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

Saturday 23 March 2024 | Snows Stadium, Totton, Southampton | Att: 1,228


AFC TOTTON                                  3
Tony Lee 21mins;
Scott Rendell 45mins (pen);
Ethan Taylor 84mins


AFC TOTTON MADE IT BACK-TO-BACK wins by following up Tuesday night’s victory over Plymouth Parkway with a three-nil success against Beaconsfield Town, before a bumper National Non-League Day Crowd at the Snows Stadium on Saturday (23 March 2024).

Goalkeeper Joshua Gould was recalled to the starting line-up, after missing the game in midweek. Luke Bennett retained his place at right-back in an unchanged back four that was still missing Sam Magri, who has flu. Adam Tomasso came into midfield, with Ethan Taylor dropping to the substitutes’ bench, where he was joined by former Maidstone United midfielder Perri Iandolo who signed for The Stags just in time to be registered for this match.

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

1.  Joshua GOULD
16.  Luke BENNETT
6.  Luke HALLETT
7.  Joseph OASTLER
14.  Ben JEFFORD
5.  Charlie KENNEDY
8.  Adam TOMASSO
17.  Leon MALONEY
9.  Scott RENDELL (Capt.)
18.  Tony LEE
4.  Owen PELHAM
10.  Ethan TAYLOR
11.  Matty BURROWS
13.  Tommy REID
19.  Perri IANDOLO

Despite several short bursts of rain throughout the morning and early afternoon, the Snows Stadium pitch was deemed playable and the visitors kicked-off wearing all-red with white trim, while Totton were in their usual home kit of all-blue with white trim.

Adam Tomasso started the game as he meant to go on with an early sliding tackle in central midfield, shortly before Josh Gould was called upon to race out of his box and clear into touch on the Salisbury Road side of the ground.

Ben Jefford tried to play Joan Luque into the inside-left channel, but his pass was agonisingly out of reach for the Spanish winger. Then, Jefford’s next forward pass set Tony Lee on the chase but former AFC Totton defender Pascal Kpohomouh’s older brother Jacques came across to usher the ball out of play for a goal-kick to The Rams.

Totton were enjoying the lion’s share of the early possession. Lee dropped to the centre-circle to receive the ball and spread it left to Luque, while Jefford made a forward run to get ahead of the play through the middle. Luque picked out Leon Maloney on the right-hand side, who advanced to the byline and pulled the ball back to Lee on the corner of the penalty area. The striker’s high cross was flicked away from Jefford’s head by Kpohomouh.

Beaconsfield came forward and a clipped cross from deep had Daniel Roth darting into the box, trying to control the ball on his chest until it bounced into the waiting arms of Gould in the Totton goal. Then, an overhead-kick by Kamaron English put Tom McElroy in at inside-left, until Joe Oastler’s perfectly-timed sliding tackle removed the danger from the left of Totton’s six-yard box.

The visitors were then awarded a free-kick on their left, midway inside Totton’s half. It was lofted to the far post towards the two team captains; Luke Neville got his head to it but, under pressure from Scott Rendell, could only steer the ball wide of the near post.

Left-back Ben van Aurich headed out Jefford’s high cross-field pass, but Rendell redirected the loose ball to Maloney on the right touchline and then met Maloney’s cross from the byline with a glancing header that sailed narrowly over the crossbar, bringing appreciative applause from around the ground. Rendell came close with another header, after Bennett, Maloney and Lee progressed an attack down the right flank. But the centre-forward couldn’t get enough contact on the ball; Luque retrieved it on the Totton left but gave away a free-kick while tussling with Daniel Bradshaw near the corner flag.

Rams goalkeeper Connor Hunt had to dash out of his box to beat Lee to Tomasso’s through-ball. Then, van Aurich had to head away Bennett’s pass down the line to prevent Maloney getting in behind him.

Blustery crosswinds affected the flight of a high clearance out of Beaconsfield’s defence, favouring the visitors as English was able to carry down their right wing, before Oastler got across to block his delivery into the centre. From the resulting throw-in, Beaconsfield worked the ball to the left-hand side, where James Dobson went for a long-shot that Bennett charged down at close quarters.

Tomasso over-hit a pass back intended for Oastler, resulting in a corner on the Beaconsfield right. Lee was back there to head Dobson’s cross away. It fell to Roth, who set himself for a left-footed shot that took a deflection for a corner on the opposite flank. Rendell headed this one way and Hunt had to be alert to prevent Lee latching on to Tomasso’s long clearance.

The Stags took the lead on 21 minutes. Jefford had possession on the half-way line and hit a high diagonal pass out to Maloney near the right corner of the penalty area. The former Portsmouth Academy player took a touch and delivered an inch-perfect cross to present Tony LEE with a close-range header to thump home his sixth goal in eight games since his return to the club.

Totton were straight on the attack at the next opportunity, with Luque’s clever reverse pass for Rendell being intercepted by Neville. Beaconsfield tried to counter-attack but Charlie Kennedy was alive to the situation and removed the danger.

Bennett stepped out of his right-back berth to intercept a pass near the centre-circle and drive Totton forward, spreading the ball to Jefford on the left, who floated a curling cross a fraction too high for Rendell with nobody else in a blue shirt to collect the ball near the right-hand post.

As Mally’s Corner serenaded the bumper crowd with a chant of “Jimmy Ball’s blue-and-white army”, Oastler struck a cross-field pass towards Maloney that had van Aurich once again having to backpedal and head away. Oastler was then pressed into defensive duty, standing firm while English tried in vain to twist and turn his way past the former Havant & Waterlooville man. Bradshaw did well to reclaim the ball on the Beaconsfield right and work it to the opposite flank, only for the cross to float harmlessly across the Totton box.

Leon Maloney pulled up chasing the ball on the right flank and had to be substituted, so Matty Burrows came on for The Stags. The winger’s first contribution to the game earned Totton a corner, running on to Lee’s flick-on. Luque’s delivery was headed down by Lee in a similar position from which he had scored, but there were too many red shirts in the way and, after a brief scramble, Beaconsfield hacked the ball out of their area. Tomasso tried to maintain the pressure and prevent any chance of a counter-attack, and in doing so conceded a foul for which he was booked.

Ben van Aurich took a heavy touch in the Beaconsfield left-back position, enabling Burrows to nick the ball and race away into the right corner of the penalty area. With Kpohomouh blocking his path, he switched to his left foot and let fly with an angled drive that Hunt did well to push wide for a corner, diving full-length to his right. Luque’s corner almost curled into the goal but was nodded off the line. Luke Hallett headed towards the far post where it bounced in the six-yard box before a defender turned it behind for another corner on the right. Luque took it again, his cross tempting Lee into trying an acrobatic scissor-kick, but he didn’t make meaningful contact and the ball flew out of play.

Burrows and Luque swapped wings for a spell. Bennett swept the ball from the right, enabling Burrows to get in behind Kpohomouh and force Hunt to come charging out of his area. The ‘keeper stopped Burrows but the ball fell to Rendell, who had an open goal from 25 yards; he clipped the ball at goal but his effort was slightly too high, sailing narrowly over the bar.

Luque and Lee tried to one-two their way through the Beaconsfield defence, eventually getting bogged down in red shirts. Then, Burrows continued to torment van Aurich on the right wing, Hunt racing out to kick clear from outside his area.

Roth charged down Jefford’s pass out of defence to set The Rams on a counter-attack down their right. Hallett intercepted the low cross to prevent them turning it into a goalscoring opportunity.

Totton extended their lead on the stroke of half-time in somewhat fortunate circumstances. Defending to the left of the penalty spot, Luke Neville was penalised for shoving Tony Lee to the ground as the striker ran from his blindside. It was difficult not to have some sympathy with the Beaconsfield skipper as he protested his innocence to the Referee; but Scott RENDELL doesn’t believe in being sympathetic to defenders, and duly converted the spot-kick for his 27th goal of the season in all competitions.

As the teams set-up for the restart, they were treated to a short, heavy downpour of hard, diagonal rain. The Stags were soon back on the attack, again, with Luque causing problems at the left-wing byline. Kpohomouh challenged him and seemingly blocked El Matador’s cross with his hands - certainly if the appeals of the large contingent of Totton fans clustered behind the goal were anything to go by - but the Referee saw nothing in it and awarded a goal-kick.

Kpohomouh denied Lee a run on goal. His pass out of defence was intercepted by Kennedy, who found Burrows on the right to force another Totton corner. Luque drove his delivery across the box; it hit Oastler and a defender, bounced away from the Beaconsfield goal. From the resulting throw-in on the left, Jefford and Luque tried to find a way in at the side of the penalty area, before Luque laid it back for Kennedy to clip a cross towards the far post. Burrows leapt well but couldn’t reach it, the ball grazing his hairband on its way out for a goal-kick.

AFC TOTTON                                          2
BEACONSFIELD TOWN                    0

Beaconsfield Town reintroduced a familiar face to the Snows Stadium by bringing on Zidan Akers, who recently left AFC Totton after a short spell at the club, having signed from Beaconsfield in January. Ben van Aurich made way.

The visitors began the second-half brightly, forcing both Tomasso and Oastler to charge out of the area to block Dobson’s 20-yard strike, before Beaconsfield won a free-kick from a similar position. They failed to make the most of it, though, attempting a “clever” routine that fell to pieces in its execution.

Burrows latched on to a long-kick from Gould and won a corner off Neville. Luque’s cross was headed by Lee and then hooked out by a defender, straight back to Luque. He delivered into the box again, and Rendell met it with a side-foot volley that Hunt saved well with sharp reflexes.

Beaconsfield threatened to reduce the deficit when Dobson sent a right-wing free-kick into the box and Asher Yearwood slide in unchallenged at back post, steering his effort wide of the upright. Then, Bennett found Burrows with a pass up the right wing. Burrows tried to flick the ball infield to set Rendell through on goal, but Kpohomouh got something - possibly his hand - in the way to block. Totton’s appeals for a free-kick fell on deaf ears.

Zidan Akers drove down the right for Beaconsfield, managing to pull back as far as Bradshaw who took aim from distance with a fierce shot that struck the underside of the crossbar and bounced out for Totton to clear, prompting The Stags’ Assistant Manager Paul Masters to shout, “Get hold of it, Totton!” from the dug-out. The players struggled to fulfil the instruction, though, Burrows and Rendell both treating the ball like a hot potato on the half-way line, before the visitors regained possession and another long-range effort sailed over the Totton bar.

Luque and Lee found a pocket of space to play in on the left-hand side, and with a lucky bounce to get past one covering defender, Luque then teed up Tomasso for a 22-yard drive that soared narrowly over the top.

Tony Lee was then replaced by Ethan Taylor for The Stags. Scott Rendell was shown a yellow card, as a Beaconsfield player took a quick free-kick, kicking the ball into his heels as Rendell was walking in the opposite direction.

Dobson and English mounted an initially promising attack at the left-wing byline but their efforts were reduced to nought when McElroy controlled the ball into the box with his arm. Then, Rendell almost managed to connect with his own flick-on when Kpohomouh tried to shield the ball back to his ‘keeper, who took his time about coming out to collect at the edge of his box.

James Dobson was doing a better job of marking Burrows than van Aurich had managed in the first half, ably assisted by Kpohomouh, who even dealt with Burrows and Rendell in one to prevent The Stags raiding the Beaconsfield box from the right-hand side.

Kamaron English’s last contribution to the game was to win a corner on their right, before being replaced by Ada Okorogheye. Tomasso benefitted from loose control by his opponent in the centre-circle to release Burrows to run at Dobson, who got a foot in but only succeeded in redirecting the ball to Ethan Taylor at inside-left, who was crowded out before he could get a shot away. Then, Hallett kept his composure to flick the ball back to Gould with a backward header, relieving the pressure that Beaconsfield were trying to build down the middle of the pitch.

Akers fired wide with a speculative long shot that Gould was happy to watch going past his right-hand post. The visiting dug-out them irked the Referee with their response to a free-kick given against their team for a foul on Burrows, shortly before the bullet-booted winger chased back to help Bennett dismantle another Beaconsfield attack.

Both teams introduced their No.19s into proceedings, with Elias Grant coming on for Sean Fraser for The Rams, while Perri Iandolo came on for his AFC Totton debut in place of Joan Luque. The midfielder was straight into the game, linking with Rendell to play Taylor into inside-left, where it took a sliding tackle from Kpohomouh to halt his progress, raising appeals for a second Totton penalty that were denied by the Referee.

Rendell and Taylor both made headed flick-ons as Totton came forward, again. Burrows wriggled his way past the considerably larger figure of Kpohomouh at the right-wing byline and tried to square into the middle, Bradshaw turning the ball away from the near post. Taylor then attacked the opposite byline but his cross was also defended.

Iandolo closed down McElroy as the Beaconsfield forward was lining up a shot from the edge of Totton’s box. And then the new man played his part in creating Totton’s decisive third goal, running ahead of Taylor to collect the winger’s headed flick-on from a long ball out of defence. His infield pass to Rendell was returned to him and, despite a strong challenge coming in from a defender, he nudged the ball into the area for Ethan TAYLOR to fire a rocket of a shot across Connor Hunt and into the far corner of the goal.

Elias Grant worked his way forward from the left wing, switching to his right foot to take aim from 20 yards with a shot that Gould saved diving to his left, grabbing the ball at the second attempt.

McElroy was penalised for pulling Kennedy to the ground close to the half-way line. The Referee kept his cards in his pocket for that transgression, but Ethan Taylor was not so fortunate when he clipped an opponent after losing possession on the left wing.

During three minutes of stoppage time, Matty Burrows became the fourth Totton player to have his name taken by the Referee versus none for Beaconsfield, when he disputed the correct placement of a free-kick he had conceded at the right-wing corner flag.

Oastler tussled with Okorogheye at the edge of Totton’s box, winning a free-kick for The Stags to give the home side a breather, before Kennedy was yellow carded for holding on to McElroy’s arm in the centre-circle, shortly before the final whistle brought down the curtain on a fine three-nil win for The Stags.

Watch Manager Jimmy Ball’s Post-Match Interview

Watch Luke Bennett’s Post-Match Interview

Latest Southern League Premier Division South table

AFC Totton Fixtures 2023/24

Southern League Premier Division South | Matchday#35 | Black and Gold Stadium (Tatnam Ground), School Lane, Poole, Dorset BH15 3JR | Friday 28 March 2024 (Good Friday) | Kick-Off at 3:00pm | Book your seat on the Minibus with StagsTravel

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