Manor Farm’s unbeaten run was cut short on Saturday afternoon when they fell to a 4-1 defeat at the Snows Stadium, writes Jack Davies.
It had been a great week for the Portwaymen who had won their previous two league fixtures against Willand Rovers and Tavistock, securing back-to-back victories for only the second time this season. With the club rising four places in the table, and midfielder Frankie Artus returning from suspension, spirits were high in the Manor Farm camp as they made the trip south to AFC Totton.
It was Farm’s Josh Ford who had the match’s first chance; a ball into the Stag’s penalty area was flicked goal wards from the number four – but failed to trouble new goalkeeper Searle.
Scott Rendell managed to beat Mason Winter to a long ball, but the ever-impressive Ben John reacted smartly to prevent Totton from scoring.
The deadlock was broken on 21 minutes when on-loan Havant & Waterlooville forward Thomas Wright beat the offside trap to finish a well worked move.
The lead lasted just a mere 4 minutes as Manor Farm bounced back to equalise through Marcus Day. A long ball from Steve Kingdon was misjudged by the Stag’s backline, and Luco Ponsillo played the ball into the feet of Day who skipped past three before slamming the ball into the net.
It looked as if Ford’s afternoon was to be cut short when he sustained a nasty injury to his hand on 28 minutes, but thanks to treatment from both dugouts, Ford re-entered the play and the football was able to resume.
Totton fashioned a few good chances as they looked to retake the lead before the break. Rendell saw a goal bound effort brilliant tipped wide by John before Davis flashed a direct free kick just off target.
The proverbial phrase ‘a game of two halves’ could’ve certainly been applied to Manor Farm’s afternoon against high-flying AFC Totton. To a man, it was an excellent first 45 minutes from Lashenko’s side – but unfortunately for the men in red that was to be undone by three second half goals.
The first of these came from the penalty spot on the hour. Jayden Neilsen adjudged to have fouled Tommy Wright and Scott Rendell buried the spot kick. Farm were fighting hard for a route back in before The Stags got a third to kill the contest. Rendell involved again before Reid found Taylor who rounded John and tapped home. The fourth came in the extended period of injury time and left the score line looking far harsher than the contest suggested. Wright ended his fine personal afternoon by getting his second.
STAR MAN – Steve Kingdon