Gilkes double seals win in final game
A brace from Harrison Gilkes helped AFC Totton finish their season off in style as they beat 10 man Burnham 3-2 away in some horrendous conditions.
In some torrential downpours, the midfielder on loan from AFC Bournemouth set up the first goal with a precise pass for Taylor Edwards to latch onto and finish before scoring two of his own either side of half time.
Nicky Kebamba set strike partner up Ryan Blake before netting himself for the hosts, but it was not enough to hold off an attacking Stags side.
After a more solid performance on Saturday against Bedford, the pressure was off for the Stags heading into their final game of the campaign. They looked relaxed from the outset, able to attack with fluidity and verve in the opening exchanges.
With Totton able to keep possession marginally better than their opposition, they created the better of the chances. James Jennings was able to find space on the left wing early on, cutting in on his right foot. Although he could deliver the cross, none were able to create a clear cut chance.
But it was Burnham who took the lead. The pacey Kebamba beat visiting captain Chris Onoufriou for pace after a long punt from the home side’s goalkeeper Adam Lawrence and slotted in Blake to tap in past a stranded Steve Mowthorpe after 16 minutes.
It did not deter the visitors though and they continued to bomb forward in search of goals. They were rewarded just 11 minutes after falling behind. Gilkes set Edwards through one on one with the keeper, and the striker coolly slid his shot into the back of the net for a deserved equalizer.
Edwards should of doubled his tally moments after with an almost carbon copy effort of his goal. Again he broke the offside trap but from a slightly narrower angle he stroked his shot just past the post instead of seeing the net bulge.
But the Stags weren’t ruing the miss for long. Gilkes beat three men on the right before prodding home from 12 yards in the 32nd minute.
Burnham were level though just five minutes before the break that capped off a breathless 13 minutes. This time Kebamba found space inside the six yard box from a corner and nodded in with too much room.
After a rip- roaring half, the torrential rain took its toll on both the players and the pitch with the game turning sloppy. Chances were hard to come by even though the game was rather open and set pieces looked the most likely to cause trouble and so it proved with 15 minutes to play.
Liam Gilbert took a free kick quickly, catching the hosts’ cold and Gilkes was able to steal in front of the defenders to get the slightest of touches and seal all three points for the Stags.
To make matters worse for the home side, Ryan Urward was sent off after shouldering Onoufriou in the air.
With the rain turning biblical, Totton were able to see the game out and finish their season off on in style that typified their late season form even with relegation already confirmed.