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AFC Totton were left thinking of what might have been after Basingstoke Town came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2.

In front of a big Boxing Day crowd Totton looked hungry from the very first whistle, and nearly instantly took the lead, but Paul Strudley palmed away Scott Rendell’s header in what was a sign of things to come. The Stags dominated the first 45 minutes, but a mixture of brave goalkeeping, last-ditch defending, and poor shooting saw Basingstoke hang on. The hosts did carry a 1-0 lead into the interval, with Leon MALONEY driving forward before finishing at the near post.

The second half seemed to be going the way of the first when Charlie Kennedy was barged over for a Totton penalty which Scott RENDELL nervelessly converted. Basingstoke however began to apply an attacking presence and were rewarded with two goals in quick succession soon after. First Daniel ROWE steered home at the back post, with captain Marcus JOHNSON-SCHUSTER levelling just two minutes later.

There was still time for more drama, with Totton having two strong penalty appeals turned down, the first when Leon Maloney was seemingly wrestled to the ground, and then deep in stoppage time Maloney was again felled, with the referee disagreeing with the home support and booking Maloney for simulation. Totton should have wrapped the game up with a festive bow before the half-time whistle, and in the end were punished for their profligacy.

Final Score: AFC Totton 2-2 Basingstoke Town

Star Player: Leon Maloney
Entertainment Value: 3/5
Attendance: 1,164
Author: Benjamin Rees

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