AFC Totton v Merthyr Town
1 November 2023
THE SNOWS STADIUM, SALISBURY RD, TOTTON, SOUTHAMPTON SO40 2RW
Poor weather in the southern part of the UK had caused the postponement of the original game on the weekend, as heavy rain also greeted the teams at the start of the second attempt at playing this FA Trophy First Round Proper game.
Team selection was restricted by availability with Paul Michael only able to name three substitutes. Both sides started cautiously in the wet conditions and it was the Martyrs who opened the scoring after just 15 minutes. Lewys Twamley created the opening, crossing the ball into the penalty area for Gethyn Hill to win the header and flick onto leading scorer Ricardo Rees, who gave Lewis Noice no chance with a clinical finish.
Jaimie Cogman was forced to make a number of smart saves as Totton immediately started to search for an equaliser, but Gethyn Hill almost extended the Martyrs lead as he attempted to chip the ball over Noice who scrambled to save at full stretch. The slender lead was still intact at the half time interval.
After exerting considerable pressure from the start of the second period that included a fine Jaimie Cogman save and a last ditch block by Joe Keeping, Totton finally found a way through the Martyrs rearguard. Ethan Taylor created enough space to cross to the unmarked Scott Rendell to score the equaliser from close range in the 74th minute.
Totton continued to put the Martyrs defence constantly on the back foot as they looked to find the all important winning goal, which eventually arrived in the first minute of added time. Taylor’s deep free-kick found Luke Hallett arriving at the back-post, as he finally dispatched his header past the Martyrs Man of the Match, Jaimie Cogman.