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

Wednesday 17 May 2023

SHOLING                                         0

AFC TOTTON                                 3
Scott Rendell 11mins (pen), 26mins; Ethan Taylor 71mins

JIMMY BALL’S AFC TOTTON rounded off an already successful 2022/23 season on Wednesday night by winning the SDFA Southampton Senior Cup at St. Mary’s Stadium, with a dominant victory over fierce local rivals Sholing. The result saw The Stags not only retain the cup they won at the same venue last season, but it also completed a treble trophy-haul for the Southern League Div.1 South Champions and the winners of the Champion of Champions Super Cup against their Div.1 Central counterparts, Berkhamsted.

A crowd of 2,055 gathered at the home of Southampton Football Club for the City’s showpiece non-league football cup final. Totton lined up with three changes to the starting XI who began the Champion of Champions match two-and-a-half weeks ago. Jack Masterton and Adam Tomasso came into midfield in place of Jake Adams and Owen Pelham, who both dropped to the bench, and Tommy Wright took the No.11 shirt from Jireh Oyebamiji who, like Mitchell Speechley-Price, was cup-tied having already played in this competition for Lymington Town. Five substitutes were named, and both sides were permitted to make up to five substitutions.

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

1.  Lewis NOICE
2.  Benny READ
3.  Jordan RAGGUETTE
4.  Mike CARTER (Capt.)
5.  Charlie KENNEDY
6.  Luke HALLETT
8.  Adam TOMASSO
9.  Scott RENDELL
10.  Ethan TAYLOR
11.  Tommy WRIGHT
14.  Ben JEFFORD
15.  Conor WHITELEY
16.  Charlie DAVIS
17.  Jake ADAMS
18.  Owen PELHAM

The teams were welcomed onto the St. Mary’s pitch by a Guard of Honour formed by two groups of children dressed in appropriate club colours, while the Itchen Stand rapidly filled up with late arrivals. As the sun began to contemplate setting behind the top of the Kingsland Stand on the opposite side of the ground, Tommy Wright got the 2023 SDFA Southampton Senior Cup Final underway with his side decked out in their traditional colours of blue-and-white, attacking the Chapel End. Sholing were in their usual kit of red-and-white stripes, with black shorts and socks.

Totton were the first to settle into their rhythm, pushing high up on the Sholing defence and forcing an early error from their captain Byron Mason, who sliced his clearance out of play into touch on the far side when trying to drive the ball forward. He redeemed himself soon after, though, by heading clear Benny Read’s cross after the Stags’ right-back had exchanged passes with Ethan Taylor to work his way to the byline and direct the ball into the centre.

Sholing’s No.4 Charlie Wagstaffe had a brief opportunity to launch an attack from midway inside the Totton half, but his opposite number Mike Carter quickly closed him down with a strong tackle. The Boatmen were then awarded a free-kick for a foul by Charlie Kennedy on Dan Mason near the halfway line. The Referee delayed its taking so he could send Mason to the sidelines to have some blood wiped off, but it meant that Sholing’s primary target man was off the pitch when the ball was delivered into the box, enabling Totton to deal with it relatively easily - a point the Sholing forward made to the Referee when he was allowed to return to the action a moment later.

Adam Tomasso’s neat through-ball had Jack Masterton running into the inside-right channel, until he was penalised for pulling Wagstaffe’s shirt. Then, Tommy Wright upheld his defensive duties to help shepherd the ball out of play to diffuse a left-wing attack being orchestrated by Jake Cope.

Luke Hallett clipped a long ball into the channel for Tomasso to chase, but former Stags defender Rob Flooks read the situation well and headed clear. Totton regained possession in midfield and came forward, again. Taylor received the ball on the left wing and darted infield, skipping around Byron Mason’s lunging challenge on his way to the middle before picking out Scott Rendell at inside-left. Rendell took the ball down and turned away from the full-back TJ Cuthbertson, but goalkeeper Ryan Gosney was there to snatch up the ball before The Stags’ striker could pull the trigger.

Employing a tactics that has worked for them more often than not over the last two seasons, Sholing were content to sit off and allow Totton to have the lion’s share of possession while The Boatmen hoped to soak up the pressure and hit their opponents on the counter-attack. But they couldn’t prevent Jack Masterton threading a delightful through-ball through the centre in the 11th minute, for Taylor to race between two defenders. They converged upon him and Cuthbertson made enough contact to send him sprawling in the box. The Referee gave the penalty and showed Cuthbertson the yellow card. Amid the booing of Sholing fans in the crowd, Scott RENDELL maintained his composure to convert the spot-kick and put The Stags ahead.

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THEY ALL FALL DOWN: Sholing full-back TJ Cuthbertson pushes Ethan Taylor over inside the box to provide AFC Totton a penalty kick.

From the restart, Totton were quick to get in the faces of Sholing before they could mount an attack. But it almost backfired, because Taylor was called up for a foul on Brad Targett close to the halfway line, which enabled a long, high delivery into the Totton box. Dan Mason headed down from around the penalty spot for Targett to unleash a left-footed half-volley that beat Lewis Noice in the Totton goal, only to strike the inside of the left-hand post and rebound out to the disbelief of the Sholing contingent.

Totton restored calm by getting the ball down and shifting it around amongst the back four and midfield. Jordan Ragguette combined with Taylor to advance down the left wing and cut inside, but Byron Mason, who appeared to be operating in a sweeper role, darted back to poke the ball to his goalkeeper. For his part, Gosney, who was the outstanding performer on the night the last time these two sides met, found himself having to do a lot more work with his feet than he may have preferred, frequently receiving back-passes as his teammates in the red-and-white shirts found themselves penned back by Totton’s eager press. Taylor rushed at Gosney in one such instance, hassling the keeper into slicing his clearance into touch.

Ragguette and Masterton worked their way down the left-hand side, with Masterton eluding Wagstaffe’s tackle to drive in a low cross that Byron Mason turned away before it could reach the feet of Rendell. Brad Targett attempted to deal with Ragguette’s increasing influence on the game with a strong challenge near halfway, while the Totton left-back tried to bring the bouncing ball under control to set off on another attacking raid. The collision left Ragguette sat on the turf but with nothing more than a raised eyebrow out of place.

Sholing veteran Marvin Mclean won a free-kick by going down inside his own area as Tomasso tried to latch onto Benny Read’s through-ball. The Totton right-back should have doubled his team’s lead in the 19th minute. He picked Jake Cope’s pocket midway inside the Sholing half, slipped the ball into the inside-right channel for Scott Rendell and continued his run into the penalty area, arriving in time to receive Rendell’s return square pass to put him one-on-one with Gosney. With the ball on his weaker left foot, he tried to clip it across the keeper into the bottom-right corner, but his connection lacked power and a covering defender was able to scrape the ball away.

Totton won the ball back, Wright, Rendell and then Masterton shifting it quickly to feed Ragguette on the left wing, again. But Targett had tracked back and was able to block his progress. Then, Mike Carter’s cross-field pass gave Tommy Wright the chance to send over a cross, which Gosney caught.

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MASTERTON AND COMMANDER: Jack Masterton wins a midfield tussle with Leon Baker in front of the Sholing dug-out at St. Mary's Stadium.

With Sholing struggling to gain a foothold in the game, space was beginning to open up for Totton. Rendell brought the ball down on his chest from a Charlie Kennedy diagonal and was afforded the space to turn and thread a pass into the run of Wright, breaking infield from the right flank to evade one sliding challenge and let fly from 25 yards with a shot that flew over the top. Then, Leon Baker had to intervene to nudge the ball back to Gosney when Taylor, Masterton and Ragguette were instigating another attacking foray from the Totton left.

In the 26th minute, a loose touch by Captain Carter in midfield was dealt with by Luke Hallett, knocking the ball back to Noice before Sholing could take advantage. From a long kick out of defence, McLean headed the ball out while backtracking towards his own goal with Wright running at him. The ball fell to the feet of Rendell, with a three-on-three situation at hand. Rendell picked out Taylor on the left of the D, and after taking a touch, Taylor fired an angled shot that Gosney did well to parry - but Scott RENDELL had followed the move forward, stealing in unmarked near the penalty spot to slot the rebound into the back of the net, marking The Sunburnt Assassin’s 36th goal of the season in all competitions.

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STRIKE!: Former AFC Totton defender Rob Flooks can only watch on as Scott Rendell fires another shot at the Sholing goal after good work from Taylor (No.10).

From the restart, Totton soon won possession again, but Mclean was fortunate to see Wright slip, allowing him to complete his clearance. Carter’s funny five minutes continued; this time, Kennedy taking no prisoners with a full-blooded challenge that an underhit back-header forced him into. Masterton put the ball out of play so the boys in blue could all stare quizzically at their skipper, who raised a hand in acknowledgment of his error.

Baker managed to spoil Taylor’s attempt to work some space down the Totton left. Then, just after the half hour mark, a high looping ball into the Totton box from the Sholing left appeared to present Dan Mason with a golden opportunity to reduce the arrears from the edge of the six-yard box, until Luke Hallett slid in with a goal-saving tackle that earned him an appreciative pat on the back from the gloved hand of his goalkeeper, Lewis Noice.

Rendell tussled for possession in the centre-circle and shuffled the ball to Masterton, who found Taylor on the left. He cut inside and tried a right-footed shot that was blocked. Tomasso kept the attack alive, chipping back into the box for Rendell, who had taken up a position in space to the left of the penalty spot, but despite stretching, he couldn’t bring the ball under control to get a shot away.

Cuthbertson and Cope began to make initially promising progress down the Sholing right, but when the ball came infield to Baker near the centre-circle, he was immediately set upon and forced to turn the ball back towards his defence. Lee Wort managed to find some space on the right of the penalty area in the 34th minute, as Kennedy came across to close him down. Wort shrugged the defender off by shifting the ball to his left foot, and tried to curl a shot into the far corner, but his effort lacked the necessary bend and drifted harmlessly wide.

Targett’s forward surge was interrupted when he ran straight into Benny Read in the middle of the Totton half, allowing Masterton to take up the loose ball. Then, a neat reverse pass by Baker forced Kennedy to concede a throw-in on the Sholing right. The ball came back to Cuthbertson, whose cross was knocked on by Dan Mason for Wort to run onto, but Noice was sharply off his line to scoop the ball up.

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ALL WRIGHT ON THE NIGHT: Tommy Wright fires a low shot from the edge of the Sholing penalty area in the Southampton Senior Cup Final at St. Mary's Stadium.

Sholing were snapping into challenges in the midfield much more effectively than before, trying to disrupt Totton’s possession. But the defensive trio of Hallett, Kennedy and midfielder Carter remained resolute in the central area while The Boatmen found the rowing equally tough down the flanks, too. Baker had a brief glimpse of goal from about 25 yards out, when Cope played the ball in from the left, but Kennedy stepped in to take the ball away.

The temperature of the game was raise a little in the 39th minute when Charlie Wagstaffe made a recklessly late lunging foul on Ethan Taylor near the Totton left-wing touchline. Taylor thought about reacting angrily, until Mike Carter sensibly bundled him away from any confrontation. The Sholing contingent waited with bated breath to see which colour of card the Referee would produce, and no doubt knew that they, and Wagstaffe in particular, were lucky that it was only a yellow one.

Ragguette’s forward run was interrupted unfairly, resulting in a free-kick about 25 yards out, just off the left corner of the penalty area. Jack Masterton’s cross somehow slipped between Taylor and Rendell at the near post, the ball continuing on to the far side where Read retrieved it. As Totton moved the ball back infield across the outside edge of the area, Wright had to ride a couple of challenges in the centre to dig out a shooting opportunity from 25 yards, from which he fired over Gosney’s crossbar.

Scott Rendell, going up against Byron Mason, was able to continually bring the ball down and lay it off to his midfield teammates to enable Totton to build attacking moves from within the Sholing half. The Stags swept the ball out to the left-hand side, where Targett stood up well to block Ragguette’s attempted drive.

The Boatmen launched one last attempt to reduce the deficit before the break, with Dan Mason picking out Mclean with room to attack down the Sholing left. Benny Read squared up to him to prevent a cross, encouraging Mclean to go for the byline and try a shot from a narrow angle, that hit the side-netting behind Noice’s right-hand post.

SHOLING                                                    0
AFC TOTTON                                            2

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UP FOR THE CUP: Stags fans get behind their team at St. Mary's Stadium.

Within two minutes of the restart, it was clear that Sholing had been given instructions to go on the front foot and get after Totton in their own half. Mclean forced an early second-half corner off Read. Jake Cope sent the ball over and Rendell had to flick it away with a back-header at the far post for another corner from the Sholing right. This time, Dan Mason met Cope’s cross with a firm header at goal, which was cleared off the line, with an immediate follow-up shot also being repelled by one of the Totton defenders on the line. Many Sholing fans and some of the players were claiming a goal but the Referee was adamant that the ball hadn’t crossed the line. Meanwhile, Totton escaped on the counter-attack. Tommy Wright’s diagonal pass put Ethan Taylor through on goal on the left of the Sholing area, but Ryan Gosney made a smart save with his feet to divert Taylor’s effort away. Rendell picked up the loose ball and tried to feed Taylor again, but overhit his pass and the ball ran out for a goal-kick. Huge let-offs for both teams within the space of 60 seconds!

Marvin Mclean was at the heart of Sholing’s feisty second-half attitude, getting in down the left-hand to bypass Tomasso’s block with a cross that found Wagstaffe in the middle. His shot struck one of his own players, leading to a confused scramble in the Totton box, during which The Stags looked far from comfortable, but Kennedy was able to hack the ball away.

Whether more of them arrived during the half-time interval or, more likely, they decided to group together into a specific section of the Itchen Stand to amplify one another’s vocal efforts, the Sholing fans were in strong voice, cheering their team on to a much hoped for comeback and gaining encouragement from what their team was giving them on the pitch. But, respite came for Totton when Wright was fouled near the halfway line and shortly after, Cope pulled Tomasso back, allowing Totton to use the consequent free-kicks to slow the game down and take the sting of Sholing’s buzz.

There was a moment of concern for The Stags when Kennedy went over while stretching to reach Dan Mason’s flick on down the centre. The ball had run harmlessly through to Lewis Noice and, after a moment of recovery, Kennedy was fit to continue. Mason then sprayed the ball out to Targett on the right-hand side, but his low cross was calmly intercepted by Carter inside his own six-yard box, from where he was able to play out into midfield.

Cuthbertson had to be alert to cut-out Rendell’s attempted through-ball, as Taylor was already galloping into acres of space behind the Sholing right-back. Then, a promising move between Cope, Wagstaffe and Mclean shifted the ball from right-to-left for Sholing, before Benny Read intervened to poke the ball away from Mclean. The full-back was quick to regain possession before Wright could turn to take it away, but Wright did enough to win a throw-in to hold The Boatmen at arm’s length for a little longer.

In contrast to much of the first half, it was now Totton who were being hassled inside their own half of the pitch, having to rely on their goalkeeper’s footwork to complete clearances. The Stags managed to get on the front foot again in the 57th minute when Tomasso sent Ragguette forward down the left-hand side. He made a diagonal run, cutting in from the flank, before passing to Wright, who shuffled the ball onto his left foot and fired in a low shot from 22 yards that Gosney got down well to comfortably save in the middle of his goal.

Sholing managed to get numbers back quickly when Taylor broke into their half from Rendell’s pass, eventually crowding the winger out on the left corner of the penalty area. Then, Carter scurried back into his own penalty area to help Kennedy deal with the threat of Dan Mason, as the Sholing centre-forward tried to latch onto an awkwardly bouncing ball and Kennedy did his best not to lean on him too strongly to avoid conceding a penalty kick.

Before the corner could be taken, Sholing boss Dave Diaper took Leon Baker off and replaced him with Sami Makhloufi. Adam Tomasso was able to volley the corner away from the edge of the six-yard box.

Charlie Wagstaffe tried to pick out Targett on the Sholing right, but his cross-field pass was telegraphed. Ragguette went after the ball like a greyhound would a mechanical hare, before sending Taylor on his way down the left wing. With two defenders to contend with, Taylor encroached infield before squaring to Wright, who tried to sidestep Cope but ran straight into him, instead, allowing Sholing to clear.

Wright’s race was run when he was replaced in the 62nd minute by Conor Whiteley, the former Boatman entering the fray to chants of “Sholing reject!” from the fans who used to support him.

Jake Cope and Lee Wort’s attempt to build something down the Sholing left was soon dismantled by Read and Carter. Then, Sami Makhloufi turned sharply in the centre-circle to evade Tomasso, before directing his pass down the left wing for Mclean to run onto. A short pass infield found Dan Mason who laid it back for Makhloufi to take aim with a low shot from outside the box, but he dragged the ball wide to the left.

Whiteley got into the game by taking Mclean on with a diagonal run from the Totton right into the centre, luring the left-back into making an unnecessary late, lunging tackle. The Referee allowed play to continue because the ball had run through to Taylor at inside-left, though he was under pressure and fired his shot high over the bar. When play stopped, the Referee produced a yellow card for Mclean.

Ragguette almost gifted Sholing a way back into the game with an under-powered back-header towards his own goal, with Brad Targett lurking with intent. But Noice rushed out to the edge of his box to grab the ball. Then, back up the other end of the pitch, Taylor forced a corner on the left with a shot that was blocked.

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SHOTS FIRED: Sholing substitute Wayne Robinson can't prevent Ethan Taylor getting his shot away from the edge of The Boatmen's box.

At that point, Targett was replaced by Wayne Robinson for Sholing, while Jimmy Ball withdrew Adam Tomasso and sent on Charlie Davis, who immediately had a hand in Totton’s third goal on 71 minutes. Taylor took the corner short, with Davis running towards him to receive the ball at the left-wing byline. Sholing defenders were alive to it but they couldn’t prevent Davis slipping the ball back to Taylor as he entered the box from the left side, strode infield a little and drove a right-footed shot that Gosney parried at the foot of his right-hand post. Rendell reacted quickly to keep the rebound alive, teeing up Ethan TAYLOR again for the winger to smash the ball across the keeper, who had leapt back to his feet, and into the far corner of the net to make it three-nil to The Stags.

Sholing restarted the game but, once again, Totton were quick to reclaim possession and deny their opponents any opportunity to establish a foothold in the game. Chants of “How much did you pay the ref?” from some Sholing fans were amusing, but they only served to underscore how resoundingly their team was being beaten out on the pitch by a better, more complete footballing performance.

Substitute Wayne Robinson looked lively in possession and probably represented Sholing’s most likely source of finding a way back into the game for an unlikely comeback, and after the No.14 had got on the ball a few times and made progressive moves into the Totton defensive third, it looked as though Jordan Ragguette was instructed to man-mark him out of the game.

Totton swept forward again in search of a fourth goal. Rendell received the ball to the right of the D, before teeing up Taylor to flash an angled shot narrowly wide of the right-hand post. Then, Ragguette took the ball from Robinson and set off on a run into space down the left flank, before turning around and passing backward to ensure his team kept the ball.

A promising Sholing attack fell apart when Lee Wort misread the run of his teammate, who was looking for a pass straight down the middle rather than out wide. Then, it took three Sholing defenders to stop the powerful Ragguette marauding into open acreage down the Totton left.

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CAN'T CATCH ME: Sholing captain Byron Mason struggles to get to grips with Jordan Ragguette's powerful forward running.

Wort did well to win a corner off Luke Hallett, who had to head behind while retreating towards his own goal. From the cross, Rob Flooks headed at goal but his effort bounced wide of the target. Then, Wayne Robinson wriggled away from Carter’s attentions to slip Dan Mason into the inside-right channel to try a cross-shot that flashed across Lewis Noice’s goal but flew wide of the far post.

Totton continued to find joy down the left-hand side. Taylor carried the fight inside from the flank and passed to Charlie Davis just outside the D. After taking a touch, Davis aimed a low shot towards the bottom-left corner that pulled an excellent save from Ryan Gosney, diving full length to parry into the corner area, where Cuthbertson was able to clear.

Ragguette continued to marshall Robinson’s attempts to get his team back into the game. Lee Wort slid in as Noice scooped up another loose ball on the edge of his area, before leaping over the incoming striker to avoid significant contact.

Stubborn persistence from Masterton prevented Wort progressing in the centre-circle. When the ball fell to Rendell, he tried to put Davis through down the middle, but he hesitated a second too long, causing the midfielder to check his run to avoid going offside, and the momentum was lost.

Contrary to their earlier enthusiasm, some Sholing fans began filing out of the stadium, while Robinson was being caught in possession by Ragguette on the pitch. Taylor received the pass and evaded Cuthbertson to cross but the delivery lacked precision and was turned away in the centre.

Jake Cope was taken off to be replaced by Owen Roundell for Sholing. Then, Robinson managed to escape Ragguette’s grasp when the Totton left-back slipped on the turf, allowing the Sholing No.14 to get into the right-wing corner and send the ball into the six-yard box, where Charlie Kennedy was well-positioned to intercept and clear.

Sholing kept plugging away and Robinson won a free-kick within shooting range when Carter pulled him down about 22 yards out, to the right of the D. Jimmy Ball chose that moment to send Jake Adams on in place of Ethan Taylor, before Dan Mason sent his free-kick high and wide of Lewis Noice’s goal.

Four minutes of stoppage time was indicated by the fourth official. Hallett ran interference enough to prevent Wort latching onto a bouncing pass straight down the middle, which Noice duly collected. Then, Owen Pelham also entered the fray in place of Jack Masterton, as the Totton boss made use of his full complement of substitutions to break up the play and run down the clock at the end of the game.

Rendell won a free-kick on the Totton right when Byron Mason caught him in the head with a high kick. Davis played it short to Benny Read before receiving a return pass on the right side of the penalty area and crossing to the centre, where Flooks headed it away. Totton gathered the ball back into their possession to stop Sholing getting forward.

Two of the youngest players on the pitch, Jake Adams and Owen Pelham, linked up to retain the ball amid the tired legs of their opponents, which may have part-way inspired Wort’s petulant trip on Pelham near the end. The foul only served to allow Totton to slow the game still further and earned Wort a yellow card. Just before the very end, Ben Jefford came on in place of Jordan Regguette; there was little enough time left for him to touch the ball before the Referee brought the curtain down on AFC Totton’s 2022/23 season with the whistle that confirmed them as the winners of the SDFA Southampton Senior Cup for the second consecutive year.

Man of the Match_Scott Rendell_Sholing vs AFC Totton_Southampton Senior Cup Final_Wed17May2023.jpgMAN OF THE MATCH: Two-goal Scott Rendell is handed the award for the outstanding individual performance on the night.

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THE TREBLE? COMPLETED IT, MATE: Captain Mike Carter lifts the Southampton Senior Cup trophy, after AFC Totton's 3-0 victory over Sholing in the Final at St. Mary's Stadium.

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

“I’m very proud of the players. They’ve approached and played this game properly, by which I mean they have gone out there today and out-run, out-fought, and out-thought the opposition, and when you do that, you give yourself a great chance to win football matches.

“We didn’t do anything differently from the last two games we’ve had against Sholing. I’ve watched those games back a few times and I can’t still work out how we didn’t win, especially the second one at their place. It can sometimes be hard to get players to stick to a plan the hasn’t brought the desired result when you tried it the first time but I have to give the credit to the players; they have stuck to the gameplan and done what we asked of them, and I thought they were very convincing winners from start to finish tonight. Nobody froze or choked, they all did their jobs and worked hard for each other. I couldn’t be prouder or more full of admiration of how these lads deliver on the fundamentals of football.

“You have to be fierce competitors in everything you do, you can’t just switch it on-and-off; with what you eat and drink, and how much sleep you get. You have to be competitive with yourself, as much as anything else, to get the most out of yourself. We’ve set high standards and asked a lot of these players and they have all fully embraced it from day one, with the right mentality and such a strong will to win and to be successful. That’s how you get complete football performances like that one, tonight. All the credit belongs to them and they deserve all the success they’ve achieved this season.

“We were never in a position to set our sights on winning a treble at the start of the season. You take each game in turn and do your best to win, and see where it takes you. Defeats at Hamworthy United and then at Sholing shortly after set us back a little bit, but the players didn’t panic and everybody kept working hard. We knew that if we could string together a run of positive results we would have a real chance, and we did that twice this season either side of the second loss to Sholing, which was a game we couldn’t believe we’d lost - and a result that inspired us all to not experience that feeling again. These players have the mentality that even when we were 15 points back from the top of the table with a few games in-hand, they just kept going and kept fighting and put themselves right back into contention.

“We can look back at the one-all draw at Bideford in January, when we hadn’t played for a month due to the bad weather, Luke Hallett getting us a last minute equaliser. That was a real turning point. Then, winning 2-1 in a brutal game at Willand Rovers, when were down to 10 men. And at Lymington about a month ago, with another last minute winner after they thought they’d won a point with a late goal of their own. They were all memorable wins and important moments for us. These players just don’t lie down, they chase and compete for everything.

“The fans were class again, tonight. They’ve turned up in numbers and screamed and shouted their support, as they have all season. Some of the numbers we’ve been getting at home have been brilliant; it’s great when we get loads of kids in, plus the die hard fans, and the nutters on Mally’s Corner. They all give fantastic support and I’m sure - and certainly hope - that they were thoroughly entertained and enjoyed being here tonight.

“We will have a few weeks break, then straight back into pre-season. We will need to strengthen in certain areas; I can’t be sentimental about that. There will be some comings and goings, as we prepare for and look ahead to competing at Step 3 next season.”

By Ben Rochey-Adams

Images courtesy of Craig Hobbs Photography

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