TOTTON BOW OUT OF SOUTHERN LEAGUE CHALLENGE CUP
Blackfield & Langley 2 AFC Totton 1
Both sides made changes for this game with Louis Langdown making six to the starting eleven the began at Bideford on Saturday. Matt Simm dropped to the bench, Matt Bozier was out injured, Dave Allen was unavailable, Robin Nicholls dropped to the bench, Silvano Obeng dropped to the bench as did Liam Callaghan. In came Mitchell Byrne, Ben Scorey, Gowan Stares, Richard Bakary, Alex Haynes and Ollie Bradley. The other Totton sub was Will Archer.
The game could not have got off to a better start for the Stags when Lewis BEALE Cashed in on an under-hit back pass by Georges Cathanine Yobo after just 10 seconds. Beale nipped in and rolled the ball past Blackfield keeper Karl Matthews-Steinborn-Busse, placing it into the bottom corner.
The goal stunned everybody in the ground, and It triggered a terrific 1st half with good chances for both sides and some good football played too. The Stags could have incredibly been 2-0 up after 3 minutes when Feeney connected with a cross, unfortunately he hooked the ball over the bar, but he was falling backwards which made it hard for him to keep the ball down.
On 8 minutes Totton moved forward again with Pip Nolan playing the ball down the flank to Ollie Bradley and Bradley played a ball into Craig Feeney and Just as Feeney was about to connect he was hit by a thunderous tackle from his ex-team mate Callum Chugg, Feeney went down straight away and Chugg hobbled away only to go down a few seconds later, both players needed treatment for a few moments but it was quite clear that both were struggling. In fact, Feeney only lasted until the 25th minute when he had to be replaced by Liam Callaghan. Chugg lasted seven minutes longer before he had to be replaced by another former Stag (loanee) Harry Medway.
The football ebbed and flowed, and the home side had some good chances too with one notable opportunity that was spurned by Josh McCormick, who fired over from close range from Luke Rae’s cross on 20 minutes.
Blackfield No 7 Rae was looking a real handful and he showed some great trickery going past two Totton players, before he took a pop at goal and Cull saved. A little while later Rae’s teammate Devane Bongou had a close-range header blocked close to the goal line
One Totton player who was causing the home side problems was Bradley who stung the keeper’s hands with a firm shot from just outside the box. Then a lovely move by the Stags ended with Richard Bakary firing an inch or two over the Blackfield crossbar. Not long after Bakary’s chance came a slip by the Blackfield keeper, which allowed Beale in intercept his kick, Beale took the ball wide of the keeper before flashing a ball across the face of goal where Callaghan was unable to connect.
Then a slice of luck allowed Blackfield to level things up in the 41st minute when a shot from around the edge of the box from Luke Rae took a couple of deflections, the last of which appeared to be off of Wayne Robinson and the ball looped up and over Cull and into the net.
The Stags could’ve gone behind before the break when Shaquille Gewenge got in on goal and he had two attempts at trying beat Cull. Totton’s keeper did really well to stop his 1st attempt but the ball ran loose and Gwenge tried to round him a 2nd time, but Cull managed to steal the ball off of his boot.
Half time: Blackfield & Langley 2 AFC Totton 1
Totton left back Ben Scorey showed great strength in holding off to opponents in his own half before surging forward and playing a ball to Bradley, Bradley then put a ball in the box for Beale, but Beale was denied by a strong tackle.
Blackfield midfielder McCormick then headed over for the home side following a right-wing cross on 57 minutes.
The home side then went in front on 63 minutes when Stags goalkeeper Cull came out to clear on the left hand side of the box and the scorer of their 1st goal Rae managed to steal the ball off of Cull and he cut back infield allowing himself enough of an angle to fire low through a couple of defenders and into the far corner of the net.
Blackfield substitute Lerone Plummer then shot inches wide of the left-hand post for the home side before Rae had a tame shot that never troubled Cull.
The Southern League cup is a competition not too high on most managers priority lists, but both sides were fully committed throughout this tie, it was quite a physical encounter at times as well as an entertaining watch.
Then came a controversial moment for Totton when Liam Callaghan went down under a challenge inside the box, from where I was sat in the stand it looked a penalty, but referee Adrian Harris waved away the appeals.
There was plenty of commitment during the 2nd half but the chances did not come as thick and fast as they did before half time. It was a decent enough performance from Totton, but they ended up losing by the same score-line as they did in the FA Cup back in August.
Full time: Blackfield & Langley 2 AFC Totton 1
Next up for the Stags is a home game against 3rd placed Frome Town in Bet-Victor Division One South on Saturday (5th October) 3pm.