AFC Totton 0 Mangotsfield United 1
The Stags went into Saturdays game with Mangotsfield United in a confident mood after three wins and a draw in their last four games. The Stags confidence was clearly evident as Totton set about Mangotsfield right from the kick off when a neat move saw Nathaniel Sherborne play in Mark Gamble who shot wide.
In just the 2nd minute Sherborne picked up the ball around 40 yards out before advancing forward 15 yards or so and unleashing a shot that flew over the crossbar. and in the 4th minute Dave Allen saw a cross come shot drift wide of the right hand post.
In the 14th minute a long throw from Harry Medway saw 16-year-old Matt Bozier hook the ball over the bar, then the consistently lively Curtis Young was doing his best to create havoc with a tricky little run that ended with a disappointing finish.
All of the play was coming from Totton and Mangotsfield were finding it hard to get any meaningful possession, that was until the 29th minute when Mitch Tippins found a yard or two of space outside the box before he let fly with a fiercely hit shot that went a couple of feet over the bar.
A few moments later a Curtis Young free kick was met by the head of Harry Medway, but his header went narrowly wide.
Just before the break Alfy Whittingham latched onto an Ian Oliver ball over the top and Whittingham did brilliantly to hold off the challenge of a Mangotsfield defender but he was unable to make a good contact with the ball and Mango’s keeper Steve Phillips was able to gather.
After the break Totton went for the jugular again with Alfy Whittingham showing great strength to hold off two defenders as he bore down on goal, only to see his effort saved at the near post by Steve Phillips.
Mitch Tippins then had a half chance for the visitors when he got into the Totton box before shooting well over the bar.
Totton went straight down the other end and a move ended with a mishit Sherborne shot falling to Alfy Whittingham whose close-range shot was saved by Phillips, then Matt Bozier was frustrated after his header was also saved comfortably by Phillips.
On 57 minutes Sherborne curled in a lovely shot from 20 yards that looked goal bound, but somehow Phillips got down to deny the Stags No9 with a save down to his left with two Totton players coming in looking for a spillage from the Mangotsfield keeper.
Sherborne was again in the thick of the action when a really smart turn in the box fooled a Mangotsfield defender and Sherbs ball went agonisingly across the face of the goal with Mark Gamble desperately trying to get a touch on it to guide it into the net.
Then unbelievably Totton conceded a goal that was literally out of the blue. A quick break from the visitors ended with a ball into the box from Matt Groves that beat Patrick O’Flaherty and fell to Liam Monelle just beyond the keeper who missed the ball with his intended foot, but the ball hit his standing leg and rolled over the line from 6 yards out.
Everyone in the ground was looking at one another totally baffled at how Totton could be behind and to such a scruffy goal!
With around 15 minutes left Mangotsfield’s Tom Warren who had already been booked earlier in the game got involved with the Stags substitute Dylan Knight and the referee decided to send the Mangos No 4 off as well as book knight!
In the closing stages Totton continued to batter Mangotsfield and a couple more late chances went begging for the Stags. Firstly a Knight header was just wide from a corner and this was followed by another chance that fell to knight when Connor Yorke’s cross was met by the big Totton striker, but agonisingly for the 262 fans present a Mangotsfield defender was there to clear the ball off of the line.
Anybody who was at Saturdays game will agree that the outcome was so unjust. The Stags played some lovely football and they dominated the game from start to finish. A combination of poor finishing, Mangotsfield goalkeeper Steve Phillips and plain bad luck were the reasons that Totton did not take a richly deserved three points, It was great to see the Totton fans applaud the lads off of the pitch at the end as they showed their appreciation for the teams efforts.
Next up for Totton is a trip to Wantage Town on Saturday (3pm).
AFC Totton line up…….O’Flaherty, York, Oliver, Whittingham, Medway, Allen, Young, Gunson, Sherborne, Gamble (Knight), Bozier Subs (not used) Kimber, Roberts, Wilde