U18’s Match Report
U18s take the points away to Gosport
Thankfully there was no sign of the wet weather, which disrupted the 1st team this weekend, as the Young Stags took on Gosport Youth in the league under some bright spring sunshine down in Gosport.
These teams have met twice already this year, in the league and floodlit cup and with honours even it was anyone’s guess which way this would go against the physical opponents.
Gosport have been doing well recently, moving up the table, whilst the Totton boys have struggled to get the ball down and play the way we know they can, losing the last couple of games. Today’s pitch didn’t help anyone as it was short and narrow, much too small for lads of this age, but at least that meant fewer big balls being launched forward.
Slight change in formation today with a few boys out with illness or injury leading Jamie and Sam putting out a 4,4,2. Totton looked the more energetic side from the off and pressed quickly, moving the ball around well and using both wings.
Couple of early opportunities presented themselves, firstly for Harry Prisk, up front with James Bennett and being fed by Tom Lycett got around the Gosport defence, but he couldn’t get a shot away in time. Shortly afterwards, Harry then won a corner and Mitchell Wood stepped up and placed an excellent ball right in the danger area for Alex Haynes to head home. 1-0 to the young Stags, with only about 10 minutes on the clock.
Gosport were dangerous on the counter and although George Ockwell, Tom Rose and Tom Lycett, along with Mitchell, commanded the back line well they also had Konrad in goal supporting his defence by regularly coming out of his area to clear the ball back up the pitch.
Tom Lycett and Mitchell were doing a good job at getting forward, opening up the wings and giving the midfield team of Calum Hellyar, Alex Haynes, Morgan Callaway and Charlie Hennen more options to attack.
As stated, it was a physical match from start to finish with some clumsy, late challenges from the Gosport side resulting in a lack of free flowing play. The Totton team had to work hard to maintain their lead with a few Gosport shots hitting the bar, going over or being cleared off the line, however, it was Totton who went into the break in the lead.
No changes at half time and Totton continued to look the better side, making more of the opportunities and frustrating their opponents, which saw a few conversations and cards from the referee for the home side.
Early pressure saw a shot from Harry palmed away straight into the path of Calum, who’s shot went over. Then a free kick against Gosport following a handball was taken by Mitchell, who once again put in right on the spot and although the shot was initially saved, Alex Haynes was one of a few Totton players looking for the rebound and poked home his second of the afternoon to make it 2-0.
Game stopped and started for the remainder of the 2nd half with foul after foul from Gosport disrupting play, but the Totton boys, on the whole, maintained their discipline and rose above the challenges using the resulting free kicks to add more pressure on Gosport.
With 20 minutes to go, Calum and Harry, who had both made an appearance for the 1st team this week, made way for Brad Taylor and Chris Hunt and they injected some additional energy. James dropped into midfield and, along with his team mates, continued to work hard to win or retain possession and get the ball forward to Brad and Chris, limiting Gosport to a handful of chances.
Final goal came after Brad worked hard to chase down a ball forward, winning a corner for the team. Mitchell played it short to Charlie, who turned and shot into the bottom right corner of the net.
3-0 and that’s how it ended. Difficult, physical team to play against, but today the Totton boys kept their calm, played some good team football and the results were forthcoming.
Starting Line Up: (Keeper) Konard Szymaniak, (Defence) Tom Lycett, George Ockwell, Tom Rose, Mitchell Wood, (Midfield) Alex Haynes, Calum Hellyar, Morgan Callaway, Charlie Hennen, (Strikers) Harry Prisk, James Bennett.
Subs: Nathan Jones, Bradley Taylor, Chris Hunt