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).

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