goal.
Full time: AFC Totton 2-0 Weymouth
The Stags are back to winning ways after the slump against Leamington. This was a comfortable victory in which Weymouth had chances but Grant Porter was never properly tested in goal. Totton remain top of the table, level on 15 points with Brackley Town. Weymouth are fourth from bottom after a fourth defeat in their first 6 games. Our next game is Saturday 3rd September at 3pm when Barwell are in town.
AFC Totton: Porter, Hill, Whisken, Richardson, Baddeley, Davies (Lewis 90 mins), Pettefer, Campbell, Gosney, Sherborne, Brown (Osman 73). Unused subs: Oldring, Coutts, Charles.
Weymouth: Jordan, Tribe, Tasker, Napper, Gerring, Poole, Marshallsay (Bassett 76), Wolleaston, Groves (McKechnie 84), Byerley, Reed. Unused subs: Dixon, Manely, Stephenson.
Goals: AFC Totton: Richardson (8), Gosney (76).
Officials: Referee: Mr M Derrien. Assistants: Mr D Berry & Mr M Lee.
Monday, 29 August 2011
Totton made the longest away trip of the season so far to face one of the pre-season favourites to win the league, Leamington. The hosts had drawn a blank in their previous fixture as they drew 0-0 away at Stourbridge, while, as we know, Totton won 3-0 at Hemel Hempstead to strengthen their grip on top spot in the league table. This promised to be a tough game, and it was.
Leamington started the brighter of the two teams and had a good chance after 7 minutes when a cross from the right was headed wide by Jacob Blyth. But Totton were soon in front against the run of play. Moments after Mike Gosney had put the ball over the bar, his defence-splitting pass found Jon Davies who fired low towards goal and the ball was diverted into the net by Leamington defender Jamie Hood.
Blyth volleyed a ball over the top from James Husband just past the post as Brakes looked for a way back into the match. Tom Berwick was then just offside when his shot from the edge of the box was superbly tipped over at full stretch by Grant Porter. Tom Baddeley then blocked another effort from Berwick and the Brakes striker came close again when from a corner, Liam Daly headed down and Berwick tried a back-heel which was cleared off the line.
Half time: Leamington 0-1 AFC Totton
After a succession of headers back and forth between both sides that kept the ball in the air longer than a transatlantic flight, Alex Taylor volleyed over the bar as Leamington picked up where they left off in the first half. And just short of the hour mark, they were given a way back into the game. From a long goal kick by Tony Breeden, Blyth collected the ball and and was brought down just inside the area as he was bearing down on goal. It was unclear who committed the foul as there were 2 or 3 Totton defenders trying to stop Blyth so there were no cards shown by the referee. Blyth dusted himself down to take the penalty and send Porter the wrong way and level the scores.
Jon Davies fired over the bar as Totton sought to regain the lead as the heavens opened. Leamington live-wire Jacob Blyth was a constant threat and was at it again when Daly flicked the ball on with his head from a corner and Blyth's close range effort was deflected wide. And it was Blyth who turned the game on it's head midway through the second half. James Husband played the ball down the left wing for Berwick to chase and his cross was headed back across goal and into the far corner by Blyth.
As the clock ticked down, and the rain lashed down, Totton won a succession of free kicks that never troubled Tony Breeden in the Leamington goal. Mike Gosney and Ryan Hill both fired wide and another from Gosney was caught comfortably by Breeden. Leamington sub Craig Owen could have extended his side's lead late on when he went on a slaloming run past every Totton player that got in his way and fired a low shot towards goal that Porter pushed away and the ball was put behind for a corner, which came to nothing.
Full time: Leamington 2-1 AFC Totton
Leamington put the Brakes on Totton's incredible start to the season as their 2 second half goals ended our run of not conceding a goal this season, and ended our 4-game winning streak. The weather was atrocious, and Totton weren't much better either as we surrendered our 100% start quite tamely. But we move on, and have a chance to hit back almost immediately as Weymouth visit the Testwood Stadium this Bank Holiday Monday at 3pm.
Leamington: Breeden, Mace, Morley, Downes, Hood, Daly, Taylor, Husband (Owen 76 mins), Blyth, Berwick (Sheldon 90), Batchelor. Unused subs: Tuohy, Cartwright, Mackey.
AFC Totton: Porter, Hill, Whisken, Richardson, Baddeley, Davies (Coutts 70), Pettefer, Campbell, Gosney, Charles (Osman 63), Brown (Sherborne 75). Unused subs: Lewis, Oldring.
Goals: Leamington: Blyth (59, 67)
AFC Totton: Hood OG (13)
Officials: Referee: Mr M Dexter. Assistants: Mr B Cooke & Mr B Ward.
Wednesday, 24 August 2011
After travelling up on the coach for this game, we arrived at Vauxhall Road much earlier than anticipated after a pretty smooth journey up to Hemel Hempstead, so some of us wasted an hour in the local pub, The Crabtree. Lovely place. Anyway, team news. Defender Jamie Whisken was available again for Totton after missing the 4-0 victory over Swindon Supermarine due to family commitments, and despite his hat trick in that game, Nathaniel Sherborne remained on the bench in favour of Michael Charles partnering Stefan Brown in attack. Hemel Hempstead have yet to win this season and their last game was a 1-0 defeat at Redditch United.
The fans had barely taken their place in the stands when Totton took the lead in the 2nd minute. We won a throw-in on the right and Ryan Hill launched the ball into the box with a long throw. Nathan Campbell leapt with 2 defenders and it was unclear who got the flick on, but that didn't really matter because the ball fell to Michael Charles 4 yards out in the centre of goal to volley the ball past Hemel goalkeeper Mike McEntergart for his first goal of the season.
The travelling Totton fans were barely catching their breath from celebrating the first goal when the net bulged again. Mike Gosney delivered a cross from the left and Charles did well to control the ball and turn to fire the ball low past the keeper for 2-0. After that blistering start by The Stags, the game evened out and both sides were playing some good football. Totton could have been 3-0 up 10 minutes after the 2nd goal when Carl Pettefer's cross from the right was met by Gosney 6 yards out but he couldn't get a proper connection on the ball and it was wide of the far post.
From a Gosney throw-in, Jon Davies then had a go from the edge of the box but his rising shot was straight at McEntergart and the keeper made a comfortable catch. Hemel then came close to halving the deficit when a Liam Malone shot from 35 yards cannoned off the crossbar and over for a goal kick. With half an hour gone, Gosney whipped in a cross that Michael Charles was close to getting on the end of, and with a bit more curl on the cross, the ball might have found it's way inside the far post but ended up going just wide. After a neat one-two between Davies and Charles, the latter crossed to Stefan Brown in the box, but his shot was blocked and almost fell for Gosney but the ball was cleared. Jake Gilbert then fired high and wide for Hemel in the last chance for either side in the first half.
Half time: Hemel Hempstead Town 0-2 AFC Totton
On 56 minutes Totton were inches away from a third goal. Gosney collected the ball out wide on the left and played it in-field to the corner of the 18-yard box where he unleashed a powerful shot that went across goal but flew agonisingly wide of the far post. Two minutes later and Totton made the scoreline a lot more comfortable for themselves with a 3rd goal.
After a long ball over the top, Mike McEntergart in the Hemel goal came charging out to try and get there before Michael Charles who was chasing it down with a defender snapping at his heels. The ball fell and hit McEntergart's shin and bounced back to Charles who took it past the keeper and rolled it into the empty net to complete his hat trick, and Totton's second of the season after Nathaniel Sherborne's treble against Swindon Supermarine at the weekend.
After the 3rd goal, the game was very end-to-end, with both sides having chances to score. Totton found themselves on the back foot quite often in the last half an hour and with a quarter of an hour remaining, Hemel Hempstead thought they'd got a goal back. After a cross from the right there was melee in the box with Grant Porter making two saves on the goal-line in a matter of seconds. The ball pinged off towards the right where it was played straight back in and ended up in the back of the net, though from our end it was difficult to tell who got the final touch. It didn't matter though as the Hemel celebrations were cut short by the linesman who flagged for offside.
Full time: Hemel Hempstead 0-3 AFC Totton
Who'd have thought it? After 4 games Totton are top of the table with 4 wins out of 4, scoring 15 goals and conceding 0; the only club in the league yet to concede a goal this season. Stuart Ritchie's decision not to start with Sherborne after his hat trick heroics against Swindon and instead stick with Michael Charles up front proved a masterstroke as Charles grabbed his own hat trick in this game. Our next game is this Saturday (August 27th) away at Leamington, who are 3rd in the league and one of the favourites for promotion this season.
AFC Totton: Porter, Hill, Whisken, Richardson, Baddeley, Davies (Coutts 69 mins), Pettefer, Campbell, Gosney, Brown (Osman 81), Charles (Sherborne 75). Unused subs: Lewis, Oldring.
Hemel Hempstead Town: Mike McEntergart, May, Clayton, Smith, Goodhind (Morgan Williams 82), Matthew McEntergart, Malone, Gilbert (Stead 54), Toomey (Gorman 90), Marvin Williams, Blake. Unused subs: Rydeheard, Reading.
Goals: AFC Totton: Charles (2, 4, 58 mins)
Officials: Referee: Mr J Scott. Assistants: Mr A Anastasiou & Mr C Reid.
(For food and drink scores click on 'Burger League' tab at the top of the page.)
Sunday, 21 August 2011
The kick off for this match was delayed by 15 minutes after Swindon Supermarine arrived late due to heavy traffic on the A34. Swindon lost both their opening games 2-0 before the visit to the Testwood Stadium today. Brackley Town scored two late goals on the opening day to beat Swindon on their own turf, while Totton's fellow South & West Division promotion winners Frome Town continued their winning start to the season as they triumphed in the midweek fixture.
Totton could have been ahead in this one very early when James Coutts, making his first start for the club, crossed to the far post and Michael Charles thought he'd scored, but his point blank header was somehow kept out by Swindon keeper Kent Kauppinen and cleared to safety. Tom Baddeley then ventured forward and after Charles' cross was cleared, the ball fell to Baddeley who's low shot from distance was well wide of the goal.
Marine had their first shot on target when Danny Urry's curled effort went straight into the arms of Grant Porter. 5 minutes later Coutts had a pot-shot from 25 yards that Kauppinen was right behind. Totton didn't have it all their own way though, and Swindon were soon on the attack again. Mitchell Bryant beat Nathan Campbell for pace as they both chased a long ball from the back and delivered a cross that Urry couldn't quite connect with as he stretched to try and turn the ball in, and it rolled wide for a goal kick.
Coutts must have thought he'd given Totton the lead when, after Michael Charles' shot was parried by Kauppinen, the ball fell to him on the edge of the box and his deflected shot was cleared off the line. Moments later Coutts was at it again, this time Kauppinen was well behind his curled shot from 18 yards. Tom Baddeley then picked up a booking for a foul on Alex Allard. Just before half time Mike Gosney had his first real chance of the afternoon when Coutts picked him out in the box but his shot on the volley was high over the bar.
Half time: AFC Totton 0-0 Swindon Supermarine
Within 5 minutes of the restart, Totton were on the attack. Gosney's cross found Charles at the back post but his header from a tight angle was into the side netting. Stefan Brown then made a chance for himself when he brought down Tom Baddeley's long pass and cut inside, but his shot was always rising and flew over the bar. It was then hard to believe Swindon weren't in front after a free kick into the box resulted in pinball, with Marine having 4 shots blocked in a matter of seconds before the ball was eventually cleared to safety.
Soon after though, it was the same scenario at the other end of the pitch. From a corner, Totton had 4 or 5 shots on goal blocked or saved before Swindon were able to get rid of the danger. Porter then did well to palm away a shot from distance as Swindon continued to threaten to end Totton's clean sheet start to the season. It wasn't long though before the deadlock was finally broken, and it was Totton who were in front. Carl Pettefer played a superb diagonal pass out wide to Gosney on the left wing and he cut inside one defender before placing his shot inside the near post. Swindon got the game started again, lost the ball and conceded a penalty, all in the space of 60 seconds. Gosney stepped up to take it, but Swindon's man of the match, Kent Kauppinen, kept them in the game by plunging to his right to push Gosney's effort round the post for a corner.
Totton didn't have to wait long to double their advantage though. Jon Davies did well to keep possession in the box before sending a header over to Nathaniel Sherborne who finished expertly with an overhead scissor kick into the bottom corner. The Stag Army were in fine voice and soon they had even more reason to sing when a Ryan Hill free kick right on the edge of the area was parried by Kauppinen and Sherborne was the first to react as he dived in to send the ball past the keeper for 3-0. And with a minute left on the clock Sherborne sent the home support into raptures once more when he unleashed a powerful shot to send the ball sailing into the roof of the net to complete his hattrick.
Full time: AFC Totton 4-0 Swindon Supermarine
Totton maintain a 100% start to the season, with a record of: Won 3, Scored 12, Conceded 0. It took a long time to get the first goal but as soon as it came, the floodgates opened and were it not for Gosney's penalty miss, and the fine form of Swindon goalkeeper Kent Kauppinen, it could have been a lot more than 4-0. Come to think of it, when was the last time Gosney missed a penalty? Answers on a postcard, please. Our next game is this Tuesday away at Hemel Hempstead for a 7:45pm kick off.
AFC Totton: Porter, Hill, Richardson, Campbell, Baddeley, Davies (Abe 83 mins), Pettefer (C), Coutts, Gosney, Charles (Sherborne 57), Brown (Osman 80). Unused subs: Lewis, Oldring.
Swindon Supermarine: Kauppinen, Allard, Robinson, Etheridge, Beeden, Bampton (C) (Cole 29), Wells, Morris (Dean 80), Bryant (Edenborough 61), Bohane, Urry. Unused subs: Allen, Wood.
Goals: AFC Totton: Gosney (73), Sherborne (Hattrick 77, 82, 90).
Officials: Referee: Mr J Pike. Assistants: Mr B Small & Mr C Nzenga.
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
After a relatively comfortable victory against Arlesey Town in the first game of the season, Totton faced a seemingly more difficult test on Tuesday evening when Oxford City visited the Testwood Stadium. City are an established Southern Premier League side, but finished a disappointing 14th last season. While Totton were winning at Arlesey at the weekend, Oxford had to settle for a point at home as they drew 1-1 with Redditch United.
For the first 10 minutes of this game it looked as if Oxford would give Totton a much sterner test than Arlesey as they made it difficult for us to get hold of the ball on the floor and play our passing game. Stefan Brown had a shot that went just over the bar in the 7th minute after a rare Totton move in the opening stages. From a Gosney corner, Michael Charles and Oxford keeper Jason Mooney both went for the ball and when Mooney couldn't hold onto it, the ball fell to Stefan Brown whose shot was deflected over the bar.
Mooney then made an excellent save to deny Gosney as his curling shot was blocked by the outstretched leg of the 6ft 9in former bartender at Wycombe Wanderers. The ex-pint puller was soon picking the ball out of the net though after a free kick right on the edge of the 18-yard box was fired under the wall and into the bottom corner by Ryan Hill for his first goal of the season. Mooney got a hand to the low strike but couldn't keep it out. With 10 minutes to go in the first half, Totton doubled the lead. From a Gosney corner on the right, Brown lost his marker to send a glancing header across goal and into the far side of the net.
Just as it looked like The Stags would go in at the break at 2-0, two goals in as many minutes right at the end of the first half ended the game as a contest. First, Stefan Brown did well to work a bit of space in the box and curl a shot away from Mooney's outstretched arm for 3-0, then Gosney bundled in Jon Davies' low cross at the far post under pressure from two defenders to make Stuart Ritchie's half time talk much easier.
Half time: AFC Totton 4-0 Oxford City
Oxford made 2 changes at half time, with Wayne Blossom and Jimmy Deabill replacing Nick Stanley and Reece Fleet. Totton continued to run the game and 11 minutes into the second half we were out of sight. A brilliant flowing passing move ended with Gosney receiving the ball on the edge of the area, taking it past one defender and firing a shot past Mooney and into the goal off the underside of the crossbar. A minute later and Michael Charles came close to making it six as he stretched to get on the end of Gosney's curled cross but the ball just evaded the striker's boot and flew wide of the post.
Totton substitute James Coutts fired over the bar on 73 minutes, before City striker Steve Basham missed the easiest chance for either side all evening. As a cross came in from the wing, Grant Porter couldn't get to it and Basham was presented with an empty goal but somehow managed to volley the ball wide from 3 yards out. Gosney tried his luck again after Carl Pettefer's pass set him up but after switching the ball onto his right foot the shot was just over the bar.
Some excellent defending on the line then denied Totton a sixth goal. A ball over the top found sub Mark Osman. Mooney came rushing out of the Oxford goal to meet him but was then caught in no-mans-land when Osman squared the ball to Gosney. As Gosney collected the ball an Oxford defender got back to block his goal-bound strike and the ball was cleared to safety. With 3 minutes to go, Totton made it a super six. A free kick 20 yards out was taken low by Gosney and as Mooney got down to save he parried it back towards the on-rushing Nathaniel Sherborne who slid in ahead of the defence to slot the ball home.
Full time: AFC Totton 6-0 Oxford City
A fantastic result for The Stags against an established Southern Premier League side, and after only 2 league games we are top of the league! Early, I know, but it's still nice to see. And we outdid Southampton despite their best efforts to emulate our emphatic scoreline(!) Totton are at home again for our next match when Swindon Supermarine are in town this Saturday at 3pm. See you then!
AFC Totton: Porter, Hill, Whisken, Richardson, Baddeley, Davies (Coutts 61 mins), Campbell, Pettefer (C), Gosney, Charles (Sherborne 65), Brown (Osman 72). Subs: Lewis, Oldring, Coutts, Sherborne, Osman.
Oxford City: Mooney, Ballard, Learoyd, Clarke, Ashton (Martin), Barcelos, Pond, Fleet (Deabill), Stanley (Blossom), Basham, Steele. Subs: Blossom, Martin, Green, Deabill, Benjamin.
Goals: AFC Totton: Hill (21 mins), Brown (36 and 43), Gosney (44 and 56), Sherborne (87).
Officials: Referee: Mr D Robathan. Assistants: Miss L May & Mr A Foster.
Sunday, 14 August 2011
It's finally here! The new season has arrived and Totton began with a trip to Bedfordshire to play Arlesey Town in a game between the two champions of last season's Southern League Division One Central and Division One South & West campaigns. Arlesey were in blue while Totton played in their yellow away strip.
Within the first minute Totton were straight on the attack. Michael Charles collected the ball on the edge of the box and set up Jon Davies who shot just wide. 2 minutes later and it was Mike Gosney's turn to fire wide from just inside the penalty area. Totton were dominant and on 9 minutes the pressure paid off. The ball was played all the way back to Richard Hayward in the Arlesey goal with Gosney chasing it down. As Hayward tried to clear, Gosney stuck out a leg and the ball ricocheted off his foot and rolled into the empty net.
Totton continued to run the show after the goal and Davies was next to try his luck after Brown expertly brought down and controlled a long pass out from the back and laid it off to Davies; his effort going just over the bar. In the 25th minute Totton were awarded a free kick. Ryan Hill delivered from the left and the ball was headed away only as far as Gosney who played in Ian Richardson. His low ball across the box was just missed by Jamie Whisken and the ball was cleared to safety.
With 5 minutes to go in the first half Davies went on a mazy run from the halfway line to the edge of the box, going past 4 players on the way, before putting his shot straight at the keeper. 2 minutes later and Ian Richardson fired over the bar when it seemed easier to score after Nathan Campbell had put him in. Fortunately for Richardson the flag was raised for offside, though it was unclear who was in the offside position.
Half time: Arlesey Town 0-1 AFC Totton
With the second half 8 minutes old Totton were thwarted by the linesman's flag once again. Michael Charles was in on goal after Gosney's through ball only to be called offside after his shot was saved by Hayward. Minutes later, Ryan Hill's cross was inches away from the head of Nathan Campbell as Totton continued to dominate.
Just past the hour mark Jon Davies was off again on another of his slaloming runs. He was found by Brown in space out wide on the right and beat 2 or 3 Arlesey defenders before shooting across goal from a tight angle and Hayward got down well to get a hand on it and put it behind for a corner, which came to nothing. A good passing move from Totton then came close to producing a goal. Tom Baddeley's long ball forward found Charles, he played the ball in-field to Stefan Brown, and Brown set up Davies who's effort was high and wide of the goal.
Arlesey then had a rare shot at goal when, after a melee in the box, Chris Dillon eventually found space and a split-second to shoot but couldn't keep the ball down and it sailed over the bar. In the 75th minute Davies was in again for Totton but his shot was well off target once more. With 10 minutes remaining Arlesey finally registered their first shot on target when a headed effort on goal from substitute Jason Blackett was saved by Grant Porter.
7 minutes from time, Totton finally got that elusive second goal to settle the contest. Ryan Hill played a long ball forward to substitute Mark Osman who did well to chase it and keep it in play. He managed to shake off his marker and send over a cross that was just too high for anyone to get anything on and it fell to Gosney on the other side of the box. The goalscorer then turned provider as he sent an inviting cross back towards to the far post where Osman had got in behind the defence and stooped to head home from a yard out.
Full time: Arlesey Town 0-2 AFC Totton
A winning start to the season for The Stags who dominated throughout and showed they can be a real attacking threat to teams this season. The options on the bench look stronger than last season and there is competition for places in the team after the recent signings. An encouraging start to the season and 3 points in the bag. Next up for Totton is a first home game of the season against Oxford City, this Tuesday at 7:45pm.
Arlesey Town: Hayward, Mawer, Perpetuini, Gray, Brown (C), Bufano, Allinson, Deeney, Marsh (Browne 84 mins), Dillon (Blackett 73), McGovern (Mason 62). Unused subs: Peverall, Osborn.
AFC Totton: Porter, Hill, Whisken, Richardson, Baddeley, Davies, Pettefer (C), Campbell, Gosney, Brown (Coutts 87 mins), Charles (Osman 73). Subs: Lewis, Sherborne, Oldring.
Goals: AFC Totton: Gosney (9 mins), Osman (83).
Officials: Referee: Mr A Serrano. Assistants: Mr I Wilson & Mr P Crossland.
Bovril: Yes (1 point).
This season I will be rating the food at each ground and making a final league table at the end of the season, from best to worst, after discussions with other Totton fans about the standard of food at grounds last season. Burgers will be scored on taste, juiciness, size, price, buns and extras (sauces, cheese, bacon, onions etc). I will also assess drinks (tea, coffee, cold drinks) and an extra point will be awarded for having Bovril on the menu. So caterers of the Southern League, up your game.
Wednesday, 3 August 2011
Totton hopped over the M27 on Tuesday night for a friendly against Romsey Town. The Stags went into the game on the back of a defeat to Thatcham Town in the final of the Linden Homes Tournament on Sunday. Thatcham triumphed 1-0, although Totton played a team made up almost entirely of trialists and youth players, with the exception of right-back Aidan Lewis and goalkeeper Grant Porter.
The game was very much end-to-end in the first 10 minutes but neither side could make the telling pass in the final third. The first real chance came after 12 minutes. Mark Osman did well to retain possession out wide on the right and cut inside. His cross was headed clear as far as Mike Gosney on the edge of the box who shaped to shoot with his weaker right foot, but the shot was blazed high over the bar. The impressive Tom Baddley then ran onto Stefan Brown's defence-splitting pass down the left wing before whipping in a cross to the far side of the box where trialist David Abe played the ball back into the mix, but it was cleared to safety by the Romsey defence.
On 24 minutes, David Abe could, and maybe should, have put Totton in front. The winger rose high above everyone else to head a Gosney corner well over the bar from 6 yards out. Moments later, another corner from Gosney was headed wide by defender Jamie Whisken. Romsey soon took advantage of those two let-offs as they gained the lead on 28 minutes. A long ball down the right was chased by Simon De'ath who outran Tom Baddley to stick a leg out and send the ball over the stranded Warren Carter with a well-executed lob.
Totton could have been level 5 minutes later. Yet another corner from Gosney was brought down by David Abe. He then laid the ball off to Osman who shot through a packed penalty area and straight at the goalkeeper. With just 2 minutes to go until half time, Totton grabbed an equaliser. Abe played a low cross into the box where Stefan Brown collected the ball, kept it under control despite pressure from 3 defenders, and sent a shot into the corner of the goal with the keeper rooted to the spot. If it looked as if the two teams would go in level at the break, a handball by a Romsey defender just inside the box with seconds remaining put paid to that. Mike Gosney stepped up to coolly despatch the spot kick, sending the keeper the wrong way.
Half time: Romsey Town 1-2 AFC Totton
Totton made just one change at half time; Grant Porter taking over duties between the sticks as Warren Carter made way. 7 minutes into the second half Romsey came within a whisker of being back on level terms. As a low cross from the right flew across the face of goal, the slightest touch from anyone, attacker or defender, would have put the ball in the net. Instead, the ball rolled harmlessly away for Aidan Lewis to clear.
On 56 minutes Totton received a free kick out wide on the right. Gosney sent the ball towards the far post where substitute Michael Charles was running to meet it, but a flick off the head of a defender sent the ball just out of Charles' reach and wide of the post. From the resulting corner, Stefan Brown's headed effort was off target.
For the next 25 minutes, both sides made numerous substitutions and the game slowed down, with the odd chance coming at either end. With just under 10 minutes to go Totton suddenly came to life again. Nathaniel Sherborne, on as a sub, crossed from the right to Charles who was inches away from getting his head on the end of it.
A minute later, though, and The Stags did extend their lead. In a reversal of the chance moments previously, Charles was the one to cross for Sherborne, along the ground this time, and his side-footed shot from close range gave the keeper no chance. Straight from the restart, Romsey surrendered possession and conceded a free kick on the right. Gosney delivered and Charles ran round the back of the defence to send the ball just inside the post with a stooping header for 4-1. Those 2 goals in 2 minutes knocked the stuffing out of Romsey and Totton had a couple of chances to further increase the advantage as the clock ticked down, but there was nothing more to get excited about.
Full time: Romsey Town 1-4 AFC Totton
Another good workout for the team, and a third pre-season victory. There were a lot of positives to take out of the game and some good performances from trialists. Matt Oldring was very composed at centre back and even better when he moved out to left back after Tom Baddley, who had another good game, was substituted. David Abe also impressed on his first appearance and reportedly signed his registration papers with the club last night.
AFC Totton: Carter (Porter 46 mins), Lewis (Tomasso 74), Baddley (Flooks 67), Oldring, Whisken, Wilkinson (Thorne 72), Pettefer, Abe (House 74), Gosney, Osman (Charles 55), Brown (Sherborne 74).
Goals: Romsey Town: De'ath (28 mins)
AFC Totton: Brown (43), Gosney (pen 44), Sherborne (81), Charles (83).