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.

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