Laverstock & Ford 2-1 Totton & Eling
T&E welcomed Dan Gain back into the side after a lengthy absence, as well as Joe Selby returning to central midfield, Ben Hillman also called up young George Smith who hit a hat-trick for the reserves in midweek.
In what seemed like no time at all, Totton and Eling had the lead in this game. Rian Fear’s long freekick into the box, fell to Danny Burns who put in a decent cross to find James MATTHEWS at the back post, who’s header was directed well and beat Roberts’ outstretched arm. It was also Matthews who nearly had another opportunity to extend The Millers lead after Tyler Beech’s long throw in had caused problems in the area, but Laverstock were quick to snuff out the opportunity and clear their lines.
The Bulldogs were pretty underwhelming in the opening quarter of an hour, with just two long range efforts to note, one going over the bar and the other being saved well by Eyres. That was until the 18th minute, when a moment of magic bought the hosts level. As the ball bounced in the air, Archie LOVEGROVE managed to take the ball under control, with his back to goal and fire home what truly was a spectacular over head kick from around 16 yards out. It will surely be the best goal of the lads footballing career and there was not a thing Totton could do about it.
Laverstock piled on the pressure as the half wore on, Sykes heading over from a Rawkins corner before Jones got in behind the defence and forced Eyres into a good save with his legs at the near post. Jake Rawkins also had a freekick that flew just wide of the post from around 25 yards out. Archie Lovegrove then also tried his luck from a freekick and while the original effort hit the wall, the rebound was driven at goal and yet again held well by Eyres in the slippery conditions, in the last real action of note in the opening 45 minutes. HT 1-1
With Rawkins back on freekick duties in the second half, it nearly paid dividends for the hosts as another left footed strike clattered the bar this time, in a big warning for T&E in the opening 5 minutes of the second half. Eyres made another good left handed save from another Laverstock set piece moments later.
However, the hosts would eventually take the lead, being awarded a penalty in the 58th minute after the referee had spotted an infringement by Rian Fear on a green shirt in the area. Up stepped Jake RAWKINS who made no mistake, coolly slotting his penalty out of the reach of Totton’s keeper and into the side netting in the right hand side of the goal.
By now the hosts were in control of the game and kept creating chances to threaten to further extend their lead. Lovegrove heading wide from a Rawkins cross and Dan Gain making a good defensive challenge to break down another dangerous move kept Laverstock at bay. While at the other end of the pitch, Totton still offered a threat on the counter attack and showed as such when MacAuley got away in the left channel, but unfortunately his cross was wayward. Also Matthews made a good, driving run down the right hand side in the final few minutes as he attempted to find Danny Burns on the far side of the area, but the ball was cleared just in the nick of time before Burns could apply the finishing touch. FT 2-1
Another valiant display from The Millers ends up in another defeat, however, they should be proud of their performance against a side that continued their 100% perfect start to the season with this victory. To come away disappointed at being empty handed from this type of game, just shows that Totton will surely end up hurting a team very, very soon. However those plans may be on ice as our next opponents are Bemerton Heath (Wednesday 7th October – 7.45pm) although last time out against Bemerton in the league, the game ended 2-2.
Millers Lineup: Eyres, R. Fear*, Beech, Selby**, L. Fear, Da. Gain, Matthews, Hartmann***, MacAuley, Smith, Burns.
Subs: Nagle-Kelly*, Dy. Gain, Clarke, Sanger**, Lycett***.
Adi Rose at The Dell.