IMPRESSIVE OBENG HELPS STAGS THROUGH TO QUARTER FINALS
AFC Totton 2 Alresford Town 0
AFC Totton progressed through to the quarter finals of the Southampton Senior Cup after beating Wessex league leaders Alresford Town 2-0 at the Snows Stadium last night. The Stags goals came from Silvano Obeng and Matt Bozier in the last 10 minutes.
Both sides made changes for the game with Louis Langdown mindful of his sides trip to Bristol on Saturday where they face Mangotsfield United.
Both sides seemed intent on taking the game to their opponents with chances at both ends early on. In just the 2nd minute Ollie Bradley set up Adam McWilliam, who skewed over from 8 yards. The visitors retaliated with a quick free kick that almost set up Craig Harding and that was followed a moment later by Sam Tonks forcing a save from Alex Cull.
The visitors were looking quite useful going forward and No 9 Tonks was looking a real handful for the Magpies. One player who the Totton faithful know only too well is legend Mike Gosney, who spent the bulk of his career with the Stags and he shot over for Alresford in the 9th minute.
Totton went back on the attack and Craig Feeney came into the box from a wide position, and he tried a shot from a tight angle that forced Alresford keeper Jordi Valero into blocking his effort. A moment later a right-wing cross was nodded down at the back post by Callum Chugg, but nobody was able to finish for the Stags and Alresford cleared their lines.
The game was end to end and Alresford saw Gosney’s 25 yard free kick blocked by the Totton wall then both sides had breaks with each team having an effort blocked.
The Stags then had a concerted spell of pressure and Silvano Obeng almost finished a nice move on 17 minutes, but Alresford managed to put the ball out for a corner. Robin Nicholls had a chance when he slashed a shot wide for Totton in the 19th minute.
Adam McWilliam has been impressive in recent weeks for Louis Langdown’s side and he was having an influence on proceedings once again, and it was McWilliam who had the Stags next chance when he shot wide after another nice move from the Stags. Then from a McWilliam corner a clearance was picked up by Bradley 20 yards from goal and his shot was saved by Valero.
Alresford had their first chance for a while when the impressive Tonks fired wide, but Totton went straight back on the attack and Feeney cut in from the left flank before shooting straight at Valero, then a corner from the left only just missed the head of Callum Chugg.
Alresford came again and the were awarded a free kick after Farrugia fouled Harding just outside the box, the resulting kick was gathered by Cull. Then Cull had to make a routine save from another former Stag Liam Hibberd who tried his luck from 30 yards, following a short corner on the right.
Totton had a free kick themselves on 42 minutes after Obeng had been fouled and McWilliam sent the free kick not too far over the bar. Shortly before the break Callum Chugg lofted a ball into the area that Feeney went after and he was just beaten to it by Valero.
Half time: AFC Totton 0 Alresford Town 0
The 1st action of the 2nd half came on 47 minutes when Farrugia was fouled and once again McWilliam stepped up to take the kick and he put it wide.
Alresford then had free kick just outside the box after McWilliam fouled Tonks and Gosney’s effort was heading for the top corner, but Cull managed to pluck the ball from the air and make the save look easy.
Cull was again called into action to deny the Magpies on 57 minutes then Chugg managed to get in a shot that required Valero to save. Valero was again called upon to pull off a decent save from Feeney on the hour. McWilliam then scooped a shot wide for Totton on 62 minutes and this was followed by Farrugia shooting wide for the Stags.
Then some brilliant play from the ever improving Obeng saw him carry the ball some distance, brushing past players as he went, before he finally tried a shot from just inside the box that wasn’t very far wide.
Alresford then had a shot from Gosney that was deflected wide, before a controversial incident unfolded at the other end. Silvano Obeng went down under a challenge from another former Stag Luke Dempsey, Obeng looked as if he was going to be in on goal and It looked as if Dempsey was the last defender. People around me felt that the centre half should’ve received his marching orders, but referee Derek Pratt thought that a yellow card would suffice, much to the annoyance of some of the spectators. The resulting free kick from McWilliam was pushed wide by Valero. Totton then had furious appeals for a penalty waved away on 76 minutes after Feeney went down in the box.
With ten minutes to go we looked like we could be heading for penalties, but in the 80th minute a right-wing corner from McWilliam was floated into the box and Totton’s Jack Smith made a connection and Obeng touched it home to break the deadlock.
Alresford then forced a few corners as they threw caution to the wind and they were awarded another free kick out on the right that Gosney inevitably took. Gos curled it in, forcing Cull to push it over. From the corner there was chaos when Alresford thought they had a header from Harding go over the line. With no signal from the linesman, Referee Pratt waved play on and Totton went straight on the attack and Craig Feeney was heading into their box where he suddenly saw Matt Bozier and he played the ball to Bozier who shot at goal and the ball went inside the left hand post with the aid of a deflection to wrap the tie up for the Stags.
Full time: AFC Totton 2 Alresford Town 0