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AFC Totton vs Bracknell Town_SLPDS-38_Wed10Apr2024.jpg

Snows Stadium, Salisbury Road, Totton, Southampton, Hampshire SO40 2RW

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UNDER-18s GET IN FREE on Wednesday evening; U16s must be accompanied by a paying adult.

Bracknell Town_500px.pngAFC TOTTON ARE ENDING the 2023/24 regular season by facing off against each of their main contenders for a valuable Southern League Premier Division South Play-Off spot.

On Easter Monday, The Stags clipped Walton & Hersham’s wings with a comfortable 3-0 win at the Snows Stadium, which Jimmy Ball’s men followed up on Saturday with an emphatic 5-0 mauling of 10-man Tiverton Town, largely courtesy of a perfect hat-trick from striker Tony Lee.

On Wednesday evening, the re-arranged fixture with Bracknell Town will take place, with the sixth-placed Robins hoping to use that opportunity to overhaul the two-point gap currently keeping them behind Merthyr Town and out of the last of the Play-Off places. The Martyrs will be the next visitors to the Snows Stadium on Saturday 20 April, with Totton visiting the other contenders, Hungerford Town, the weekend prior.

A victory on Wednesday evening will guarantee Totton’s participation in the Play-Offs, while also helping to maintain pressure on Gosport Borough and Salisbury for the coveted home advantage going into the Semi-Finals.

Bracknell’s current form is similar to Totton’s, in that they too have won seven from their last 12 league outings, and is better than Merthyr’s, who have only won four during the same period.

The Robins began March with a 1-1 draw at home to relegation-threatened Harrow Borough, before stringing together three consecutive wins at home to Merthyr Town, away to Hanwell Town and at home to Plymouth Parkway. On Good Friday, their Play-Off chances took a dent with a 1-3 defeat at rivals Hungerford Town, but they bounced back with a 5-1 whooping of Sholing on Easter Monday, before winning 3-1 at Basingstoke Town on Saturday.

When The Stags went to Berkshire in October, they ran out 5-1 winners on Bracknell’s 3G pitch. Scott Rendell struck a hat-trick, with Leon Maloney and Ethan Taylor weighing in with the other two goals. Bracknell’s scorer that day was Nana Owusu, who has since moved on to Walton & Hersham.

While they have struggled to stay in touch with the Step 3 frontrunners this season, Bracknell performed brilliantly in the Emirates FA Cup. They despatched Harrow Borough, Havant & Waterlooville, Poole Town and National League side Dagenham & Redbridge during the Qualifying Rounds to set-up a First Round Proper trip to Cambridge United in early-November, which they lost 1-2 at the Abbey Stadium.

In the Isuzu FA Trophy, they once again faced Poole Town in a cup-tie that was postponed twice before they eventually fought out a 2-2 draw, with The Robins progressing by comfortably winning the penalty shoot-out. But they lost 0-3 at home in the Second Round to Horsham, before The Hornets subsequently eliminated Totton at the Third Round stage.

The Stags go into the game having not conceded a single goal during their last 491 minutes of Southern League football, a run that extends back as far as four minutes into the second half of the 0-2 defeat at Champions Chesham United on Saturday 16 March. Since then, Plymouth Parkway, Beaconsfield Town, Poole Town, Walton & Hersham and Tiverton Town have all fired blanks against the third meanest defence in the division – only Chesham and Gosport have conceded fewer goals, this season.

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SHUT-OUTS: Joshua Gould has kept goal for four of Totton's last five games, during which The Stags have not conceded a single goal.

With 77 goals from 37 matches played, AFC Totton are the division’s highest scorers, if measured by goals per game. The Stags average 2.08 goals per game, while the only team among the whole 22 to have scored more in total is Chesham United, who have 80 goals from 39 games played, resulting in a slightly lesser average of 2.05 goals per game.

UNDER-18s GET IN FREE on Wednesday evening. All fans aged 18 or under will be eligible for free entry upon production of ID. Anybody aged 16 or under must be accompanied by a paying adult.

SAVE MONEY by purchasing Match Tickets online in advance.

Latest Southern League Premier Division South table

AFC Totton's 2023/24 Fixtures

by Ben Rochey-Adams

Image courtesy of Tom McKenzie

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