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New AFC Totton manager Jimmy Ball wins first game in charge, 4-2 over Bideford AFC

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AFC TOTTON'S new manager Jimmy Ball kicked off his Stags tenure in splendid style with a determined and battling 4-2 win over Bideford AFC.

Ball follows in the footsteps of his famous footballing father Alan Ball: a member of England's 1966 World Cup side and former coach of both Southampton and Portsmouth, leading the latter to the top flight in 1986-87.

The new-look Stags wasted no time adjusting, racing to a three-goal lead. However, the Robins scored twice before Lewis Noice saved a penalty, and Shaq Gwengwe settled the nerves with the fourth goal.

Ben Jefford turns home AFC Totton's second goal (photo: Les Chase)
Ben Jefford turns home AFC Totton's second goal (photo: Les Chase)

The Stags controlled the vast majority of play while creating decent chances, and it was only a matter of time before they took the lead.

With 20 minutes played, Ethan Taylor smashed the ball home from close range after a flowing move and some good work by Jake Adams.

The Stags doubled their lead early in the second half when Ben Jefford ghosted in at the back post to tap home Brett Williams' pass from two yards out.

AFC Totton's new manager Jimmy Ball (photo: Les Chase)
AFC Totton's new manager Jimmy Ball (photo: Les Chase)

The Robins began to fashion some chances, but keeper Noice repelled any efforts before top-scorer Hisham Kasimu appeared to have settled the match with a well-taken third.

However, Craig Duff punished the complacency by blasting two goals in four minutes, the first a powerful strike and the second a scrambled effort from close range.

With the lead hanging on by a thread, Harry Medway conceded a penalty with just 10 minutes left to play. However, Noice produced a strong save to deny Duff his third goal.

Then, with minutes left, second-half substitute Gwengwe provided some breathing room to make it 4-2 for a winning start for the new manager.

AFC Totton: L. Noice, A. Tomasso, B. Jefford, F. Read, R. Flooks, H. Medway, S. Griffin, B. Williams, H. Kasimu, E. Taylor, J Adams. Subs: I. Kaba, C. Baughan, P. Kpohomouh, N. Hurst, S. Gwengwe.

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