AFC TOTTON 2 CLEVEDON TOWN 3
(RED INSURE SOUTHERN LEAGUE CUP SEMI FINAL 06/03/12)
Clevedon Town travelled to Hampshire to take on Southern League Premier Division high-flyers AFC Totton and put in a terrific all-round team performance to win 3-2 and storm through to the Southern League Cup Final against Banbury United.
From the kick off Totton went close when Stefan Brown side-footed a cross from Nathan Jack wide of the post. Ashley Kington replied in similar vein for Clevedon before The Seasiders took the lead in the eighth minute. Charlie Rich played the ball into Chas Hemmings on the edge of the box and the big striker side-stepped his marker and toe-poked the ball home. On 20 minutes Hemmings tried his luck again with a snapshot that went straight to Totton keeper James Bittner. Ten minutes later Michael Gosney lashed a dangerous shot across the face of the visitors’ goal, but Clevedon responded with a long-range free kick from Kington that was too close to Bittner. A long throw from the home side caused problems for Clevedon but Jack’s shot flew across goal without finding the target. On 38 minutes Clevedon went 2-0 ahead when the ball was played through to pacy winger Reeko Best
who ran on to slot the ball past Bittner into the bottom corner of the net to send the travelling fans delirious. And it nearly got even better for The Seasiders on the stroke of half time when a deep cross from Jordan Walker was flicked on by Hemmings as he stole in behind the defence, but didn’t get enough on the ball and Bittner was able to gather it.
Clevedon continued to dominate at the start of the second half and a poor clearance from a back pass by Bittner went straight to Best, but Reeko slipped at the vital moment and the chance was gone. The Clevedon defence was working hard too and a great tackle from Sam Teale
robbed Jack as he looked to be through on goal. Another shot from distance by Kington went wide before both sides threw on some fresh legs for the last twenty minutes. Totton substitute Lewis Stockford made a strong run and hit a shot that Jason Mellor got down well to smother. As the home side pushed forward to reduce the deficit Clevedon almost caught them on the break when Kington found Best unmarked in the box, but Reeko couldn’t get the ball out from under his feet and it fell to Lloyd Mills
whose shot was blocked as Totton cleared the danger. Totton then had a shot cleared off the line before The Seasiders made it 3-0 when Chas Hemmings burst through on goal shrugged off his marker and expertly placed his shot wide of Bittner to confirm Clevedon’s dominance. Just as it seemed that the tie was secure Totton won a penalty in the 84th minute for a foul in the box which was confidently converted by Gosney. Then in time added on a rare loss of concentration by the visitors let substitute Nathaniel Sherborne gallop away down the left wing and hit a beautiful chip over Mellor to make it 2-3 – a scoreline which flattered the hosts. But there were no further incidents as Clevedon held on for a well deserved win that takes them into the Southern League Cup Final against Banbury United, which will be played over two legs – at home on Tuesday 27th March and away on Tuesday 17th April.
Team: 1. Mellor, 2. Walker, 3. Rich, 4. Thorne, 5. Kingdon, 6.Teale, 7. Fisher (12. Mills 68m), 8. Kington (c), 9. McKenna, 10. Hemmings, 11. Best (17. Brown 75m). Subs not used: 14. Flurry & 15. Edwards-Samuels
Scorers: Hemmings 2 (8m & 79m) & Best (38m)
FT 2-3 (HT: 0-2)