STAGS SUFFER AN OFF DAY AT YATE
Yate Town 6 AFC Totton 3
Despite a hat-trick from striker Craig Feeney the Stags FA Trophy run ended abruptly after they conceded six at Lodge Road against Bet-victor Premier South outfit Yate Town this afternoon.
The team news saw Louis Langdown make two changes to the eleven that started against Weston Super Mare last time out with Thomas Boyle coming in for Alex Cull in goal and Matt Simm coming in for Stuart Mott at right back. On the bench for the Stags was Richard Bakary, Liam Callaghan, Liam Farrugia, Mitchell Byrne, Adam McWilliam, Silvano Obeng and Jack Smith.
The Stags started quite brightly when Ollie Bradley set up James Granger with a cross that took a deflection in the 2nd minute and Granger fired just wide.
The home side then had their first opening when captain Nicholas Peare headed wide from a free kick. Yate then opened the scoring on 11 minutes when Peare lifted a ball over the Totton defence and Bradley Webb had time to pick his spot before he fired past Boyle.
Totton had a half chance when Nicholls hooked a pass over the Bluebells defence and Feeney got free on the left of the area and he fired the ball across the face of goal in the hope that someone would get a touch, but all to no avail.
Yate then strung together a little move that ended with Luke Spokes firing inches wide from 20 yards.
In the 25th minute Totton conjured up an equaliser when FEENEY managed to hold off two defenders after Alex Haynes on the right side of midfield lofted a ball over the top for him to run onto and the Stags marksman made no mistake bagging his10th goal of the season as he fired past Adam Forster from around 10 yards.
Yate almost regained the lead on the half hour mark when Webb forced Boyle into a save from close range, but 30 seconds later Yate were back in front when Louis Britton had time and space to score from close range. Mayson Evans almost made it 3-1 with he attempted to lob Boyle, but the ball went just over the bar.
In truth there had been too many loose passes from Totton, who were not at their best and four minutes before the break Dave Allen stepped up to collect a ball and as he attempted to nod the ball forward he had it stolen off him and this led to Britton firing into the top left hand corner and putting Yate into a strong position at the break.
Half time – Yate Town 3 AFC Totton 1
Yate started the 2nd half better and they had a couple of half chances when Peare’s low cross was smothered by Boyle and when Britton’s header from Webb’s cross went straight into Boyle’s arms.
If Totton were to stand any chance of getting back into this game they needed to score the next goal and this is what they did in the 52nd minute when Matt Hartman’s cross found FEENEY at the back post and Feeney took a touch before firing onto the far side of the net.
I fully expected Totton to go at Yate now and put them under pressure but this didn’t happen, in fact Yate had a chance to add a 4th from a free kick in a central position, following a foul by Pip Nolan, fortunately Peare’s kick was well off target. Then Webb put a cross into the box that Peare met with a header, but Boyle easily saved it.
The Stags were right up against it once again after sub Mitchell Byrne allowed Britton to steal the ball from him and he went on to make it 4-2. It really was so frustrating for Totton as they were creating their own problems.
A few moments later it was 5-2 when Peare picked the ball up about 40 yards from the Totton goal and he motored forward without a single challenge being made by the Stags and as he entered the box, he sent his shot past Boyle and Tottons mountain was now unsurmountable.
It got worse because two of Yates substitutes combined to make it 6-2 when Michael Bryant’s shot was parried to the feet of Olly Mehew who made no mistake from a yard out on 78 minutes.
Craig Feeney was a little unfortunate not to bag a consolation goal when he rounded Forster only for his shot to be deflected over the bar. However, in injury time FEENEY did manage to score a consolation for the Stags, and in doing so complete his hat-trick, but it couldn’t disguise what was a bad day at the office for the Stags.
Full time: Yate Town 6 AFC Totton 2
Let’s not make too many excuses Yate deserved the win. Totton were well off their best and they made mistakes that were punished. It didn’t help that the Stags were scrambling around to try and find an emergency keeper yesterday after ALL THREE KEEPERS picked up injuries this week. Both Alex Cull and Matt Hall got injured whilst training with Saints, and then the recently signed Polish goalkeeper Amadeusz Skrzynairz broke his hand in training last thursday evening. The Stags managed to sign Thomas Boyle from Hampshire League side Infinity just a minute before the cut off time yesterday morning. It doesn’t help when a keeper does not know any of his defenders and the defenders do not know the keeper. Even allowing for that the Stags made too many mistakes and they were punished.