Monday, 17 October 2011

FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round: AFC Totton 4-2 Weymouth, 15/10/11 3pm


After seeing off Clevedon Town in the last round, Totton were handed a home tie in this round against fellow Evo-Stik Southern Premier League side Weymouth. The Stags and The Terras have already met once this season; Totton triumphed 2-0 at the Testwood Stadium in the league back in August. Weymouth have reached this round with away victories over Taunton Town and Hungerford Town, although they needed replays in both ties after two home draws. There was no replay required after this game though.

The game started with half chances for both sides as it showed early promise of being a classic cup tie. However it wasn't long before the referee threatened to ruin the game. A long clearance out of the Totton defence brought Weymouth goalkeeper Tom Manley out of his goal and in his haste to get to the ball before Michael Charles he stretched to get a hand on the ball and deny the striker a route through to goal, not realising he was about 3 or 4 yards outside of the penalty area. Referee David Spain called the keeper over to him and brandished the red card with just 6 minutes played. Weymouth boss Brendon King sent on rookie keeper Chris Povall, with player-assistant manager Matt Groves sacrificed to allow the young keeper to come on.

If anyone thought the game would calm down after this, they were very much mistaken. With 12 minutes gone, Craig Duff flew in with a two-footed challenge on Matt Oldring as he tried to clear the ball. An angry reaction from Mike Gosney almost started a mass brawl but the other Totton players broke it up and pushed Gosney away. The referee waited for things to calm down before flashing the red card again. Duff was sent off for the late tackle, and Gosney for pushing Duff after his foul. So just 13 minutes into the game Weymouth were down to 9 men and Totton down to 10.

Just past the half an hour mark, Totton had the advantage on goals as well as players. The referee pointed to the penalty spot after a foul in the box, and in the absence of the red-carded Gosney, spot kick duties were handed to Nathaniel Sherborne, and the striker made no mistake as he sent substitute keeper Chris Povall the wrong way to give The Stags the lead. 5 minutes later Sherborne was unlucky not to double the lead. His shot on the turn from 12 yards hit the post and Weymouth were able to clear. The second goal did come just before half time, however. Carl Pettefer found Nathan Campbell on the wing and he played a superb one-two with Ryan Hill, before delivering a pinpoint low cross to Michael Charles on the edge of the box who volleyed a first-time shot into the bottom corner.

Half time: AFC Totton 2-0 Weymouth

With nearly an hour played, Totton brought on Mark Osman in place of Michael Charles and the striker made an immediate impact. Osman was on the pitch for less than a minute when Ryan Scott played a lobbed ball over the Weymouth defence for him to run on to and, despite calls for offside from Weymouth players, fans and management, he timed his run perfectly to collect the ball with his first touch of the game, and roll the ball under Povall with his second to make it 3-0 and seemingly make the game safe for the home side.

This would prove not to be the case, however, when Weymouth got a goal back 13 minutes later. The Terras brought Jamie Beasley on at half time in place of Scott Dixon and the tricky winger scored a great goal when he brought down a long diagonal ball and went past Totton sub Aidan Lewis and goalkeeper Grant Porter and fired the ball into the back of the net to reduce the deficit. And just over a minute later Weymouth were right back in the game with a second goal.

The away side won a corner and the ball was played towards the back post where Sam Poole was running in with Matt Oldring and beat the Totton left back to the ball and headed between Carl Pettefer on the post and Grant Porter to give the travelling support hope of an unlikely comeback. Any hopes of completing the comeback were eradicated 10 minutes from time when Sherborne was brought down in the box by Sam Poole, and the defender went from hero to villain after his goal minutes earlier as he was sent off for a second bookable offence and conceded a penalty. Sherborne dusted himself down to put away his second of the game from the spot and put Totton into the final qualifying round of the FA Cup.

Full time: AFC Totton 4-2 Weymouth

The referee nearly ruined this game but in the end it turned out to be a classic. 4 red cards and 6 goals were shared between the sides, fortunately for Totton we had the advantage on goals and not red cards. Some of you may remember the referee, David Spain, as the man who sent off Dorchester Town player-manager Ashley Vickers against Havant & Waterlooville last season for tackling a streaker wearing a mankini, and Mr Spain was the centre of attention again today. Totton made hard work of beating Weymouth but are through to the 4th qualifying round with real hopes of reaching the 1st round proper for the first time in the club's history.

AFC Totton: Porter, Hill (Lewis 61), Richardson, Whisken, Oldring (Davies), Pettefer, Scott, Campbell, Gosney, Sherborne, Charles (Osman 55). Unused subs: Casey, Baddeley, Chester, Coutts.

Weymouth: Manley, Tribe, Dixon (Beasley 46), Napper, Frampton, Poole, Duff, Malsom (Doyle 79), Groves (Povall 6), Byerley, Reed. Unused subs: Marshallsay, McKechnie, Conning.

Goals: AFC Totton: Sherborne (32, 79 pens), Charles (44), Osman (57).
           Weymouth: Beasley (71), Poole (73).

Officials: Referee: Mr D Spain. Assistants: Mr L Crowhurst & Mr F Meilack.

Attendance: 712 (sic).

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

AFC Totton 7-2 Cove - Hampshire Senior Cup 2nd Round


Totton began their second defence of the Hampshire Senior Cup with a bye to the second round where Cove FC of the Combined Counties Football League were waiting. Although Cove gave a good account of themselves Totton notched up a convincing scoreline to sail through to the next round. Mark Osman headed Totton in front after just 4 minutes before scoring a second on the half hour mark. James Coutts made it 3-0 with 5 minutes to go until half time before the impressive Laurie Walters pulled one back for Cove just before the break.

Half time: AFC Totton 3-1 Cove

Just 4 minutes into the second half Cove got another goal back when Jack Ball did well to fire into the roof of the net from a tight angle. On the hour mark, Stefan Brown restored Totton's 2-goal advantage with a simple tap in from Jon Davies' low cross. Coutts scored his second with 12 minutes remaining before completing his hattrick 5 minutes later. Substitute Nathaniel Sherborne had the final say as he fired in goal number 7 with 5 minutes to go.

Full time: AFC Totton 7-2 Cove

Totton are safely through to the next round of the competition we have won for the last 2 seasons and await the draw for the next round.

AFC Totton: Casey, Lewis, Richardson (Baddeley 46), Campbell, Oldring, Jon Davies (Gosney 75), Scott, Pettefer, Calum Davies, Brown, Osman (Sherborne 75). Unused subs: Hill, Whisken.

Cove: McNeil, Firth, Millerick, Dean Thomas, Oladipa, Gray, Walters, Calvin Thomas, Ball, Harewood, Mitchell. Subs: Berry, Street, Peters, Tancock.

Goals: Totton: Osman (4, 29), Coutts (40, 78, 83), Brown (60), Sherborne (86)
            Cove: Walters (42), Ball (49).

Officials: Referee: Mr G Parsons. Assistants: Mr P Bukeridge & Mr M Pointing.

Attendance: 184.

Evesham v Totton - Man of the Match

Well, it wasn't a great performance, although it's never easy playing with 10 men against 14. Totton lost 1-0 at Evesham (Worcester) after having Ryan Scott sent off early on and being denied by some laughable refereeing. The accolade is shared this week after a tie in the voting. Carl Pettefer and Tom Baddeley came joint first with 33% of the vote each. Jamie Whisken, returning from injury, was second with 16%. Grant Porter and Michael Charles came joint third with 8% of the vote each.

Man of the match results

1st: Tom Baddeley and Carl Pettefer - 33%
2nd: Jamie Whisken - 16%
3rd: Grant Porter and Michael Charles - 8%

Monday, 10 October 2011

Evesham United 1-0 AFC Totton, 08/10/11 3pm


The 3-0 win over Cirencester aside, Totton haven't been playing particularly well recently. Before this a first home defeat of the season against Hitchin was followed by an unconvincing performance in the 2-1 win at Clevedon in the last round of the FA Cup. Before this game, Evesham hadn't won in the league since a 1-0 home victory over Frome Town on August 23rd, 8 games ago. With Totton top and Evesham 3rd from bottom this game looked like a Stags victory on paper. But games aren't won or lost on paper. And this one was definitely lost on the pitch for Totton.

With 10 minutes gone Totton had the first real chance of the game. From a cross, Nathaniel Sherborne's headed effort looped towards to the top corner but it was a comfortable catch for Evesham goalkeeper Nathan Vaughan. Totton got a free kick 5 minutes later, and Mike Gosney sent it low towards the bottom corner but Vaughan got down to smother the ball as Sherborne tried to get to it first.

In the 17th minute of the game a moment of madness made the game an uphill struggle for Totton. There was an altercation off the ball between Ryan Scott and Evesham's Simon Fitter. Scott tackled Fitter and won the ball. As Fitter got up he kicked Scott and moved his head towards Scott's face. Scott should have walked away but he retaliated and aimed a headbutt back at Fitter just as the referee turned to see it. So he didn't see Fitter lash out at Scott but saw Scott have a go back and gave Scott a straight red card.

Totton didn't seem to be affected by the dismissal of Scott though and they continued to create chances. From a free kick out wide on the right, Gosney aimed a low effort towards the near post which Vaughan got down to push away and the ball was put behind by Michael Charles as he tried to turn it goalwards. Moments later Sherborne had a shot from distance that sailed over the bar.

The Stags continued to dominate and with half an hour gone, Charles collected the ball in the box before laying it off to Ryan Hill running in and the right back unleashed a powerful shot from 20 yards that was just wide of the post. Hill had another chance to score just before half time when his free kick 25 yards out found a gap in the Evesham wall and almost found the bottom corner but Vaughan was behind it once again. The keeper spilled the initial shot but gathered at the second attempt despite the combined efforts of Charles and Sherborne to put the ball over the line.

Half time: Evesham United 0-0 AFC Totton

Totton came out fighting in the second half as they looked to continue the pressure they had put on Evesham up until the half time whistle. With the second half just 3 minutes old, Mike Gosney ended a run down the left wing with a good pass inside to Michael Charles who then played in Nathaniel Sherborne, but the striker's effort was blocked by the legs of an Evesham defender and the ball ran safely through to Robins keeper Nathan Vaughan.

With just under 25 minutes remaining, Totton were hit by a sucker punch against the run of play. Evesham were awarded a free kick out on the wing. The ball was played in by Josh Quaynor towards the far post where it was headed down by Evesham captain Wayne Daniel and on hand was Craig Wilding who reacted quickest to poke the ball home from 6 yards.

From then on Totton threw everyone forward at every opportunity in search of what would have been a deserved equaliser but it never came as referee Adam Mathews made some questionable decisions to deny Totton and snuff out any hope the away side had of getting something from the game.

Full time: Evesham United 1-0 AFC Totton

Totton deserved at least a point from this game but thanks to Ryan Scott's red card and some abysmal refereeing, we came away from St George's Lane pointless, disappointed and angry. Evesham played well but Totton easily matched them despite the home team having the advantage of the extra man. Next up for The Stags, we begin the defence of the Hampshire Senior Cup when Cove visit on Tuesday 11th October for a 7:45pm kick off. Next Saturday (15th October) Weymouth are back in town for an FA Cup 3rd qualifying round tie. On their visit to Totton in the league earlier in the season, the Terras lost 2-0. We are not back in league action until Tuesday 25th October when Cambridge City are the opponents at the Testwood Stadium.

Evesham United: Vaughan, Blake, Hyde, Daniel, Jones, Walker, Fitter, Wilding, Palmer, Otobo, Quaynor. Subs: Woodley, Malhotra, O'Kelly, Connor, Hands.

AFC Totton: Porter, Hill, Campbell, Whisken, Baddeley (Oldring), Davies, Pettefer, Scott, Gosney, Sherborne (Brown), Charles (Coutts). Unused subs: Osman, Lewis.

Goals: Evesham: Wilding (66).

Officials: Referee: Mr A Mathews. Assistants: Mr S Ireland & Mr S Oakey.

Attendance: 130.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Totton v Cirencester - Man of the Match

Voting for the man of the match in the 3-0 home win over Cirencester has now closed. The results are in and you chose goalkeeper Grant Porter as your man of the match. Porter made several top saves to deny Cirencester when they had got themselves into good scoring positions, including a terrific one-on-one save to deny Mike Tambling after the Cirencester striker had done the hard bit of breaking through the Totton defence but messed up the easy bit as his shot was blocked by the legs of Porter. His handling and distribution throughout the game was also good, setting up a few Totton attacks. Stags captain Carl Pettefer came second in the vote after his battling display in midfield and some excellent defence-splitting passes. And despite scoring twice in the opening 12 minutes for Totton, striker Michael Charles came third in the vote.

Man of the match results

1st: Grant Porter - 38%
2nd: Carl Pettefer - 23%
3rd: Michael Charles - 19%

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

AFC Totton 3-0 Cirencester Town, 04/10/11 7:45pm


After an FA Cup outing against Clevedon Town at the weekend, Totton were back in league action on Tuesday night as we welcomed Cirencester Town to the Testwood Stadium. The Centurions are struggling at the wrong end of the table in the early part of the season as they sit 2nd from bottom with just 1 win and 6 points to their name so far.

The game got off to the best possible start for The Stags when, after just 2 minutes, Michael Charles lobbed the ball over Cirencester keeper Kevin Sawyer from a tight angle and it bounced over the line via the underside of the crossbar. 3 minutes later Cirencester got a free kick 25 yards from goal. The ball was player towards the far post where Nathan Campbell headed it away only as far as a Cirencester player on the edge of the box but his shot was rushed and he skewed it well wide of the goal.

On 12 minutes Totton doubled their advantage. A free kick was won right on the byline out near the corner flag to the left of goal. Mike Gosney hit it low and hard across goal into the packed 6 yard box and Charles was well placed to knock the ball in from a yard out. Moments later Cirencester nearly got themselves back in the game when a rasping shot from the edge of the box narrowly cleared the top of the crossbar with Grant Porter rooted to the spot.

The away side began to put together a good spell of sustained pressure after that chance, and with 20 minutes gone they won 2 corners in quick succession. The first one was too high for anyone to get their heads on and Ryan Scott touched the ball behind for a corner from the opposite side. From that second corner Grant Porter did well to come off his line and punch the ball away, but it only reached the feet of a Cirencester player 20 yards from goal who controlled it well before unleashing a powerful driven shot that cannoned off the top of the crossbar and looped up and out of the ground.

Cirencester continued to pile on the pressure and they poured forward at every opportunity as they searched for a way back into the game. With just short of 10 minutes to go until the break they should have halved the deficit. Mike Tambling broke through the Totton defence with ease and as he bore down on goal Grant Porter rushed off his line to meet him and made a brilliant one-on-one save with his feet. The ball fell to another Cirencester attacker in the box but his shot was blocked well by Tom Baddeley and the ball trickled harmlessly into Porter's arms.

Half time: AFC Totton 2-0 Cirencester Town

The first 15 minutes of the second half were very sluggish, with no clear-cut chances for either side. But on the hour mark the game suddenly sprung into life again. Nathaniel Sherborne had a shot turned over the crossbar by Sawyer, and from the resulting corner the ball went over everyone and fell to Carl Pettefer on the other side. He played the ball back into the penalty area and Nathan Campbell rose highest to send the ball goalwards with his head, only to see Sawyer tip his effort over as well. From the second corner Sherborne put the ball over the bar for a goal kick.

3 minutes later and Campbell came close again. A free kick was awarded out near the touchline and Gosney whipped it in low towards the keeper. Campbell slid in to try and get to the ball before Sawyer but it just evaded his outstretched foot and the keeper was able to clear. Up the other end, Ryan Hill gave the ball away in a dangerous area but Tambling had maybe more time than he realised and hurried his shot, sending it the wrong side of the post. Not long after this minor scare, Totton made the game safe with a 3rd goal. From Ryan Hill's long throw-in, Sherborne knocked the ball back to Gosney who drilled his shot home from 12 yards.

With a quarter of an hour remaining a handball decision was given against Cirencester keeper Kevin Sawyer. A long ball over the top for substitute Stefan Brown to run onto drew Sawyer off his line to the edge of the box where he reached out and grabbed the ball before Brown could get his foot to it. The assistant referee raised his flag as it appeared the ball was still outside of the area when Sawyer caught it. The handball resulted in a free kick which Ryan Hill took but the ball sailed over the bar.

2 minutes from time Totton were given another free kick. Cirencester captain Richard Mansell brought down James Coutts after the Totton substitute had tried to go past him out by the left touchline. Gosney took the set piece and sent a curling shot just high and wide of the far top corner of the goal.

Full time: AFC Totton 3-0 Cirencester Town

A good result and another 3 points for Totton who are back to winning ways in the league after the defeat to Hitchin in the last game. Cirencester gave us a very good game and their performance was not that of a team languishing in 21st place in the league table, on this evidence they should get themselves away from the basement and up the table in no time. Next up for The Stags is a trip to Worcester City on Saturday. No, that's not a misprint. We are playing Evesham but as they have not moved into their new ground yet, the game will be played at St George's Lane, home of Conference North club Worcester City. See you all there!

AFC Totton: Porter, Hill, Campbell, Oldring, Baddeley, Davies (Coutts 72), Scott, Pettefer, Gosney, Sherborne (Osman 76), Charles (Brown 68). Unused subs: Lewis, Tomasso.

Cirencester Town: Sawyer, Wilson, Mansell, Sysum (Gunn 80), Mayo, Henry, Reid (Dunton 78), Mortimer-Jones, Tambling, Else, Westlake. Unused subs: Etheridge.

Goals: AFC Totton: Charles (2, 12), Gosney (68).

Officials: Referee: Mr A Tranter. Assistants: Mr R Magrath & Mr I Bardsley.

Attendance: 377.

Clevedon v Totton - Man of the Match

The results of the first man of the match poll are in. This seems to have worked quite well, so I will make it a permanent feature after every game. And hopefully as more people become aware of it we will get more votes for future games.

Against Clevedon, Totton welcomed back Ryan Scott after the former captain retired at the end of last season due to injury. He has now returned to the club after it emerged that the injury was not as serious as first thought. And Scotty made a huge impact on his return against Clevedon as he controlled the midfield and it was his strike that won the game for The Stags 3 minutes from time. And the voting has matched the opinions after the game amongst the fans as Ryan has been voted man of the match against Clevedon with 63% of the vote. It's good to have you back Scotty!

Man of the match results

1st: Ryan Scott - 63%
2nd: Nathaniel Sherborne - 18%
3rd: Matt Oldring and Carl Pettefer - 9%

Sunday, 2 October 2011

FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round: Clevedon Town 1-2 AFC Totton, 01/10/11 3pm


After easing past Fleet Town in the last round Totton were handed an away trip to Clevedon Town in the 2nd qualifying round. The Stags played Clevedon in the South & West Division last season on their way to the league title. But Clevedon made sure Totton didn't have it all their own way last season as they took 4 points off us in the 2 league games with a 1-0 win at the old Testwood Park and a 2-2 draw at their own Hand Stadium. So this would by no means be an easy ride for Totton as they bid to reach the FA Cup 3rd qualifying round.

Both our regular centre backs, Ian Richardson and Jamie Whisken were injured and unavailable for this game so Matt Oldring and Nathan Campbell deputised in the centre of defence. But better news for Totton fans was the return of fans favourite Ryan Scott. The midfield general retired at the end of last season at the age of 24 with a recurring knee injury. But the injury turned out to be not as serious as feared and Scott has now rejoined the club.

The game started pretty evenly, with Clevedon having an early chance when Jordan Walker sent a header wide. Totton then got a free kick out wide on the left which Ryan Hill delivered and Nathan Campbell controlled, before having his shot blocked and the ball was cleared. The Stags then got another free kick after a foul on Nathaniel Sherborne on the edge of the box, and Ryan Hill's effort was straight at Clevedon keeper Alex Leaman who held the ball at the second attempt after spilling the initial shot.

On 20 minutes Totton were the width of a post away from taking the lead. Michael Charles was put through on goal and his shot cannoned back off the upright; Sherborne's strike from the rebound being blocked and cleared by Steve Kingdon. From a corner moments later, Charles' header was cleared off the line by Kingdon as he proved to be a stubborn one-man blockade between Totton and the back of the net. But on 34 minutes Totton finally found a way to goal, though they needed a bit of help from Clevedon defender Steve Kingdon as he hauled down Sherborne in the box and referee Matthew Rushton pointed to the spot. Mike Gosney scored the penalty and Totton had the lead.

Clevedon had a decent chance to level minutes later when a 30 yard Ashley Kington free kick was acrobatically tipped over the bar by Grant Porter. And with half time approaching, Jon Davies could have doubled Totton's advantage when he went on a mazy run past 3 players and made some space for himself to shoot from the edge of the box, but dragged the shot across goal and just wide of the post.

Half time: Clevedon Town 0-1 AFC Totton

For the first quarter of an hour of the second half, it was Totton vs Alex Leaman as the Clevedon stopper pulled off a string of excellent saves to keep The Stags at bay, denying Sherborne, Charles and Gosney. Not to be outdone, Grant Porter then produced a magnificent save to keep out Chas Hemmings' header from point-blank range and push the ball away to safety.

With 15 minutes remaining, substitute Stefan Brown nearly set up the clincher as his cross from the right fizzed across the face of goal and Charles was inches away from getting his head on the ball as it rolled out for a throw in to Clevedon on the far side. 5 minutes later, Gosney was through one-on-one with the on-rushing Leaman and as he pulled the trigger he appeared to be clipped from behind by the defender snapping at his heels, but he tried to stay on his feet and saw his shot saved.

Clevedon sub Reeko Best came close to an equaliser on 83 minutes when he shot into the side-netting. But the home side didn't have to wait much longer to get themselves back on level terms. With 4 minutes to go, a free kick was awarded 25 yards from goal after Matt Oldring fouled Chas Hemmings. Clevedon captain Ashley Kington stepped up to unleash an unstoppable rising shot into the top corner via the palms of Grant Porter, who could do nothing to prevent the driven effort from finding the back of the net.

With Clevedon still celebrating, and a replay at the Testwood Stadium looming, Totton went straight up the other end and scored what proved to be the winning goal. Ryan Scott collected the ball in midfield and took a touch before trying an ambitious shot on goal from 45 yards that was going wide of the post until it took a massive deflection off of Clevedon defender Sam Johnson and trickled into the bottom corner with Leaman too slow to react after seemingly thinking the ball was going to roll harmlessly wide.

Full time: Clevedon Town 1-2 AFC Totton

After being pegged back with 5 minutes to go, it looked like Totton would have to settle for a replay on Tuesday evening. But the return of Ryan Scott to the Stags midfield proved the difference as he capped off a superb performance with the shot which resulted in the winning goal, although it has gone down as a Sam Johnson own goal as Scott's effort was going wide before the deflection off the unfortunate Clevedon defender. So as there is no need for a replay, the league game at home against Cirencester Town this Tuesday will go ahead as planned. Kick off is 7:45pm at the Testwood Stadium.

Clevedon Town: Leaman, Johnson, Teale, Mills, Kingdon, Geeson, Fisher (Best 64), Kington, Klein-Davies (Gale 64), Hemmings, Walker. Unused subs: Edwards-Samuels, Playford, Fortune, Dulawa.

AFC Totton: Porter, Hill, Campbell, Oldring, Baddeley, Davies, Scott (Coutts 90), Pettefer, Gosney, Sherborne (Brown 69), Charles (Osman 79). Unused subs: Lewis, Tomasso.

Goals: Clevedon: Kington (85)
            Totton: Gosney (34 pen), Johnson OG (87).

Officials: Referee: Mr M Rushton. Assistants: Mr P Humphrey & Mr A Matthews.

Attendance: 140.