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1st ROUND QUALIFYING - Saturday 03 September 2022

WINCANTON TOWN                          2
Connor Williams 51mins; Dan Wise 57mins

AFC TOTTON                                          9
Charlie Kennedy 22mins; Brett Williams 32mins, 38mins, 44mins, 70mins, 78mins;
Scott Rendell 50mins, 55mins; Jake Adams 88mins

Striker Brett Williams helped himself to five goals in the Emirates FA Cup as AFC Totton eased their way into 2nd Round Qualifying with a comfortable victory over the lowest ranked team left in the competition at the Snows Stadium on Saturday.

When the draw for 1st Round Qualifying was made, Wincanton Town were drawn as the home side. However, essential drainage works at their Wincanton Sports Ground have taken longer than anticipated due to the effect of the recent dry weather on the condition of the soil. So, at the request of the Somerset-based Wasps, the tie was switched to the Snows Stadium, though Wincanton were still recognised by the FA as the home team and, had the match ended in a draw, the replay would have also taken place in Totton on Tuesday night.

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RECALLED: Midfielder Freddie Read was named in the starting line-up for AFC Totton.

Michael Green was recalled to the starting line-up having been named on the bench for the matches against Frome Town and Sholing. In midfield, Freddie Read came in for Mike Carter and Jake Adams replaced Jordan Ragguette. Brett Williams, who started against Melksham Town in the FA Cup Preliminary Round a fortnight ago, came in for his second start of the campaign to partner the ever-present Scott Rendell up front. In Carter’s absence, Charlie Kennedy captained the team for the first time from centre-back.

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

1.  Lewis NOICE
2.  Yemi ODUBADE
3.  Michael GREEN
4.  Freddie READ
5.  Charlie KENNEDY (Capt.)
6.  Luke HALLETT
7.  Jake ADAMS
9.  Brett WILLIAMS
10.  Scott RENDELL
11.  Ethan TAYLOR
14.  Jireh OYEBAMIJI
15.  Mike CARTER
16.  Jordan RAGGUETTE
17.  Pascal KPOHOMOUH
19.  Enrique RUSSELL

The Stags wore their usual blue-and-white while Wincanton were, for a team nicknamed the Wasps, suitably attired in yellow-and-black. Totton came into this cup tie as firm favourites against the side from the Western League Division One at Step 6, and they dominated the ball during the early exchanges with Kennedy going close with a header from a corner.

Wincanton sat back early on, looking to get the ball to their big centre-forward Matt Garner to use his physical presence and ability to knock the ball on but he soon found himself outnumbered by Totton defenders who were able to regain possession quickly. Covering back to help his team defend, Garner was fortunate not to concede a penalty when Ethan Taylor went down under his challenge near the right-wing byline.

Jake Adams-5_AFC Totton vs Wincanton Town_FA Cup 1strndQual_Sat03Sep2022.jpg
CONSTANT MENACE: The creativity of Jake Adams was a constant threat to Wincanton Town during their FA Cup 1st Round Qualifying match at AFC Totton.

About 12 minutes into the game, Jake Adams and Michael Green attacked down the left flank, creating enough space for Green to curl a cross to the far post that was a little too high for Scott Rendell, whose header flew over the bar.

For a while, Wincanton were successful at filling up defensive areas and frustrating Totton’s sometimes over-intricate approach. A series of short passes just outside a crowded penalty area resulted in Adams chipping the ball into the inside-left channel for Taylor but the forward ran out of pitch before he could steer an effort towards goal.

Yemi Odubade was finding space on the right wing but was unable to produce the quality of delivery required to unpick the layered defence. A quick shift of play to the left-hand side enabled Adams to isolate defender Callum Small, going past him to the byline and driving in a low cross that was quickly stabbed wide for a corner. Jack Masterton sent the ball to the far side where Luke Hallett connected with a firm header that looped beyond the top-left corner of Arthur Nasta’s goal.

Totton had a golden opportunity to take the lead on 20 minutes when Taylor nicked the ball off Morrissey Tucker’s toe in midfield and poked it to Adams, whose flick played Brett Williams in near the penalty spot. The chance required a first-time finish but Williams took a touch and enabled the defender to get his boot in and divert the ball for another corner. Masterton’s cross was again aimed towards Hallett, who challenged in the air but the ball got stuck between him and the defending Garner. When it dropped, Hallett poked the loose ball to Taylor who teed up Charlie KENNEDY on the edge of the penalty area, the stand-in skipper striking a ferocious right-foot shot off the underside of the crossbar and into the net to give AFC Totton a 22nd-minute lead with his second goal of the season in all competitions.

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RIGHT ON, YEMI: AFC Totton's Yemi Odubade finds space on the right wing.

Finding their passing rhythm, Totton went on the attack again. Taylor played Odubade into space on the right and he crossed to the far side, but it was just too long for Adams to control on the left of the area. Then, Adams tried his luck from distance when he found himself in a pocket of space about 35 yards out in a central position, his effort dipping over the top-left corner.

Jamie Thompson managed to bring the ball under control on the left wing for Wincanton in the 26th minute, and he whipped in a dangerous cross that striker Connor Williams stretched out his right foot to try and divert home from the edge of the 6-yard box. He couldn’t get enough on it to trouble Lewis Noice, though, who nevertheless had to scramble across his goal to cover the situation.

Wincanton survived another potential penalty shout four minutes later, when Freddie Read clipped the ball out to the right for the marauding Odubade who charged infield from the side of the penalty area, drawing goalkeeper Nasta into a challenge that sent the former Oxford United man crashing to the ground and the ball running free beyond the far post. The Referee waved away the protests and play continued. Then, Ethan Taylor twisted away from a defender to fire left-footed into the far corner of the net, only for the Assistant Referee on the far side to raise his flag for an offside against Brett Williams whose close proximity may have affected the defender’s ability to tackle Taylor.

But the Stags were not to be denied. Read picked out Odubade on the right wing once again, and the delivery into the box presented a chance for Scott Rendell at the near post that central defender Cam Vere did well to turn away for the Wasps. But Masterton was quick to regain possession just outside the area and an exchange of passes with Read enabled him to find Williams on the left of the D. With a defender at his back, Brett WILLIAMS turned onto his right foot and bent a delicious curling effort around his man and past the dive of Nasta into the bottom-right corner of the net.

Totton zipped the ball across the Snows Stadium pitch, Adams and Green making rapid forward progress down the left and crossing for Rendell to head on, Williams tried to latch onto it but Nasta was able to grab the ball for Wincanton. Then, brave defending from Jamie Irwin repelled a Williams pile-driver, after more good work from Adams and Taylor created another Rendell knockdown.

The Wasps briefly threatened with a cross from the left-hand side that dropped dangerously behind Green at the far post, but no yellow-and-black shirt could capitalise. Williams then slipped Read into the inside-left, his cross deflecting towards the bottom-left corner, requiring a smart one-handed save from Nasta. A short corner was only partially cleared, eventually coming back into the box to be headed out and presenting Taylor with the chance to strike on the volley, Nasta again reacting well to make an impressive save low to his right.

Brett Williams-8_AFC Totton vs Wincanton Town_FA Cup 1strndQual_Sat03Sep2022.jpg
FIVE-GOAL FORWARD: Brett Williams scored five goals for the Stags at the Snows Stadium.

In the 38th minute, the energetic Jake Adams was able to isolate Small in the Wincanton right-back position. With a quick stepover and the drop of his left shoulder, Adams was past his man and to the left-wing byline, from where he centred the ball out of Nasta’s reach to provide Brett WILLIAMS with a routine finish from two yards for his second goal of the game.

Masterton fed Adams on the left again. This time, the creative midfielder opted to send in an early cross that Rendell and Read, ever-willing to run forward and cause confusion in the opposition penalty area, both had the chance to convert but neither could sort their feet out in time to apply the finish.

The match had settled into a game of Attack vs Defence and before the first half was over, Williams completed his hat-trick. In a move that involved eight outfield players, AFC Totton shifted possession along the half-way line and into midfield with a series of short, sharp passes that kept the ball on the deck. As Hallett made the run into space on the right flank, Read used him as a decoy to turn infield and feed the ball to Taylor, who turned his marker and then advanced on the Wincanton area, looking for a shooting opportunity on his left foot. The chance didn’t materialise, so he slipped the ball out to Adams on the left corner of the penalty area. Adams jinked one way and then the other to keep Small on his toes, then laid the ball infield to the left of the D, where Brett WILLIAMS took a touch to set himself and then curled an absolute pearler beyond Nasta’s outstretched hand, and against the underside of the crossbar at the top-right corner for the goal of the game so far.

WINCANTON TOWN                          0
AFC TOTTON                                           4

There was no let-up for the Wasps in the second-half. Taylor stole the ball from Small on the Totton left and aimed his cross to the far post, but Rendell couldn’t reach it. Then, Hallett got forward down the right and found Williams with a cross that the hat-trick hero headed down for Odubade, whose shot was saved by Nasta at the near post.

Masterton crossed towards Hallett but Garner managed to divert the ball wide for a corner. Masterton took it short and when Taylor tried to drive in a shot from the edge of the area, his effort pin-balled off several shins without threatening Nasta.

Totton’s fifth goal came from another period of dominant possession in the 50th minute. They worked the ball through midfield where Williams received it with his back to goal about 40 yards out and laid it back to Hallett in space on the right. His forward pass found Taylor who shifted infield on his left foot to clip the ball over the Wincanton defence to bounce just outside the 6-yard box, in front of the far post, where Scott RENDELL slid in to wrong-foot Nasta and send the ball into the bottom corner.

Scott Rendell-3_AFC Totton vs Wincanton Town_FA Cup 1strndQual_Sat03Sep2022.jpg
GREAT SCOTT: AFC Totton centre-forward Scott Rendell bagged two goals to take his season's tally to five goals in all competitions.

Credit to Wincanton Town, though. Despite the tie being over as a contest, they kept playing their football as much as they were able against a side ranked some 40-odd places above them in the English League Pyramid system and they deservedly got on the scoresheet in the 51st minute. An attack down their right flank presented possession to their No.9 on the edge of the penalty area, to the right of the D. Holding off a defender, Connor WILLIAMS shifted the ball onto his left foot and struck an unstoppable effort past Lewis Noice’s left shoulder.

Totton’s five-goal advantage was restored four minutes later when Taylor scampered onto a diagonal forward pass to retrieve the ball at the right corner of the penalty area with Tucker tracking his run. Taylor turned away from the defender and rolled the ball to about two yards behind the penalty spot where Scott RENDELL calmly passed into the bottom-right corner to make it 6-1 to the Stags, despite Jamie Irwin’s valiant attempt to block.

Yemi Odubade then made way for the Bermudian international Enrique Russell to make his competitive debut for AFC Totton.

Wincanton pulled another goal back in the 57th minute. A moment of indecision in the Totton defence enabled the Wasps to swarm around Jack Masterton on the edge of the box and square the ball to Dan WISE who fired unerringly into the top-left corner. On a day of impressive finishes from around the edge of the box, that one was a contender for the best of the lot.

Clever combination play from Connor Williams and Wise on the Wincanton right resulted in a high cross that Garner headed wide at the far post under pressure from Hallett. Then, Brett Williams was only inches away from connecting with Enrique Russell’s deep cross from the right side of the half-way line in enough space for the veteran Stags striker to have had time to bring the ball down and get another shot away.

Noice made a diving catch to prevent Connor Williams doing any more damage for Wincanton, after he slipped away from Hallett to fire the ball across the Totton goal. Nasta had to be equally alert at the other end to prevent Russell’s angled cross-shot from the right of the penalty area flying into the far top corner, the keeper doing well to scoop the ball out for a corner with his right hand. Hallett met Masterton’s cross with a firm header at the far post but Jack Atkins was well-positioned to clear the ball off the goal-line.

Enrique Russell-1_AFC Totton vs Wincanton Town_FA Cup 1strndQual_Sat03Sep2022.jpg
THE DEBUTANT'S BALL: Having featured throughout pre-season, Enrique Russell stepped off the bench to make his competitive debut for AFC Totton.

Jamie Thompson pulled another save from Noice with an angled drive from the left of the Totton area, after Wincanton managed to create a one-man overload with blue shirts caught too high up the pitch, the Stags keeper diving to his left to make a solid catch. Then, Jimmy Ball made a double substitution, sending on Pascal Kpohomouh and Jireh Oyebamiji in place of Michael Green and Scott Rendell.

Jamie Irwin got his body in the way to block a Jake Adams long-shot, before Totton threatened further with numerous corners and other crosses into the box that Wincanton withstood. But relentless attacking pressure from Totton eventually resulted in their seventh goal of the game. The move began with a throw-in from the left-hand side, from which Adams whipped in a low cross to the near post and Oyebamiji slid in, Nasta doing well to turn the ball away with his foot. But the ball was still live and Oyebamiji was quickly to his feet to regain possession, passing to Read on the left corner of the box to tee up Adams for a low strike that Nasta parried with both palms at his bottom-right corner. Again, Oyebamiji retrieved the loose ball, firing an effort from the corner of the 6-yard box that Cam Vere brilliantly blocked at close range. Small tried to clear for the Wasps but Masterton intercepted 25 yards out and drove down the left side of the penalty area before picking out the Stags No.9 who, in all the confusion, somehow managed to find himself free of any yellow-and-black shirts within a 5-yard radius inside the penalty area. Brett WILLIAMS was able to take a touch and pick his spot in the far bottom corner, stroking the ball past Nasta to the goalkeeper’s left.

Jireh Oyebamiji needed some attention from the physio after taking the ball full in the face from close range, but he was soon back on his feet again. Freddie Read arrowed a glorious pass from the centre-circle out to Russell in an advanced position on the right flank, his first-time pass releasing Oyebamiji into the inside-right channel where his shot was bravely blocked by the body of Cam Vere.

Totton were attacking in waves; every time Wincanton got the ball out of their penalty area, it would come straight back with the Stags probing another area of the Wasps’ defence. A one-two between Adams and Brett Williams enabled Adams to drive in a low shot that Nasta saved with his feet. Then, clever skill on the ball from Russell created a brief opening for Oyebamiji to the right of the 6-yard box, but he was quickly crowded out by yellow-and-black shirts.

Goal number eight came from a quickly taken free-kick that Masterton slipped to Brett WILLIAMS with space to advance and, from all of 30 yards, let fly with a speculative effort that Nasta managed to get his right hand to but couldn’t prevent from nestling in the bottom-left corner of the net. A fifth goal of the game for the former Aldershot Town and Torquay United striker.

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WORTH A DIP: Brett Williams lets fly from distance for AFC Totton.

Wincanton substitute Louis Irwin fired narrowly over from distance as the Wasps tried to pull another goal back. Then, looking to complete a double hat-trick, Brett Williams ignored the run of Adams to his left to try another long-shot that flew too high to trouble Nasta any further. Williams was presented with another chance when he linked up with Taylor and Russell to build the play down the right-hand side, Russell’s ball across sitting up nicely for the striker to volley on the turn from near the penalty spot, but he pulled his effort a little too far to the left of the far post.

In the 88th minute, Oyebamiji latched onto a pass from Adams at inside-right. With two defenders for company, JJ checked onto his left foot and took aim, but his attempt was deflected wide for a corner on the Totton right. Masterton took it quickly and got it back from Taylor, before rolling to Kennedy on the edge of the box where he flicked the ball up and over the defender for Jake ADAMS to chest down, allowing it to bounce once before thrashing a low shot past Nasta with a stinging left-foot drive for his first goal of the season, to complete the scoring at 9-2.

Jimmy Ball_AFC Totton Manager_August2022.jpg

After the match, AFC Totton manager Jimmy Ball said:

“The most important thing is to be in that draw. We look forward to it on Monday and we’ll see what happens. The game today was all about the attitude and how we approached it and I can’t fault the lads, I think they were excellent. They did things properly from the very, very start. You try to make sure they don’t sort of ease off or relax just because of the position in the pyramid - I think our attitude and mentality towards the game was proper.

“A slight change in formation left us a bit open during the second half. If we’re going to put the other team under a massive amount of pressure, we are going to be open at times but that’s in the give-and-take of it all - you’re playing chess and you’ve got to risk to score goals.

There were some good finishes, there was some lovely football, some exciting play. We scored all different types of goals, which was great. We still could cross the ball better as an entire group, but that’s something we’re working on constantly. I’m just pleased that we didn’t slack off in any of our intent or aggression in the final third.”

Watch the full interview with Abdullah Babalola from StagsTV

While AFC Totton were on FA Cup duty, there were two Southern League Div.1 South fixtures.

Evesham United twice came from behind at home to Bristol Manor Farm, before an 83rd-minute strike from Owen James proved to be the winner for the Robins.

The other match also finished as a 3-2 win for the home side. Melksham Town recovered from being 0-2 down to Lymington Town with an 85th-minute equaliser from former Millwall and Bristol Rovers striker Chris Zebroski before Samuel Hendy scored a late, late winner four minutes into injury time to leave Lymo rooted to the foot of the table without any points from their first four league games.

View the Southern League Div.1 South league table

Isuzu FA Trophy | 1st Qualifying Round
Snows Stadium | Saturday 10 September 2022 | Kick-Off 3:00pm

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


By Ben Rochey-Adams

Images courtesy of Craig Hobbs Photography


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