STAGS THROUGH BUT THEY NEED TO BE MORE RUTHLESS
AFC Totton 3 Fleetlands 1
The Stags were red hot favourites to go through against Fleetlands and they did, but in truth the 3-1 score line didn’t really reflect their dominance.
Langdown made five changes to the starting eleven that played in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Slimbridge in the FA Trophy. In came Will Archer for Matt Simm, Gowan Stares for Jack Smith, Mitchell Byrne for Dave Allen, Rob Bradley for Richard Bakary and Lewis Beale for Liam Callaghan. On the bench was James Matthews, Matt Simm, Richard Bakary, Matt Bozier and Liam Callaghan.
The Stags got off to the perfect start when Matt Hartmann intercepts a ball on the left by the halfway line he then plays the ball to Ollie Bradley and Lewis BEALE fired homer from close range.
Totton continued to press with Ollie Bradley’s cross testing Fleetlands keeper Josh Whitehead. then Rob Bradley played in Alex Haynes and who advanced a few yards before he took a pop at goal forcing Whitehead to save.
On 14 minutes Fleetlands got their 1st shot on goal from Matt Andrews who shot straight at Hall, who saved without too much difficulty.
Lewis Beale then set up Silvano Obeng who turned and shot wide from 8 yards, then Rob Bradley pulled a fine save from Whitehead who turned his shot wide. Another chance came from Lewis Beale’s corner that landed on the head of Obeng who glanced the ball wide.
Fleetlands had their best chance of the night when Jamie Wrapson got free of the Stags defence and as Matt Hall came out of goal, he lobbed the ball over him and it was heading into the net until Mitchell Byrne managed to get back to scoop it off the goal line.
Totton continued to dominate and they were playing some lovely football in the process and after a nice one-two Bradley crossed for Obeng, whose diving header went over the bar.
The Stags were forced to bring off Alex Haynes after he felt a slight pull so manager Louis Langdown took no chances and replaced him with James Matthews.
Matthews was getting on the ball nicely and looking lively and he played in Obeng who fired millimeters wide of the far post after a fine move by the Stags, the keeper got the slightest of touches and the Stags were awarded a corner.
There had been a few occasions in the first half when Rob Bradley had over hit balls through the Fleetlands back line, but on the stroke of half time he got the weight of his pass perfect and in doing so he freed young sub James MATTHEWS inside the box and he fired across Whitehead and into the far side of the net.
Half Time: AFC Totton 2 Fleetlands 0
After the break there was a rare half chance for the visitors when Wrapson played in pint sized Jack North who had his effort charged with some alert Stags defending.
Totton then resumed their dominance with Ollie Bradley curling a shot wide from the edge of the box. The Stags were then awarded a free kick after Obeng was fouled just outside the area and Obeng took the kick himself and it went a few feet wide. Then Ollie Bradley pulled another shot wide for the Stags shortly afterwards.
How Totton did not go 3-0 up with their next chance I do not know. A thunderous headed clearance from Bryne went right over Fleetlands defence and Beale was away, Whitehead came rushing out of his goal so Beale put a high lob over him and the ball was dropping into the net with Liam Callaghan following in to try and make sure the ball went in. Unfortunately for Callaghan, he only succeeded in heading Beale’s lob over the bar!
On 77 minutes Totton had a corner on the right and when it came into the area keeper Whitehead went up to try and catch it, but he was leaning backwards and the ball dropped onto the goal line and as Sub Shane Kent came in to try and hook away he could only help it into the net and it was finally 3-0 to Totton!
Fleetlands keeper Whitehead needed lengthy treatment before he could resume and Lewis Beale went off injured for the Stags leaving them with only 10 men because all three substitutions had already been made.
With seconds remaining North got free for the visitors and as he entered the area he hit the ground after what seemed like minimal contact and the referee awarded him a penalty. It was a little on the soft side, but North took the penalty himself sending the ball past Hall to give the visitors a consolation.
Full time: AFC Totton 3 Fleetlands 1
Next up is top of the table Thatcham Town at the Snows Stadium on Saturday (19th) 3pm.