Sunday, 18 March 2012
Totton came into this game on the back of two superb away wins. Last weekend a 1-0 win at Banbury United put Totton firmly back in the title race after Brackley could only draw 1-1 at Totton's league neighbours Bashley. Then on Tuesday evening a rather under-strength Stags side defied the odds to beat a full-strength Havant & Waterlooville of the Conference South in the Hampshire Senior Cup semi final to set up a final clash with Eastleigh at Southampton FC's St Mary's Stadium. Surely the visit of relegation threatened Redditch United would give Totton the chance to make it 3 wins in a row. As we know though, any team can beat any other team in this league, irrespective of league position.
In the first minute Stefan Brown went down with a worrying looking head injury after a tackle. After a couple of minutes of treatment, thankfully Brown was back on his feet and ready to continue playing.
In the absence of the injured Mike Gosney, left back Charlie Knight was playing on the left wing and Ian Richardson was pushed out to play at left back. His run down the left wing ended with a cross to Ryan Moss who headed straight at the goalkeeper.
Nathaniel Sherborne then drew a good save from the keeper when he nearly converted Moss' low cross.
A good bit of play in the box almost gave Totton the lead when Brown latched onto Moss' knock down and slipped the ball through to Sherborne but his curling shot was just wide of the far post.
Ross Bottomley then sent one unlucky steward on a long trek to retrieve the ball when his massive clearance from a long ball into the box left the ground and probably wasn't far off reaching Testwood Lake!
Jamie Whisken went up for a corner but headed over the bar from Ryan Hill's delivery.
A foul on Hill on the edge of the box gave Totton a free kick. Hill delivered, the ball was headed clear as far as Charlie Knight and he was taken out on the edge of the box. Another free kick, another Hill effort. This time the Redditch wall did it's job as the ball deflected off it for a corner, which came to nothing.
Half time: AFC Totton 0-0 Redditch United
In the second half the defences did all the work as there were hardly any clear chances for either side.
Sherborne cut inside from the right but his cross-shot was gathered by the keeper with Nathan Campbell waiting to pounce.
Redditch substitute Chris Russell was then denied by James Bittner at the other end after running onto a good ball through the Totton defence.
Campbell should have been through on goal soon after, but the linesman flagged for offside despite Campbell coming from behind the defender to get to the ball first.
Stuart Hendrie then worked himself some space in the box but could only shoot wide with just Bittner to beat.
Jon Davies and John McKie soon entered the game in place of Stefan Brown and Charlie Knight as Totton seemed stuck for ideas.
Richardson did well to block a goal-bound shot from Lee Osborne finding the net as Redditch continued to threaten.
The referee then waved away strong penalty appeals from Totton after Davies was felled in the box by Alex Hickman as he ran onto Sherborne's through ball.
Hickman was then lucky to escape with just a yellow card when he wiped out McKie as the young winger tried to race past him on the left wing, going in studs up and sending McKie flying.
From the free kick that followed, Campbell was inches away from getting his head on the ball at the back post.
Bittner then saved a point for Totton when he denied Aaron Forde after he ran into the box, through the defence, and aimed for the bottom corner.
In the dying seconds, both sides had chances to snatch all 3 points. First, Ryan Moss chested down Hill's high cross to the far post but was denied at point black range by Coleman when it seemed certain he would score.
Then, Chris Russell did well to bring down a long punt down-field and get it under control, but Carl Pettefer blocked his effort and the ball rolled safely into Bittner's hands.
Full time: AFC Totton 0-0 Redditch United
After two fantastic results on the road, Totton were stopped in their tracks at the Testwood Stadium by a determined Redditch side. The reverse fixture at Redditch back in November also ended 0-0. With Brackley beating Weymouth 3-1, it opened up a 5 point gap between the league leaders and Totton, but The Stags have a game in hand on The Saints and anything can still happen between now and the end of the season. Next up for Totton is another two home games in a row. Stourbridge visit on Tuesday evening, then next Saturday Leamington are in town.
AFC Totton: Bittner, Hill, Whisken, Bottomley, Richardson, Brown (Davies 60), Campbell, Pettefer, Knight (McKie 69), Sherborne, Moss. Unused subs: Porter, Odam, Osman.
Redditch United: Coleman, Stringfellow, Robinson, Adkins, Hickman, Grimes, Hendrie, Forde, Deabill (Russell 46), Halsall, Osborne. Unused Subs : Moses-Garvey, Hull, Knott, Bedford.
Officials: Referee: Mr A Laver. Assistants: Mr D Gillespie & Mr D Howard-Tomes.
Sunday, 4 March 2012
Totton are on a pretty poor run at the moment. Since a 3-1 win over Evesham United last month, The Stags have drawn two and lost one, scoring just one goal (a penalty). Surely the visit of lowly Frome Town would give Totton the chance to get back to winning ways. In the away game Totton won 3-1 with two goals for Stefan Brown and one for Mark Osman. Before this game, a minute's applause was held for former Totton press officer and club legend Pete Chilcott who sadly passed away last week at the age of 92.
Totton began the game in promising fashion. Charlie Knight's cross was pushed into Jon Davies' path by Frome keeper Darren Chitty and the winger's shot was blocked by the defence and the ball was cleared.
Ryan Hill then crossed to Nathan Campbell in the box and he laid the ball off for Mike Gosney who shot high over the bar.
Frome started to get themselves back in the game and Totton had to be at their defensive best to keep the away side at bay.
A foul by Hill gave Frome a free kick out on the right wing. The ball was headed clear by Gosney only as far as Mark Cooper 20 yards out but the defender's shot was high and wide.
Totton threatened again when Hill's throw in found Nathaniel Sherborne in the box and his shot on the turn was straight at Chitty.
Totton have gone off the boil a bit in recent weeks and there were more frustrated groans from the home fans when Frome took the lead.
Matt Smith's volley was saved well by James Bittner but he could only parry the ball onto the head of Luke Ballinger who lofted a header over the keeper and into the net.
A couple of half chances for Frome followed, but it was Totton who came closest to scoring next.
Dean Flockton's foul on Davies earned him a yellow card and Totton a free kick. Gosney's effort looked destined for the top corner until Chitty's glove intercepted at the expense of a corner.
Just before half time, Gosney came close with another free kick from a similar distance. This time the keeper was getting nowhere near it, but he didn't need to be as the ball whistled past the post.
Half time: AFC Totton 0-1 Frome Town
Totton came out fighting in the second half, but with the wind in their faces the football wasn't exactly pretty.
A foul on Ryan Moss gave Totton a free kick out wide on the left. Hill played it to the far post where it was headed back across goal and after some frantic pinball in the box the ball was eventually scrambled clear by the Frome defence.
Soon after, Totton made a double change with Jon Davies and Ryan Hill making way for Nathan Jack and Ian Richardson, and Jack instantly began to make an impact.
A dangerous cross from the substitute was put behind for a corner and Gosney's delivery was volleyed just past the post by Sherborne.
Another good cross from Jack found Charlie Knight on the far post but the full back couldn't get the ball on target and it just cleared the crossbar.
The wind died down with about 20 minutes to go and Bittner became a focal point for starting attacks with his long punts down-field no longer being held up by the blustery conditions.
A long ball forward from the 'keeper found Gosney in the opposite penalty area and he controlled it, turned and shot in one move, only to see his shot bounce agonisingly off the post.
Minutes later another blast from Bittner's right boot found Jamie Whisken who flicked the ball on with his head, but there was no one anticipating the flick on and the ball rolled out for a goal kick.
Stefan Brown entered the action in place of Charlie Knight with 15 minutes remaining and within seconds Totton were finally on level terms.
Brown did well to retain possession 25 yards out and played the ball out wide to Jack on the right wing. Jack cut inside onto his left foot and unleashed a powerful low drive that found it's way through the packed penalty area, across goal and into the bottom corner.
Totton piled forward in search of a late winner, but they were almost made to pay for their attacking intent with 5 minutes left.
Frome played the ball out to the wing and after getting away from Ian Richardson, Ballinger cut inside, drew Bittner out of his goal and squared the ball for Smith who shot wide with the open goal at his mercy.
But it was Totton who would come closest in the dying minutes when Gosney's corner was headed onto the top of the crossbar by Brown.
Full time: AFC Totton 1-1 Frome Town
Another frustrating afternoon for Totton fans who now haven't witnessed a Stags victory for 4 games. A 0-0 draw with Swindon Supermarine, a 1-0 defeat at Cambridge City and a 1-1 draw with St Albans City preceded this disappointing result to make it 3 points from a possible 12 and just 2 goals scored in that time. Tuesday evening will provide a welcome break from the league when Clevedon Town visit the Testwood Stadium for the Red Insure Cup semi final, kicking off at 7:45pm. The next league outing is next Saturday when we travel to Banbury United.
AFC Totton: Bittner, Hill (Richardson 58), Whisken, Bottomley, Knight (Brown 74), Davies (Jack 58), Campbell, Pettefer, Gosney, Sherborne, Moss. Unused subs: Stockford, McKie.
Frome Town: Chitty, Cooper, Reaney, Flockton, Evans, Lapham, Ballinger (Brigham 90+2), Smith, Walsh (Benison 55), Perrott, Thomson. Unused subs: Ledgister, Quelch, Bennett.
Totton: Jack (75)
Frome: Ballinger (19)
Officials: Referee: Mr M Derrien. Assistants: Mr M Desborough & Mr A Carter.