SSML Division Two: Clean Slate 3 Totternhoe 4
Totternhoe just scraped past lowly Clean Slate in dramatic style on Saturday, eventually winning 4-3.
With the home side picking up only four points all season, then on paper the game looked to be a straight forward victory for the high-flying Totts, but that was far from the case.
Clean Slate started the game on the front foot and took a surprise lead on 20 minutes when Frank Baidoo cut in and beating Dan Sanders low down at his near post.
They doubled their lead 10 minutes before the break when a hopefull cross was headed into his own net by Wayne O’Connor.
After a half time dressing down and a double substitution at the break, the Totts looked much improved in the second period and pulled a goal back immediately from the restart when Adam Potter’s cross was met by Joel McCormick who showed great awareness to pick out Dan Lambeth for the striker to net from close range.
The visitors were now in complete control, but were wasteful in front of goal and Clean Slate had a third with 20 minutes remaining when the impressive Emmanuel Dahie thundered home an unstoppable volley from fully 30 yards.
However, Clean Slate now sat back to defend their lead and earn a rare victory which allowed the visitors to chase the game, bombarding the home box with balls as chances came and went.
With the game about to enter injury time, Chris Doggett headed home what seemed a consolation goal from a long Potter throw.
The game entered five minutes of stoppage time as in the 94th minute, O’Connor made up for his early own goal by heading home the equaliser from McCormick’s free kick.
There were still 30 seconds remaining for the Totts to grab a dramatic winner, which they did when Olly Hibbit’s delightful cross which was met by Dan Lambeth who finished well resulting in unbelievable scenes from the visiting players, bench, and supporters.
Speaking afterwards, manager Chris Robson said: “I think I went through every emotion possible, as I was angry, frustrated, ecstatic, relieved.
“We spoke before about how these sort of games where you are expected to win can become very tough if we do not have the right attitude.
“The first half we had a terrible attitude which resulted in an embarrassing performance and we found ourselves deservedly 2-0 down.
“Some strong words were said at half time and a couple of substitutions and a change of plan being more direct as I felt their weak point was their defending balls in the box, resulted in a much better second half performance which we dominated and created enough chances to score double figures.
“However, frustration got the better of us in front of goal and we were very wasteful.
“Out of nowhere they have gone 3-1 up and I was then thinking this is not our day and no disrespect to our opponents but dropping points in these games when you want to challenge for honours is a disaster.
“Thankfully we kept plugging away and to come back and win the game in the manner we did there is no better feeling when you get out of jail like that.
“Credit to Clean Slate though as they had a couple of players who caused us issues and I am sure they will get a few results this season to climb up the table.
“Hopefully our first half performance was a wake-up call and makes the players realise you have to earn the right to win every game we play.”
Totternhoe, in sixth, are at home to Shefford Town & Campton in the Beds Senior Trophy this weekend.
Totts: Sanders, Potter, O’Connor, Weymouth, Horgan (Murchie), Folland, McCormick, Clarke (Doggett), Murray (Hibbitt), Lambeth, Ellis.
Subs not used: Loasby, Rimmer.