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Tactical change sees AFC Totton seal late win over Melksham Town

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Southern League Division One South

AFC Totton FC 1
Melksham Town FC 0

AFC TOTTON struck with 15 minutes remaining to see off a determined Melksham Town and return to winning ways to reaffirm their grip on second place.

The victory came after a tactical switch from manager Dan Sackman, who gave Jordan Ngalo license to roam forward, ultimately seeing the midfielder score a 75th-minute winner.

The match kicked off with an early stoppage after Melksham captain Greg Tindle went down following a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge. Former AFC Bournemouth defender then attempted an audacious chip from the halfway line that had the keeper worried.

AFC Totton's Jordan Ngalo (photo: Craig Hobbs Photography)
AFC Totton's Jordan Ngalo (photo: Craig Hobbs Photography)

Matthew Hall kept straying from his goal-line, which the Stags looked to exploit. This time, Ethan Taylor ran on to a ball with the stopper retreating. The midfielder squared the ball to the onrushing Hisham Kasimu, but the forward could not keep his shot down.

Stags’ keeper Amad Skrzyniarz easily scooped up Melksham’s first attack midway through the half, with the visitors more than a little fortunate to reach the break still level.

Sam Griffin ran rings around Melksham, and he came within inches of doubling the advantage around the hour mark after chesting the ball down, weaving in and out before Hall produced a brilliant save to tip the ball over the bar.

Manager Sackman then brought on Adam Tomasso, who recently returned to the club from Portchester, releasing Ngalo from defensive duties in a bid to find the opening goal.

It was beginning to look like one of those days when the ball won’t go in when the ball became trapped under Ethan Taylor when he was through one-on-one.

However, Totton finally got their reward with 15 minutes left when the Melksham defence failed to close down a marauding Ngalo, who was allowed to advance before hitting a perfect strike in off the post, beyond the reach of Hall.

With three minutes left, Melksham fashioned their first proper chance of the half with a powerful drive from Albert Hopkins. Fortunately for the Stags, Skrzyniarz did well to get his whole body behind the ball and save.

When the final whistle came, Totton secured all three points with a fully-deserve win, with Melksham somewhat flattered by the narrow scoreline.

AFC Totton: A. Skrzyniarz, C. Baughan, B. Jefford, F. Read, A. Olumuyiwa, S. Zubar, L. Waterfield, J. Ngalo, H. Kasimu, E. Taylor, S. Griffin. Subs: A. Tomasso, B. Williams, J. Ragguette, H. Medway, J. Hoey.

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