FA Cup fourth-round qualifying football: AFC Totton lose to Ramsgate FC
FA Cup fourth-round qualifying
AFC Totton FC 0
Ramsgate FC 1
AFC Totton’s hopes of reaching the first round proper of the FA Cup vanished at the final hurdle as a well-drilled Ramsgate side edged a 1-0 victory at the Snows.
The Rams and Stags locked horns in an attritional battle, with the hosts’ late domination coming too late to alter the tie, leaving Joe Taylor’s goal to settle the contest.
In the first half, with both sides offering very little in an attacking sense, the story of the early exchanges was the Stags’ perfectly executed high line, which caught multiple players offside when pushing up.
Ethan Taylor was at his best, almost punishing Tom Hadler for straying from his line with an effort from the halfway line before driving into the box and going down under a challenge, but the referee took little pity.
There were two tremendous chances inside the box for Totton, but heroic defending from Ramsgate kept them at bay.
However, the away team won a penalty in the 28th minute after Luke Hallett brought down number 10 Jordan Green.
But last season’s Isthmian Premier Division golden boot winner, Joe Taylor, failed to capitalise, hitting a tame effort that Lewis Noice saved down to his right.
Ramsgate controlled the rest of the half, but AFC Totton grew into the game in the second period. However, a collective lapse in concentration allowed Hadler’s long kick to bounce into the path of Taylor, who made amends for his penalty miss by lobbing the ball over Noice.
The Stags probed in the final moments, but a combination of dogged midfield battling by Abdul Anidugbe and top-class defending by Joseph Ellul made it challenging to find the decisive equalising goal.
Matty Burrows had a free header, which glanced wide, and Scott Rendell struck the crossbar in added time, but Ramsgate managed to grind out the victory and progress into the first round.
The Stags are away from home in their next two league games. First, they face Sholing tonight (Tuesday) at 7.45pm before facing Bracknell Town on Saturday at 3pm.
AFC Totton: L. Noice, J. Ragguette, L. Hallett, J. Oastler, A. Tomasso, S. Rendell, E. Taylor, B. Winterburn, S. Magri, A. Stanley, L. Maloney. Subs: G. Grello, B. Read, M. Carter, C. Kennedy, M. Burrows, J. Chiedozie, O. Pelham.