AFC Totton AFC Totton Pitching In - Partners with Southern Football League

MATCHDAY 12 - Tuesday 22 November 2022

AFC TOTTON                                          0

HAMWORTHY UNITED                   0

Daniel Cann’s Hamworthy United defied the odds after going down to 10 men to fight their way to a point at the Snows Stadium last night (Tuesday). The Stags also had a player sent off before the end of a game in which they created several opportunities to take the lead - including a first-half penalty - but were unable to make their opponents pay.

Following his substitution due to injury on Saturday, centre-forward Scott Rendell was named among the substitutes by Manager Jimmy Ball, who drafted Freddie Read back into the starting line-up, with Conor Whiteley leading the line up front.

AFC-Totton-badge.pngAFC TOTTON
Starting Line-Up

1.  Lewis NOICE
2.  Adam TOMASSO
3.  Jordan RAGGUETTE
4.  Mike CARTER (Capt.)
5.  Charlie KENNEDY
6.  Luke HALLETT
7.  Freddie READ
8.  Charlie DAVIS
9.  Conor WHITELEY
10.  Ethan TAYLOR
11.  Matty BURROWS
14.  Jack SEDDON
15.  Jake ADAMS
16.  Scott RENDELL
18.  Yemi ODUBADE

Both sides tested one another during the early stages of the first half, with crosses being aimed into the box. Charlie Davis was unable to capitalise on the tricky skills of Matty Burrows, weaving his way through players in the middle of the park. Davis tried to whip in a low right-footed cross but it was easily repelled by the Hamworthy United defence, who wore their customary claret-and-blue hooped shirts, claret shorts and socks.

Ethan Taylor found a pocket of space on the left side of the Hamworthy penalty area in the 8th minute, pushing the defender back before trying an angled cross-shot that deflected fortuitously for Tommy Scott in The Hammers’ goal. Then, Davis hit a through-ball that was headed out only as far as Conor Whiteley, who tried to release Jordan Ragguette to the left-wing byline, but overhit his pass, too.

Burrows had the first real opportunity to strike at goal when he picked the ball up in central midfield and went on a mazy run that took him to the left and past a clutch of claret-and-blue shirts. Space opened up for him to aim a shot across the keeper into the far corner, but he rushed his effort and dragged it wide to the right, when he might have been able to advance a couple of strides closer to the goal.

Totton were much the livelier of the two teams. A high cross-field ball towards the visiting team’s dugout was kept in play by the head of Ragguette, allowing Taylor to run onto it and curl a cross into the box. A defensive header was nodded back into the box by Whiteley, but Hamworthy had enough players back to smother the chance.

The visitors briefly threatened with a free-kick but when Totton countered, Whiteley received possession on the right-wing touchline, halfway inside the Hamworthy half and, with the keeper off his line, went for the spectacular, missing narrowly wide to the right.

Shortly after, Mike Carter picked up a loose ball in midfield and charged forward before slipping a pass to Burrows on the right of the penalty area. The winger, who already has two goals to his name in as many matches since joining the club on loan from Weymouth, drove in a fierce, low shot that Scott turned behind for a corner with the studded soles of both boots for an unorthodox but nevertheless effective save. His defenders prevented Totton benefitting from the right-wing corner.

Conor Whiteley V Hamworthy.jpg
TAKE A STEP TO THE RIGHT: Conor Whiteley led the line for AFC Totton in the absence of Scott Rendell, who was rested after collecting a knock at Cinderford Town.

A foul by Carter midway inside Totton’s half gave Hamworthy the chance to get forward for a set-piece delivery. With players of both teams lined-up to the left of the D on the edge of the Totton penalty area, Edward Hodge’s free-kick was the signal for the Hamworthy players to start their forward run. The high ball into the box dipped around the penalty spot where centre-back Billy Walker got his head to it but couldn’t direct it on target.

Hamworthy were almost gifted a goal in the 18th minute. With the visitors in possession inside their own half, the ball hit the Referee and rebounded to Carter, prompting the official to call the play back and award an uncontested drop-ball. It was quickly sent forward towards the Hamworthy right wing, where Ragguette tried to deal with it on the half-volley. However, he missed his kick, leaving Hodge and ex-Stag Sam Griffin in space behind the Totton left-back. Hodge went it alone, sending a low cross towards the far post with teammates arriving but Luke Hallett was able to poke the ball wide of the left-hand post to settle for a corner, which Taylor headed out for the home side. Whiteley received the ball and tried to release Burrows down the right wing, but Scott was able to rush out from his goal to clear into touch before the winger could get there.

Good feet from Jordan Ragguette in the 20th minute got him away from his man near half-way on the left wing. He passed infield to Taylor who picked out Burrows on the far corner of the penalty area, whose dipping left-footed shot was well-caught by Scott.

A no-nonsense boot out of defence by Hallett put paid to a Hamworthy foray down their left flank. Then, when Taylor was caught in possession on the Totton left, Adam Tomasso, operating at right-back, was able to scramble the Hamworthy cross away before the visitors could capitalise from it.

In the 27th minute, Hamworthy’s No.9 Max Willcock tried to burrow his way along the left-wing byline before Hallett came across to block his cross at the expense of a corner. Totton dealt with the cross and quickly countered. Freddie Read fed Taylor in the centre-circle who nutmegged his marker and set off for the left wing area, with Charlie Kennedy chugging forward in support. Taylor squared the ball to him into the penalty area, and as Kennedy let the ball roll across him onto his right foot, he was charged from behind. The Referee awarded a penalty, which - in the absence of the regular penalty-taker Scott Rendell - Charlie Davis stepped up to take. But the midfielder blasted his right-footed effort high over the crossbar to let Hamworthy off the hook.

The Hammers almost hit back straight away when Frankie Monk found himself free to the left of the Totton area and struck a rasping, dipping shot from about 22 yards across Lewis Noice who was grateful to see it fly wide of the far post.

Scott was quickly out of his box to punt clear Read’s clipped through-ball before Burrows could latch onto it through the centre. Then, Burrows tried to work his way through some hooped shirts on the right of the area. The ball fell to the supporting Tomasso, the bounce too awkward to connect with his first attempt to shoot but his second try flew wide of the keeper’s left-hand post.

Burrows was tripped to the right of the penalty area, and then earned himself a yellow card by kicking out in retaliation. Taylor’s in-swinging cross was headed out and when Ragguette regained possession and advanced down the left wing for The Stags, he was impeded by two players without being awarded a free-kick for his trouble.

Both sides were experiencing the frustration of final balls that were running too long or were poorly directed, and the offside flag caught Totton’s forwards out a few times.

Charlie Kennedy was booked for holding onto Willcock, after the Hamworthy forward had flicked the ball over his head about 22 yards from goal, with space to run into. Sam Griffin took the free-kick, but his shot clipped the Totton defensive wall and fell kindly for Lewis Noice to scoop up.

Good defending by Hamworthy prevented Whiteley finding Davis in the box with a whipped cross from the left. Totton regained the ball and surged into the opposition penalty area. Whiteley took a tumble, surrounded by defenders, but the Referee saw no cause to award a second penalty.

Carter stole the ball in midfield and chipped it out to the right wing, where Burrows volleyed in a first-time cross. A defender tried to control it, only succeeding in presenting the ball to the hungry Whiteley to the right of the six-yard box, but the former Sholing man couldn’t sort his feet out quickly enough and the chance went begging.

Just before the half-time break, Totton swept forward on another promising attack. Carter, leading the charge again, pushed the ball to Davis who fed the overlapping run of Ragguette, whose loud call for the ball could be heard at the back of the Wessex Heartbeat Stand. Totton had players in the box, and Ragguette had only one player to beat to either cross or shoot directly, but the chance was gone in a flash when his left foot slipped out from under him on the wet surface, the ball escaping to harmless safety over the left-wing touchline.

AFC TOTTON                                          0
HAMWORTHY UNITED                    0

There were no changes to either side as The Stags got the second half underway, attacking towards the soon-to-be Aldi end. Jordan Ragguette began the second half as he ended the first, slipping at a crucial moment, this time in a defensive area. Hamworthy took possession but couldn’t get a decent cross into the box to take advantage.

The energetic Charlie Davis took a short pass from Carter in the centre-circle and then strode forward, diagonally to the left with an opponent tracking him, before checking onto his right foot to shake his man off, before catching a glimpse of goal that tempted him into trying a long-range effort that flew wide to the right of Tommy Scott’s goal - the keeper emphasising the point with a theatrical cartwheel.

Scott was called into rather more serious action a few minutes later when Burrows received the ball on the right corner of the penalty area and fired in a low shot towards the far corner, which the keeper had to save and hold onto low to his right with players descending upon him.

Carter took the ball inside his own half and charged away from his man in the centre-circle, before feeding Burrows on the right, again. His low angled ball into the box deflected off a defender to the feet of Whiteley, whose shot bounced back off the shins of the goalkeeper. Read got to the loose ball on the edge of the area and drove it back towards goal, only for a defender’s leg to get in the way of that attempt, too.

Former AFC Totton defender Tony Rolls picked up a yellow card for a sliding tackle on Burrows, as Tomasso looked to send him away to the right-wing byline. Taylor’s free-kick was turned away at the near post and, although Totton reclaimed the ball just outside the Hamworthy area, their attempts to mount another attack fell afoul of the offside flag.

Matty Burrows-1_AFC Totton vs Hamworthy United_SLD1S-12_Tue22Nov2022.jpg
BY FAIR MEANS OR FOUL: Hamworthy United defender Tony Rolls earns himself a yellow card for a sliding foul on winger Matty Burrows.

Hallett and Tomasso had to defend vigilantly to prevent Hodge laying on a chance for either of two teammates arriving in the box. Then, Hamworthy boss Daniel Cann chose to withdraw Max Willcock in favour of Aiden Shepherd.

The Hammers’ Billy Walker joined his central defensive partner Rolls in the Referee’s notebook, also for a foul on Burrows, 25 yards out to the right of centre in the 59th minute. Taylor’s curling shot was on target, but it bent into the arms of goalkeeper Scott.

Read played Ragguette in down the left-hand side and, from the byline, he forced the ball back to Whiteley whose shot was blocked by Rolls. Hamworthy launched a counter-attack but when the ball was played into the box from their right wing, it was too far ahead of the forwards arriving in the middle, enabling Totton to clear.

Ragguette was becoming increasingly influential in Totton’s attacking efforts. Read and Carter combined to enable Ragguette to take on full-back Harvey Wright before whipping in a dangerous cross that was headed away in the middle.

Totton’s attacking efforts were frequently being undermined by their inability to stay onside, often making runs too early and gifting possession back to Hamworthy United. As Ragguette came charging forward again, The Hammers resorted to pumping the ball into Salisbury Road to halt his forward progress.

Stags boss Jimmy Ball decided to mix things up by sending Scott Rendell on in place of Freddie Read, to restore the burgeoning Rendell and Whiteley partnership up front. Rendell was quickly into the action, holding the ball up in the middle to allow Davis to spread the play wide as Tomasso joined the attack on the right flank, in front of the AFC Totton dugout. His cross was turned away and follow-up shots from blue shirts on the edge of the box were again blocked and charged down by resolute Hamworthy defending.

With Hamworthy now camped back in defence, Burrows got free on the right-hand side and curled in a cross that was headed out for a corner. That delivery was also headed out, with Burrows now situated on the edge of the area to poke the ball back into the box. Rendell tried to stretch his neck to get a crucial touch but couldn’t reach it before it went out for a goal-kick.

Totton were looking the far more likely to find a breakthrough, but chance after chance was passing them by.

Burrows was brought down again, this time by the left-back Chris Clarke, by the Totton dugout. Tomasso passed square to Kennedy who ran at the Hamworthy defence. He was bodychecked on the edge of the visitors’ penalty area but the Referee waved play on rather than awarding a free-kick, despite the appeals of the home players and crowd.

Claret-and-blue shirts were ganging up on poor Burrows, who weaved his way through a few of them before being bundled over on the Totton right. Hamworthy brought on Drew Eccott-Young in place of Frankie Monk before Totton could get on with the free-kick. Taylor flighted the ball into the penalty area and Hallett got up well to meet it with a header behind the goalkeeper Scott, but the ball floated harmlessly over the crossbar.

Luke Hallett V Hamworthy.jpg
UP, UP AND AWAY: The spring-heeled Luke Hallett heads at goal but can't hit the target.

Totton were pressing forward with urgency. A quick passing move between Tomasso, Carter and Burrows played Carter in down the right side of the Hamworthy area, and his clipped cross was turned behind by a defender who had matched Rendell’s slide to the near post area to keep his side in the game.

An big up-and-under from the Hamworthy half put Jordan Ragguette under defensive pressure, trying to deal with an awkwardly bouncing ball as the pacy figure of substitute Aiden Shepherd closed him. The pair tussled briefly before Ragguette managed to execute a strong, sweeping sliding tackle to keep the door firmly shut at the Post Office end of the ground.

The match had become stretched, with plenty of end-to-end football, though Totton were struggling to take advantage of plentiful set-pieces on either side of the Hamworthy penalty area.

A Keystone Cops moment between Ragguette and Carter, running into each other midway inside their own half, was tidied up by a strong Charlie Kennedy challenge. Then, Hamworthy threatened with a cross from their right wing which Tomasso did well to defend with a timely, discreet nudge on the forward trying to connect with it in the middle.

Totton were handed a massive boost in the 78th minute when Tony Rolls was shown a second yellow card for another foul on Matty Burrows, sending Hamworthy down to 10 men. But the free-kick was headed out. Totton reclaimed the ball once more, Tomasso floating the ball into the inside-right channel where Taylor ghosted in behind the defence and sent a low cross-shot towards the far post which Rendell tried to slide in to convert, but couldn’t stretch his legs quite long enough. Charlie Davis’s corner from the left-hand side came all the way to the back post where Hallett nodded wide.

Hallett brought the ball out of defence, feeding Davis on the right-hand side. His cross found Taylor but his low shot was straight at the keeper. Then, Davis popped up on the right-hand side again and sent in a fierce cross which a defender managed to turn narrowly wide at considerable risk of scoring an own goal. Taylor’s corner was knocked down but Kennedy fired over the crossbar.

With six minutes of normal time remaining, Totton’s one-man advantage was cancelled out by the dismissal of Charlie Kennedy for a cynical foul on Aiden Shepherd in the centre-circle, as the Hamworthy man threatened to run clear on the Totton goal.

With the match now 10 vs 10, Totton counted to search for a late winner, while Hamworthy were content to run the clock down and settle for a hard-earned point. Rendell went back to defend a set-piece and headed the ball clear for The Stags, freeing Burrows to race away into space down the right flank. Whiteley sprinted forward towards the back post and as Burrows made his way into the penalty area at inside-right, he appeared to be caught in two minds as to whether to go himself or try to set-up Whiteley. In the end, he did both and neither, sending the ball harmlessly across goal, well out of Whiteley’s reach, and wide for a goal-kick on the far side.

Totton passed the ball amongst their defenders and midfielders, looking for an option among the organised ranks of Hamworthy players, but a lack of movement presented few opportunities to penetrate. Davis and Taylor tried to conjure up some quality from the right-hand side, but as they had been doing all evening, Hamworthy got bodies and limbs in the way at crucial moments to hold on to the point they had.

Another foul on Burrows earned a free-kick, from which Tomasso found Davis on the right and then received the return pass to send another cross into the box. The ball curled to Whiteley in space just behind the penalty spot but his header was weak and bounced well wide of the left-hand post. Then, a high diagonal from left-to-right failed to find its target before the Referee signalled the end of the game.

Jimmy Ball_AFC Totton Manager_August2022.jpg

After the match, AFC Totton manager Jimmy Ball said:

“Football. It can be like that sometimes. We threw everything but the kitchen sink at them. Fair play to them - they have the right, like all opposition teams, to come here and dig in and fight to get something out of the game and they did that well. We did absolutely everything except put it in the net. We created chances but we didn’t put the game to bed, and we should have.

“We’re unbeaten in our last eight league games and as we always say, if we can’t win, we don’t get beat. We fought them and matched them in that respect, and I am pleased with the fighting spirit the team continues to show, even when it doesn’t go our way. The players need that little bit of belief, almost arrogance, in their own abilities, so we can play our kind of football rather than trying to force it.

“But without wishing to be unkind to Hamworthy, if that had been a boxing match they would have stopped it. Sometimes they go in off your toe or bounce off your head when you’re not looking, and sometimes you do everything you can but you just can’t find a goal. We’re still well-placed in the league - we need to get into the habit of winning more regularly, of course, but we’re not far away. Roll on Tavistock, here on Saturday.”

Southern League Div.1 South | Matchday 12 | Snows Stadium
Saturday 26 November 2022 | Kick-Off 3:00pm

Latest Southern League Div.1 South league table

View AFC Totton’s fixture list for the 2022/23 season

By Ben Rochey-Adams

Images courtesy of Craig Hobbs Photography

Get your logo here