Sunday, 4 March 2012
AFC Totton 1-1 Frome Town, 03/03/2012 3pm
Totton are on a pretty poor run at the moment. Since a 3-1 win over Evesham United last month, The Stags have drawn two and lost one, scoring just one goal (a penalty). Surely the visit of lowly Frome Town would give Totton the chance to get back to winning ways. In the away game Totton won 3-1 with two goals for Stefan Brown and one for Mark Osman. Before this game, a minute's applause was held for former Totton press officer and club legend Pete Chilcott who sadly passed away last week at the age of 92.
Totton began the game in promising fashion. Charlie Knight's cross was pushed into Jon Davies' path by Frome keeper Darren Chitty and the winger's shot was blocked by the defence and the ball was cleared.
Ryan Hill then crossed to Nathan Campbell in the box and he laid the ball off for Mike Gosney who shot high over the bar.
Frome started to get themselves back in the game and Totton had to be at their defensive best to keep the away side at bay.
A foul by Hill gave Frome a free kick out on the right wing. The ball was headed clear by Gosney only as far as Mark Cooper 20 yards out but the defender's shot was high and wide.
Totton threatened again when Hill's throw in found Nathaniel Sherborne in the box and his shot on the turn was straight at Chitty.
Totton have gone off the boil a bit in recent weeks and there were more frustrated groans from the home fans when Frome took the lead.
Matt Smith's volley was saved well by James Bittner but he could only parry the ball onto the head of Luke Ballinger who lofted a header over the keeper and into the net.
A couple of half chances for Frome followed, but it was Totton who came closest to scoring next.
Dean Flockton's foul on Davies earned him a yellow card and Totton a free kick. Gosney's effort looked destined for the top corner until Chitty's glove intercepted at the expense of a corner.
Just before half time, Gosney came close with another free kick from a similar distance. This time the keeper was getting nowhere near it, but he didn't need to be as the ball whistled past the post.
Half time: AFC Totton 0-1 Frome Town
Totton came out fighting in the second half, but with the wind in their faces the football wasn't exactly pretty.
A foul on Ryan Moss gave Totton a free kick out wide on the left. Hill played it to the far post where it was headed back across goal and after some frantic pinball in the box the ball was eventually scrambled clear by the Frome defence.
Soon after, Totton made a double change with Jon Davies and Ryan Hill making way for Nathan Jack and Ian Richardson, and Jack instantly began to make an impact.
A dangerous cross from the substitute was put behind for a corner and Gosney's delivery was volleyed just past the post by Sherborne.
Another good cross from Jack found Charlie Knight on the far post but the full back couldn't get the ball on target and it just cleared the crossbar.
The wind died down with about 20 minutes to go and Bittner became a focal point for starting attacks with his long punts down-field no longer being held up by the blustery conditions.
A long ball forward from the 'keeper found Gosney in the opposite penalty area and he controlled it, turned and shot in one move, only to see his shot bounce agonisingly off the post.
Minutes later another blast from Bittner's right boot found Jamie Whisken who flicked the ball on with his head, but there was no one anticipating the flick on and the ball rolled out for a goal kick.
Stefan Brown entered the action in place of Charlie Knight with 15 minutes remaining and within seconds Totton were finally on level terms.
Brown did well to retain possession 25 yards out and played the ball out wide to Jack on the right wing. Jack cut inside onto his left foot and unleashed a powerful low drive that found it's way through the packed penalty area, across goal and into the bottom corner.
Totton piled forward in search of a late winner, but they were almost made to pay for their attacking intent with 5 minutes left.
Frome played the ball out to the wing and after getting away from Ian Richardson, Ballinger cut inside, drew Bittner out of his goal and squared the ball for Smith who shot wide with the open goal at his mercy.
But it was Totton who would come closest in the dying minutes when Gosney's corner was headed onto the top of the crossbar by Brown.
Full time: AFC Totton 1-1 Frome Town
Another frustrating afternoon for Totton fans who now haven't witnessed a Stags victory for 4 games. A 0-0 draw with Swindon Supermarine, a 1-0 defeat at Cambridge City and a 1-1 draw with St Albans City preceded this disappointing result to make it 3 points from a possible 12 and just 2 goals scored in that time. Tuesday evening will provide a welcome break from the league when Clevedon Town visit the Testwood Stadium for the Red Insure Cup semi final, kicking off at 7:45pm. The next league outing is next Saturday when we travel to Banbury United.
AFC Totton: Bittner, Hill (Richardson 58), Whisken, Bottomley, Knight (Brown 74), Davies (Jack 58), Campbell, Pettefer, Gosney, Sherborne, Moss. Unused subs: Stockford, McKie.
Frome Town: Chitty, Cooper, Reaney, Flockton, Evans, Lapham, Ballinger (Brigham 90+2), Smith, Walsh (Benison 55), Perrott, Thomson. Unused subs: Ledgister, Quelch, Bennett.
Totton: Jack (75)
Frome: Ballinger (19)
Officials: Referee: Mr M Derrien. Assistants: Mr M Desborough & Mr A Carter.