Monday, 29 August 2011

Leamington 2-1 AFC Totton, 27/08/11 3pm


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.

Attendance: 601.

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