U18s Miss Out on Cup Final Due to a Lacklustre First Half Performance
The young stags took on Fareham Town Black in the semi final of the league cup at the Testwood stadium, watched by another decent crown of 60+ spectators. Jamie and Sam kept the same starting line up, which last week worked so well against Moneyfields.
Fareham started the game with an urgency, which the Totton boys didn’t match and they were under pressure from the off. Fareham went ahead very early on scoring from a free kick. Clearly the visitors were going to be a threat from set play and throughout the game they regularly threatened from free kicks into the box.
Totton tried to get the ball down, but seemed to want more time on the ball than Fareham would allow and frequently lost the ball to the well drilled and energetic visitors.
The first sign of some urgency from the Totton boys came when Joe Murray, partnered up front again with Harry Prisk, worked hard to get a ball off a Fareham defender and got a pass across goal, but the keeper picked it up just inches away from Harry slotting it in for an equaliser.
Totton’s play was not accurate enough, with passes being intercepted or the ball being hoofed forward with no chance of Joe or Harry getting to it before the Fareham defence.
Fareham continued the pressure and with their pace got behind the Totton defence on a number of occasions. On one such occasion they managed get a get down the wing and get a cross off, which was initially cleared, but it fell to a Fareham player and his shot made it 2-0 after only 15 minutes.
A few opportunities did come to Totton’s way and there were signs of the team starting to get into the game and testing the Fareham defence and keeper. Mitchell Wood was putting a really effort down the left hand wing, winning the ball for the young stags and getting it forward.
Some sign of life just before half time when Harry dropped back to receive the ball from Mitchell and went on a run through the Fareham defence and after a nice one two with Morgan Callaway, made it 2-1 at half time.
Too much “long ball” and not enough football – time for a chat with Jamie and Sam!
Second half underway and there was at last some signs that the Young Stags wanted to win this. They started to create movement and get the ball down with a better level of passing accuracy. Alex Haynes was unlucky not to score when Jack Webb, on the right wing, got the ball into Harry who passed to Alex, however, his shot was saved by a competent keeper. This was followed shortly afterwards when Alex and Harry linked up again but this time to feed Joe, who’s shot was just wide.
First substitution for Totton, with Calum Hellyar making way for Charlie Hennen.
Fareham continued to be a threat and the play soon switched to the other end with a number of attacks and corners. Mitchell continued to work hard and saved more blushes with a clearance off the line.
Half way through the half Totton were reduced to 10 men, to the amazement of both teams, when Jack Webb was shown a straight red for something the referee thought he saw. The resulting free kick threatened the Totton goal, but Nathan Jones claimed it well.
Despite the reduced numbers the boys dug in and continued to challenge for an equaliser, which came following some good play up front with Harry sliding the ball into Joe, who’s inital short was saved, but Charlie came streaming in for the follow up and hammered in into the back of the net. 2-2 with extra time looming.
Morgan off allowing Calum back on and both sides continue to create chances until the end of the 90 minutes, but this game was going into extra time.
Totton looked like they might take the advantage straight after the restart, when Joe was fouled after a good ball forward from Charlie and a penalty was awarded. Unfortunately this was saved and shortly afterwards Mitchell, who had a really good game, was replaced by U16’s Ethan Anders who slotted in up front and Harry moved in to Mitchell’s role.
Fareham took the lead again when some less than effective tackling allowed them to break through and with what looked like a 3 or 1 situation, Nathan Jones had too much to do and its 3-2 to the visitors.
Not to be out done, the Totton boys pushed on and when Harry was fouled just in front of the visitor’s dugout, he took the resulting free kick, placing it right into the box for Alex to launch an unstoppable strike into the top left corner. 3-3.
Again more opportunities followed for both teams, but it was Fareham who persisted, using their extra man advantage and they were allowed to get a 4th.
Tom Lycett on for Ethan and although there were some encouraging moments, Fareham saw the game out, winning 3-4 after extra time.
Special thanks to Claire and team for opening up the coffee shop today (and last week!) for some welcome refreshments.
Starting Line Up: (Keeper) Nathan Jones, (Defence) Jack Webb, George Ockwell, Tom Rose, Ryan Gill, Mitchell Wood, (Midfield) Alex Haynes, Calum Hellyar, Morgan Callaway, (Strikers) Harry Prisk, Joe Murray.
Subs: Konard Szymaniak, Bradley Taylor, Ethan Anders, Charlie Hennen, Tom Lycett