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AFC Totton vs Dorchester Town_SLPDS-29_Wed28Feb2024.jpg

SAVE MONEY by purchasing Match Tickets online in advance:
Online ticket prices: Adults £12.00; Concessions £8.00; Under-13s £5.00

Dorchester Town_800x800px.pngIT WILL BE THIRD TIME LUCKY for AFC Totton and Dorchester Town on Wednesday night, when they will finally meet each other in the Southern League Premier Division South for the first time in the current 2023/24 season.

The Magpies were originally scheduled to visit the Snows Stadium on Saturday 18 November, but had to make way for The Stags to defeat Havant & Waterlooville in Isuzu FA Trophy Second Round Qualifying, before last month’s re-arranged match fell foul of poor weather conditions.

Tuesday evening matches pitching Chesham United against Hanwell Town, Poole Town versus Plymouth Parkway, and Tiverton Town at home to Winchester City will no doubt alter the league table to some extent between the writing of this article and the two sides taking to the Snows Stadium pitch on Wednesday. But as things stand, Dorchester will be looking for a positive result to keep themselves out of reach of Parkway, who currently occupy the highest of the relegation slots in 19th place; The Magpies are currently 17th on 34 points from 30 games, behind Hanwell Town on goal difference and ahead of Swindon Supermarine, over whom they have two games in-hand, by the same metric.

Like Totton, Dorchester have won four of their last 12 league games, but while Jimmy Ball’s men have drawn seven matches during that run, the Dorset-based club have suffered five defeats.

Dorchester Town are now under the management of former Poole Town supremo Tom Killick, whose arrival at The Avenue signalled a reallocation of roles for the former AFC Totton duo Glenn Howes and James Wood, who both remain at the club.

There are a number of familiar names among the playing staff, too. Left-back Harvey Hughes had a brief stint with AFC Totton earlier this season, starting in The Stags’ 4-0 win over Winsor Green United in the SDFA Southampton Senior Cup in mid-December.

Magpies captain Jordan Ngalo was an integral part of the AFC Totton team that progressed to the Third Round Proper of the FA Trophy in 2021/22, starring in the 5-0 thumping of National League South outfit Concord Rangers on a bitterly cold November afternoon on Canvey Island.

Fellow midfielder Lewis Waterfield made his way to Dorchester via a short stint with Lymington Town after leaving Totton, to reunite with his former manager, Glen Howes. Striker Shaquille Gwengwe did likewise, having also played under Howes at Blackfield & Langley. His 11 goals in all competitions so far this season makes him The Magpie’s top scorer.

Another striker, Luke Roberts, played for AFC Totton in his youth and was briefly part of the squad this season, before the chance to reunite with his former Poole Town boss Tom Killick proved enough to tempt him to make the move to Dorchester without having kicked a ball in anger under Jimmy Ball.

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The last meeting between these two sides came at the beginning of Totton’s aforementioned FA Trophy run in October 2021. With Glen Howes and James Wood having just made the switch from Totton to Dorchester in the week leading up to the cup-tie – which also marked the first match of Stephen Snow’s tenure as AFC Totton Chairman – goals from Hisham Kasimu and Ethan Taylor (pictured above) made their former bosses' immediate return to the Snows Stadium an unhappy one, firing The Stags to a well-earned 2-0 success in the Third Round Qualifying tie.

This season’s return league match at Dorchester’s The Avenue Stadium is scheduled for the last weekend of the regular league season on Saturday 27 April, when both sides may still be requiring valuable points to resolve matters at either end of the Southern League Premier Division South table.

AFC Totton vs Dorchester Town in the Southern League Premier Division South takes place at the Snows Stadium, Totton SO40 2RW on Wednesday 28 February 2024. Kick-off will be at 7:45pm.

Parking immediately outside the Snows Stadium is limited; FREE parking is available on the Calmore Industrial Estate, which is only a short walk from the ground. Aim your SatNavs for Brunel Road, Totton SO40 3SA - the car parks outside Graham Plumbers' Merchants and Best Autos are both available and will still be open when you return after the match.

SAVE MONEY by purchasing Match Tickets online in advance:
Online ticket prices: Adults £12.00; Concessions £8.00; Under-13s £5.00

LIVE Commentary on StagsRadio via X (Twitter).

By Ben Rochey-Adams

Image courtesy of Craig Hobbs Photography

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