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MATCHDAY 05 - Tuesday 11 October 2022

BASHLEY                                                0

AFC TOTTON                                         0

The first New Forest derby of the season ended all square at the GlenMex Stadium on Tuesday night, as Bashley held AFC Totton to a goalless draw in front of a bumper crowd of 590.

For the first time this season, Jimmy Ball named an unchanged starting line-up, although centre-backs Charlie Kennedy and Luke Hallett swapped shirt numbers from those they wore in the FA Trophy tie at Merthyr Town at the weekend.

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

1.  Lewis NOICE
2.  Jack SEDDON
3.  Jordan RAGGUETTE
4.  Mike CARTER (Capt.)
5.  Charlie KENNEDY
6.  Luke HALLETT
7.  Ethan TAYLOR
8.  Adam TOMASSO
9.  Scott RENDELL
10.  Freddie READ
11.  Jake ADAMS
14.  Brett WILLIAMS
15.  Yemi ODUBADE
16.  Jireh OYEBAMIJI
18.  Ben JEFFORD

Buoyed by the loud support of a group of teenagers in the main stand - the Bash Sweet Kids? - Bashley, in their home kit of gold shirts, black shorts and gold socks, kicked-off and were soon putting their guests under pressure with a long throw that Charlie Kennedy hooked away.

Ex-Totton goalkeeper Ross Casey looked comfortable in the role of sweeper keeper, knocking the ball around amongst the Bashley defence before their forward Harry McGrath tested Kennedy’s pace with a run into the right-hand channel from which the defender conceded a corner. It was taken short and when the cross came in, it was headed on in the middle and then headed at goal at the far post, requiring Lewis Noice to catch the ball under his crossbar to prevent the home side taking a fourth-minute lead.

Totton’s early attempts to attack down the flanks and in the channels were comfortably dealt with by the Bashley defence, well-marshalled from the middle by defenders Samuel Jackson and Sam Davidson.

The characteristically strong running of Jordan Ragguette created an opening for The Stags in the ninth minute when the St. Vincentian laid the ball wide to Jake Adams to curl a cross into the box that was headed up rather than out by Davidson, but neither Freddie Read nor Scott Rendell were able to capitalise when the ball dropped in the box.

Jordan Ragguette.jpg
STRONG RUNNING: AFC Totton's Jordan Ragguette.

Ragguette and Adams linked up down the left flank again, three minutes later. As the ball was fed infield for Rendell, Casey was out quickly to dive on it with gold-shirted players falling over him in the process.

Ethan Taylor made a surging run past three defenders in the inside-right channel, as Totton warmed to their task. He made his way to the byline and drove a low cross-shot into the near post area, where it was smothered wide for a corner. His high cross had Luke Hallett leaping in the middle but the home side managed to knock it away and launch a counter-attack which Kennedy got back quickly to nip in the bud.

Casey reacted quickly again in the 15th minute to beat Rendell to a through-ball outside the Bashley penalty area. He miscued his clearance, but Read couldn’t get hold of the ball quickly enough to lob the stranded keeper before he made it back to his goal.

The contest had settled into an energetic end-to-end affair in which either side could have put themselves ahead. Ragguette, Adams and Adam Tomasso all demonstrated their defensive qualities to keep Bashley at bay, as they prodded down their right and then their left in quick succession, forcing a corner off Tomasso on their left wing before the same player headed the cross away at the near post.

Adams charged the ball down in midfield in the 18th minute and looked to play Taylor into the inside-left channel. Bashley right-back Jamie Webber did well to recover and knock Taylor out of his stride to give Casey the opportunity to come out and gobble the ball up on the ground, once again. Three minutes later, Rendell headed on Ragguette’s clearance to put Taylor in, the winger shooting wide across goal from just inside the box.

Midfielder Daniel Thompson was allowed to carry the ball a long way through the middle of the park, after he wrong-footed Mike Carter near the centre-circle. He let Totton off the hook by over-hitting his pass in the final third.

Scott Rendell got a brief glimpse of goal when Taylor received Carter’s high pass on the left wing and whipped in a cross that a Bashley defender could only head back across goal from the far side. As Rendell wound up to strike the ball on the volley, Davidson bravely stuck his head in harm’s way to head the danger away for his team.

Ethan Taylor-1_AFC Totton vs Melksham Town_FA Cup Prelim_Sat20Aug2022.jpg
THREAT: AFC Totton's Ethan Taylor.

Having switched to the left wing, Taylor was making his presence felt with darting runs behind Webber. Casey did well to catch one cross, then, when Taylor worked his way from the left-wing corner flag to inside the penalty area, his pull-back from the byline was too far behind Rendell for the striker to connect. Webber continued to struggle to contain Taylor, the winger latching onto Tomasso’s pass to curl in another cross which was hacked clear from within the 6-yard box.

On the half-hour, Totton began a move with a short pass from keeper Noice to Kennedy, who fed Ragguette in the left-back position. Taylor set off on another run and Ragguette’s lobbed pass dropped over Webber to put Taylor through on goal. With Casey slightly off his line, Taylor went for a first-time lob that looped narrowly over the crossbar. The closest either side had come to opening the scoring.

Casey saved Thompson’s blushes by beating Rendell to a misdirected header in the 32nd minute. Then, Mike Carter received a belated birthday card from the Referee when he lunged and brought down Harvey Slade, who was threatening to scamper away on the counter-attack from the centre-circle.

Bashley mounted a couple of promising attacks during the last five minutes of the first half, but offside flags and overhit crosses brought them to premature ends before they could test the Totton defence. But the home side had the last shot in anger just before the break when a high diagonal towards their right wing isolated the popular Portuguese forward Rafael Ramos in a race with Jordan Ragguette. As the two players tussled arm-to-arm, Ragguette tried to make a sliding tackle but appeared to roll over the ball, leaving himself prone on the ground while Ramos quickly retrieved the ball at the right-wing touchline, checked back infield and drove a left-footed shot that Noice got down sharply to stop at his near post.

BASHLEY                                               0
AFC TOTTON                                        0

Jimmy Ball replaced midfielder Freddie Read with striker Jireh Oyebamiji during the break, but it was Taylor who continued to pose the biggest threat to the Bashley defence. Carter won the ball on the Totton right, just short of the half-way line and when he looked up, he saw Taylor with his arm raised in space on the far side. Carter’s high curling pass bent around the defender and onto Taylor’s thigh, enabling him to stride forward and drive a low effort across goal that flashed narrowly wide of Casey’s left-hand post.

Sam Davidson had his name taken in the 49th minute for a foul on Jake Adams on the half-way line, but Jack Seddon’s delivery from the free-kick was too long for Totton to benefit.

Industrious midfield play by Adams gave Taylor a shooting chance. His effort was blocked and then Ragguette’s follow-up deflected wide for a corner. Taylor and Adams played a clever short corner from which Adams pirouetted to evade his marker before sending the ball into the box, but the Bash defence headed out. Kennedy was alert to prevent the home side springing forward.

Both sides continued to attack one another at pace, but neither of the defensive units on show was up for giving much away. Ragguette and Ramos locked horns again, competing for a ball into the channel. The Totton left-back managed to deal with the situation but was no doubt relieved to see Ramos’s number come up on the fourth official’s board to indicate his substitution in favour of Adam Grange, who scored a hat-trick against Totton & Eling at West Wellow in pre-season.

The Bash Sweet Kids raised the roof and battered the walls of the main stand, much to the displeasure of a volunteer steward and the StagsRadio team who were trying to make themselves heard over the noise on Twitter Spaces.

Brett Williams-8_AFC Totton vs Wincanton Town_FA Cup 1strndQual_Sat03Sep2022.jpg
GOING CLOSE: Brett Williams stepped off the bench and came close to opening the scoring at the GlenMex Stadium with two efforts within a minute of each other.

Brett Williams stepped off the bench in the 69th minute to replace the hard-working Jake Adams, and was immediately into the game. Captain Carter reclaimed the ball in midfield and played it forward for Rendell to pick out Williams on the Totton right. He darted to the byline and crossed to the near post, where Oyebamiji arrived first but couldn’t direct his effort on target.

Bashley had their fair share of possession and got forward on numerous occasions. The Totton defence dealt with most of what was thrown at them and the occasional foul, offside or overhit cross prevented the home side from creating goalscoring chances of note.

Tomasso’’s determination in midfield enabled Oyebamiji to win a corner on the right. Taylor’s high delivery was knocked behind for another corner on the opposite flank, and then Casey punched away under pressure from within his 6-yard box to repel Taylor’s second delivery. Kennedy was well-positioned again to head the ball away as Bashley tried to raid forward.

More tenacious midfield work from Tomasso forced the ball to Rendell, who picked out Brett Williams on the left-hand side. From 25 yards out, he cut inside the full-back and let fly with a shot that had Casey diving low to his left to push wide. Luke Hallett headed wide at the back post from Taylor’s corner.

Williams was at it again just a minute later. Seddon’s high ball was headed on by Rendell to find Williams on the left. Once more, he checked and went for goal, narrowly missing wide to the right. As Bashley made a substitution, Williams had his name taken, possibly for a push during the incident that provided the stoppage in play.

Charlie Kennedy-2_AFC Totton vs Bishops Cleeve_SLD1S-01_Sat13Aug2022.jpg

SOLID AS A ROCK: Charlie Kennedy was at the heart of a strong defensive display for The Stags.

Bashley substitute Lewis Ross turned sharply and volleyed at goal but Ragguette got his body in the way. Then, a strong challenge by McGrath from Seddon’s blindside left the defender in an uncomfortable heap on the ground.

Miscommunication between Seddon and Kennedy in the 83rd minute allowed McGrath to get free on the Bashley left, until Seddon recovered to make a well-timed tackle and reclaim possession for The Stags.

Oyebamiji’s wilful running forced another corner for Totton from the right. Taylor’s cross to the far side was headed back into the ruck by Williams, who then appealed for handball against a Bashley defender, but the Referee wasn’t interested.

Totton pressed in search of a late winner, pinning Bashley back with an aerial bombardment that ended when Tomasso was tripped about 22 yards from goal, in a central position. Ethan Taylor lined up the free-kick; his left-footed effort cleared the wall but kept on rising, curling high over the crossbar to goalkeeper Ross Casey’s relief.

Bashley pressed back, managing to mount a sustained raid down their left side when Totton’s repeated attempts to clear only presented the ball back to the home side. Sub Harry Bunce dribbled his way into the visitors’ half once space had opened up again, laying the ball off to Slade whose shot was deflected by Hallett and looped into the arms of Lewis Noice in the Totton goal. The keeper immediately sought out Jireh Oyebamiji with a long kick, but Bashley had cover at the back who managed to tidy up.

As the board went up to indicate three minutes of stoppage time at the end of the match, Ethan Taylor, now restored to the right-wing, raided down the flank and then drove infield before shooting towards the near bottom corner, Casey responding by thrusting out his left foot to divert the ball wide. Taylor’s corner was headed out but came back to him on the right-hand side via Carter. He fed the ball back into the box and Oyebamiji got something on it, missing narrowly wide to the right.

Totton’s final effort to attack was undermined by their inability to get the ball under control. Bashley had one last chance to get forward with a free-kick deep in their own half but, as they always do, the Referee was only waiting for the ball to be airborne before blowing the final whistle to confirm a no-score draw and a point-a-piece.

Jimmy Ball-2_AFC Totton Manager.jpg

After the match, AFC Totton manager Jimmy Ball (pictured) said:

“This is a tough place to come and get a result against a team that has been scoring goals for fun, so far this season. We fought well and probably edged it in terms of the chances created but we lacked the quality in important moments to get the goal we needed.

“As I always say, if you can’t win then don’t get beat. On balance, though, I think we should have nicked it; we ought to be winning matches like these. But Bashley are a good team and when things didn’t go our way, we didn’t stop trying, we didn’t get beat and we didn’t crumble. We kept fighting for the win right to the end. Their goalkeeper was awarded Man of the Match over the tannoy, which tells you something about how the game went.

We defended very well and our goalkeeper was different class, again. We need a bit more class and composure in the final third. It’s the hardest thing to do in the game but we need to find a way to finish our chances. We’re defending very well and our general play is good, but we need to start scoring goals.”

Southern League Div.1 South | Matchday 06
Snows Stadium | Saturday 15 October 2022 | Kick-Off 3:00pm

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

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By Ben Rochey-Adams

Images courtesy of Craig Hobbs Photography

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