Sunday, 30 October 2011

Totton Up the Prize Money

This is a smart new stadium with Step 2 ambitions!

Buss arrives on time

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Saturday 29 October 2011 at The Testwood Stadium
AFC Totton 3 Hanworth Villa 2
FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round.  Totton are 2nd in the Southern Premier league (step 3) and Hanworth Villa are from the Combined Counties league (step 5) and this is their first season in the competition.
Ground #433 on the lifetime list.  See below for why I am here!
This match in one sentence
Totton controlled the second half and the game was more straightforward for them than the scoreline suggests, but both clubs have set progression records for the FA Cup.
So what?
Totton reach the First Round Proper for the first time in the club’s history (it is their 125th anniversary season) and have been rewarded with a home tie against Bradford Park Avenue of the step 3 Northern Premier League.
Something random
If you follow my Twitter feed, you'll know that I am here because of a result in the Namibian Premier League last night.  If Orlando Pirates had beaten SK Windhoek I would have been at Stourbridge v Rushall Olympic, and a draw would have taken me to Witton Albion v Barrow.  As it turned out, a 52nd minute penalty by Martin Kambungu brought me here as SK Windhoek won 1-0.  It’s quasi-random.  Interestingly (and by complete coincidence of course), all three ties had five goals!
The drama unfolds
Totton had a couple of half-chances in the early minutes before the game settled into an even and largey uneventful contest.  It had kicked off five minutes early to the annoyance of those still queueing outside, but frankly they did not miss much in the first 20 minutes.  It was 25 minutes before Hanworth’s Lawrence Shennan rode two tackles and sent their first real chance narrowly wide.

With Aidan Lewis solid in midfield and Jonathan Davies threatening on the left (and occasionally the other) flank, Totton showed more confidence and patience in their build up, but the Hanworth defence and cover were good enough to deal with whatever was thrown at them.

Levi King glanced a header wide for Hanworth, their keeper Terry Buss dealt with a high speculative hooked ball dropping almost vertically into the box, and then Shaun Preddie shot wide.  The Hanworth fans’ singing and chanting, with the odd obscenity thrown in, was greeted almost with an embarrassed silence from the home fans.  However, all was fairly pedestrian until the last five mad minutes of the half.  Here are a couple of first half-clips – Hanworth are in purple and attacking towards the camera.

First, Totton took the lead after 41 minutes as Davies turned up on the right near the byline and flashed a stepover or two before shooting in from a narrow angle.  1-0

Almost immediately, there were questions asked within the home defence as Hanworth equalised within a minute.  Keeper Grant Porter got a hand to King’s shot but it crept in.  Sheehan gets the credit for the assist.  1-1

Totton hit back in turn just before the interval.  Nathan Campbell got a crucial goal from a Davies cross to give his side the lead once more.  2-1 at half-time

Totton largely controlled the second half but there were few chances in the first 20 minutes or so.  Davies continued to look the biggest threat and after 77 minutes Buss was again needed to make a good save.  The fact that the score stayed at 2-1 for so long was more to do with Totton wastefulness than Hanworth threat.  Here are a couple of second-half clips.

The third goal did not come until 81 minutes – I have caught the finish on video but too late and in the wrong position to resolve the offside question.  The visiting supporters were enraged.  The scorer is Nathaniel Sherborne.  3-1

Hanworth nearly pulled one back soon after from a freekick.  Their fans stayed till the end, and there were two wild and tired shots before Duane Antonio smacked one in to make the final few seconds a bit more interesting.  3-2

Villa acknowledge their 250 travelling fans
As Totton ran the ball into the corners to run down the clock, a wild lunge by Ricky Farnden earned him a second yellow card and the home team safely sealed their passage into the First Round Proper.  Let it be recorded that this was a very creditable performance from the step 5 visitors who can leave with heads held high.  Final Score 3-2
Jonathan Davies (Totton)
A snippet from the programme
I don't think the boys in blue are fully committed to their pre-match huddle
A bit of re-wording required, I think.  From the ground rules: “Anyone using racist or offensive language or behaviour will be ejected from the ground and reported to the appropriate authorities.  This may include the police.”
What I learned today
Here are the record-breaking FA Cup runs for both teams:

Extra Preliminary Round:
Hanworth Villa 4 Shrivenham 2 (Shrivenham are from the step 5 Hellenic League)

Preliminary Round:
Bedfont Sports 1 Hanworth Villa 1
Hanworth Villa 2 Bedfont Sports 0 (Bedfont Sports are in the step 6 Comb Cos Div One)

First Qualifying Round:
AFC Totton 2 Fleet Town 0  (Fleet are from step 4, Southern D1 Central)
Hanworth Villa 1 Wembley 0 (Wembley are also from the Comb Cos Premier)

Second Qualifying Round:
AFC Totton 2 Clevedon Town 1 (Clevedon from step 4, Southern D1 S&W)
Hanworth Villa 1 Aveley 0 (Aveley are from the step 3 Isthmian Premier)

Third Qualifying Round:
AFC Totton 4 Weymouth 2 (Weymouth are also from the Southern Premier)
Slough Town 2 Hanworth Villa 2
Hanworth Villa 3 Slough Town 1 (Slough are from step 4, Southern D1 Central)

Totton therefore take over the “Wembley to Wembley” trail for this season.  Their tie against Bradford PA will be their fifth home tie in a row.  All other things being deemed equal, the chances of that happening were 1 divided by (2 to the power 5), or to put it another way, half of a half of a half of a half of a half.  This is one in thirty-two.  I know how much readers love these little arithmetical interjections.  And yet I still keep interjecting them.
What Next?
Probably a Tuesday night hop – watch the @GrahamYapp Twitter feed for any announcement.

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