Southampton B Win Hard Fought Encounter At AFC Totton
Wednesday, 3rd Aug 2022 09:56
If the Saints B team thought they would have an easy ride at the Snows Stadium on Tuesday evening they would be wrong, despite taking an early lead in the encounter.
A decent crowd turned up at Totton's Snows Stadium on Tuesday evening to see the home side take on AFC Totton, it could be called a local derby in the fact that the B team will play most of their games at the ground in the forthcoming season so where playing on their home pitch.
Those hoping for the sight of a few stars in the Saints side would be disappointed, with many of the youngster's on the fringes of the first team who might have played, such as Thierry Small & Kegs Chauke already gone out on loan, it was left to Jake Vokins and Kayne Ramsay to provide sight of those who have first team experience, even Diamond Edwards who featured for the first team in recent friendlies remained an unused sub.
The game was won in the 5th minute when Rylee Wright fired home after Tommy Lee-Higgs took advantage of a defensive slip up to feed Wright and the visitors to their home ground were a goal up.
It all sounded like an episode of the Dukes Of Hazzard at this point.
Saints dominated the game in the early stages and had several chances to increase their lead, but didn't and Totton started to find their feet in a game that for the first 15 minutes or so they looked like they might lose heavily.
By the half hour mark it was a pretty even contest for the rest of the half.
In the second half it was Totton who controlled the game as the game hotted up, I can't say the home crowd were roared on, most of Totton's supporters are also Saints fans and there was an atmosphere of them not quite knowing who they wanted to win given there was nothing on the game.
The second half was dominated by Totton, those who thought that the full time professionals of Saints might overwhelm the part timers of Totton would be proved wrong.
The game was played with a spirit and passion not seen in any of Saints first team friendlies with both sides wanting to win, sadly that resulted in a crunching tackle in the 55th minute that saw Totton's Jireh Oyebamiji go for a 50/50 ball with Ryan Finnegan, it looked bad and the Saints man stayed down and after 5 minutes of treatment was stretchered off, thankfully it was reported that it appeared the Saints man had not broken anything but had suffered a deep cut, he later watched the final minutes from the visitors bench.
Totton continued to look like the most likely side to score in the second half and Saints rarely threatened and although the Stags nearly got the equaliser their play deserved in the closing stages, the game ended as it had been since the 5th minute a 1-0 win for Saints.
From a Southampton perspective the stand out player in the first half was scorer Rylee Wright, he looked diminutive, but had a touch of skill about him and deserved his goal and he worked hard.
He like Saints struggled to assert himself in an attacking way in the 2nd half due to Totton's 100% committed display, but for me he is a name to watch out for.
Southampton B play their first home game at the Snows Stadium next week when on Friday August 12th they entertain West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League 2 with a 7pm kick off. Two weeks later Norwich City are the visitors.
Saints are endeavouring to make access to watching the B team games far easier this season after a decade or more of most being played behind closed doors and the Snows Stadium will host most of these matches with the odd game at St Mary's.
Afc Totton start their season on 20th August when Saints are away at Leicester City when they are at home to Bishop's Cleeve and then follow it up on Bank Holiday Monday August 28th with a 3pm kick off with local rivals Sholing, last years fixture attracted a crowd of around 1,000 and this years could well do the same.
Photo: Action Images
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