Sunday, 14 August 2011

Arlesey Town 0-2 AFC Totton, 13/08/11 3pm


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.

Attendance: 141.

Taste: 7/10
Juiciness: 6/10
Size: 8/10
Buns: 6/10
Extras: 7/10
Price: 6/10
Drinks: 7/10
Bovril: Yes (1 point).
Overall: 48/70.

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