STAGS FALL TO LATE TUCKER GOAL
Bideford 2 AFC Totton 1
Totton boss Louis Langdown made three changes to the side that drew 0-0 at home to Basingstoke last week. In came Matt Simm, Lewis Beale and Silvano Obeng, they replaced Mitchell Byrne who was on the bench, Rob Bradley (injured) and Gowan Stares who also dropped to the bench. The other substitutes were Richard Bakary, Ollie Bradley and Jack Masterton.
AFC Totton started the game brightly enough forcing a corner on the right it was cleared back out to Callaghan on the right and he swung in a cross that was eventually cleared. Callaghan swung in another cross a moment later and Lewis Beale rose to head the ball back across the area, but the Bideford defence cleared their lines.
The Stags gave away a free kick around 35 yards from goal when Pip Nolan fouled Bideford’s Charlie Lawrence. Ben Carter took the kick and it came to Ryan Turner with his back to goal and he managed to turn and get in an effort that ever caused Alex Cull any anxiety. A couple of minutes later Ben Palmer whipped in a cross from the left and it was headed wide by Robins No 10 Craig Duff.
Totton’s first chance came when Nolan played a ball out to Beale and Beale crossed in for Callaghan who put the ball wide.
The home side went back onto the attack and a high ball into the box saw Cull under pressure from Turner, the ball dropped into the area and Jack Smith had to put the ball out for a corner. When the corner arrived in the box the ball was headed over by Toby Down.
Totton went back up the other end and forced themselves a corner and when Callaghan swung it into the area Dave Allen headed wide.
There was very much an end to end theme to the game but it was Bideford who looked to have more of a cutting edge and it was the home side who had a great chance to take the lead in the 27th minute when Lawrence was played in with just Cull to beat, but Cull stood firm and denied him his goal.
Then Totton went back on the attack and Craig Feeney got into the right side of the box he then played the ball right across the face of the goal with Callaghan the closest Totton player to getting a touch, but the ball carried on past him.
Then It was the Robins who went back on the attack and a nicely weighted pass from Duff played in Turner who was one on one with Cull, and once again the on loan Southampton keeper denied the home side an opening goal.
Louis Langdown’s bad luck with injuries to his players goes on and on and left back Matt Bozier was the latest player to limp off and he was replaced by Ollie Bradley on 31 minutes.
With 5 minutes until the break the Robins took the lead when the Stags allowed them to string together a few passes and the ball was played through by Lawrence to Turner inside the box in another one on one scenario. On this occasion Turner calmly slid the ball past Cull, rolling the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net.
Half time: Bideford 1 AFC Totton 0
The home side very nearly doubled the lead on 48 minutes when a rasping shot from Lawrence had to be touched over the bar by Cull.
The game was becoming more bitty and a few niggles started to creep into game. Frustratingly for Totton, there were too many passes going astray in the early stages of the 2nd half.
Duff had a take shot saved comfortably by Cull in the 53rd minute, but a minute later the impressive Cull came to the rescue saving well from Bideford left back Ben Palmer.
Totton then made a change with Silvanho Obeng being replaced by Richard Bakary on the hour mark.
Billy Tucker then pulled another superb save out of Cull with a 25 yard bullet on 67 minutes. At this point there seemed to be more chance of the home scoring a 2nd than there was of Totton getting level. However, football sometimes surprises you and just a minute later Totton were level.
Ollie Bradley had the ball on the Totton left and he carried the ball infield towards the edge of the box, evading one or two attempts to stop him. BRADLEY continued his journey to the D and seeing a gap he shot low past Kingston into the net to stun the home support.
Totton then had a golden chance to take the lead when Robin Nicholls released Beale down the left and the on loan Eastleigh man headed in towards goal, he then took the ball past a couple of defenders before shooting over from 10 yards. In truth the young Eastleigh loanee should have hit the target!
Some brilliant defending from Robin Nicholls kept the Stags level when he threw himself in the way of Carter’s goal bound effort on 78 minutes.
With just under 20 minutes to go Totton had s corner which was taken by Callaghan, the ball went into the mix where it was cleared as far as Beale on the edge of the box, and Beale let fly with a shot that looked a goal all the way, but Robin’s keeper Kingston threw up his arms to tip the ball over the bar.
Then with just two minutes left Bideford attacked down the left with Lawrence, the Stags failed to deal with the situation and after three attempts to cross Lawrence managed to get the ball across to the far post where Tucker was lurking, Tucker worked himself a little space before shooting via Dave Allen’s leg and Cull got down to claw the ball away but the ball fell to Turner whose shot went in. It transpires that the 1st effort from Tucker was in fact over the line so he has been credited with the winning goal for the Robins.
There was another late headache for Louis Langdown when Lewis Beale had to be helped off in some discomfort in added time. He was replaced by Gowan Stares.
Full time: Bideford 2 AFC Totton 1
All in all a disappointing afternoon for the Stags who would probably have settled for a point, although they could easily of had three if Lewis Beasle had taken his chances in the 2nd period.
This was not a poor performance from Totton, I would say that overall it was 50/50 in terms of possession, but they have played better. The home side in truth worked Alex Cull a bit more than the Stags worked Liam Kingston. I would like to pay huge credit to Totton keeper Alex Cull. The on loan Saints keeper has produced a number of decent performances recently. Cull made some really good saves today and he did not deserve to be on the losing side.
Next up for the Stags is a trip to Blackfield & Langley in the Southern League Challenege Cup on Tuesaday evening (Oct 1st) Kick off is at 7.45pm.