Interviewing football legend, Matt le Tissier

12688111_10208535046795972_5932529789954733731_nI’m feeling like a very lucky girl at the moment. Third year at university and on course to get a very good honours degree in Sports Journalism, five different jobs, making a wealth of contacts and a family who couldn’t be prouder of me. But all of this was surpassed on Tuesday morning. I interviewed my childhood hero!

It seemed to be a stroke of luck more than anything else – working as a Press Officer for my local football club, AFC Totton, the interview just fell into my lap, and I somehow kept my cool… Until I got back in the car!

So here is the interview with Southampton legend, Matt le Tissier (all in one take, might I add!), talking about his academy’s new partnership with the football club. We’ve nearly reached 500 views in just 2 days, let’s keep it going!

 

 

Stags bounce back in the New Forest derby

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AFC Totton started with the same line up as the defeat to Cinderford Town last Saturday.

AFC Totton’s comprehensive 4-0 win over local rivals, Bashley Town, have ensured the Stags’ rise up the table after three wins in the last four games despite an uncharacteristically slow performance.

It was a largely uneventful first half, with Totton having most of the possession but nothing to show for their efforts. However, Nathaniel Sherborne was to be a threat from the outset after the goalkeeper had to produce a one-handed save in just the second minute.

Sherborne’s determination paid off on 24 minutes, after his solo run from the half way line brought him to the penalty box and he effortlessly dispatched the ball past Bashley goalkeeper, Rob Gillett to give the stags the lead.

Both teams appeared lacklustre and low in confidence after defeats in their last matches, and it took 36 minutes for Bashley to trouble Totton’s resident goalkeeper, Steve Mowthorpe, who made a routine catch to maintain his clean sheet.

Chances were few and far between after half time until a lay off from Sherborne found Craig Feeney on the penalty spot, and he wpid-img_20150929_235742.jpg the ball into the bottom right corner to double their lead.

It was definitely not Totton’s best performance of the season, but were still managing to create goal-scoring opportunities, and on 71 minutes, Sherborne blasted the ball home from close range, leaving Gillett with no chance to prevent his second of the game.

Misplaced passes from both teams left the game feeling a little disjointed, especially in the second half, but substitutes Jake Rawkins, James Roden and Matthew Brewer, breathed new air into the Totton side.

Brewer, who made his debut on Saturday in the 3-0 defeat to Cinderford, nearly made it four goals to the home side, but for a sliding tackle.

But with five minutes remaining, Rawkins’ curling cross into the box found Mike Gosney who headed the ball into the top right corner and just out of reach of Gillett once more.

Totton will be grateful to leave the Testwood Stadium with the three points in the bag after a good result but an unconvincing performance. The win lifts them one place in the table to 17th, and Bashley rock bottom and in serious trouble already.

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Mike Gosney re-signed for Totton at the start of this season. Pictured with manager, Steve Hillock.

The Stags play Tiverton Town in the FA Trophy on Saturday, but Gosney believes that the squad will have to revise their strategy for the weekend: “We were okay in patches today but will have to improve a lot against Tiverton.

“Tiverton will be a big test for us, and we will have to up the tempo a lot more, but it would be great if we could get a result and go on a cup run.”

AFC Totton team: Mowthorpe, Hibberd, Diaper, Williams, Dempsey**, Simpson, Burgess*, Allen, Feeney***, Sherborne, Gosney.

Subs: Rawkins*, Roden**, Brewer***

Five goal thrashing from AFC Totton moves them out of relegation danger

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The Stags applauding the travelling away fans after the match

AFC Totton scored five goals on Saturday against a struggling Bridgwater side to win their first away game of the season, and take their first step away from relegation.

The Stags have conceded in the first 20 minutes in each of their last five games, but they had a dream start, when injury-free Mike Gosney was brought down in the box with just 13 seconds on the clock. Gosney got up to dispatch the penalty comfortably to give Totton an early lead.

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Gosney winning one of Totton’s countless corners against Bridgwater

The away side came close to doubling their lead in the first ten minutes, with Gosney’s strike hitting the woodwork and the rebound was headed just wide by Nathaniel Sherborne. But it wasn’t until the 23rd minute that Totton found the back of the net again.

A Bridgwater corner was clearly efficiently by the Stags’ defenders and created a strong counter-attack to find Craig Feeney running down the left wing. His solo effort flew straight past the Bridgwater goalkeeper and into the top right hand corner to boost the team’s confidence further.

The Hampshire side dominated the first 45 minutes, but the scoring wasn’t quite finished before the half time whistle was blown. Feeney showed his strength on the corner of the penalty box to go one-on-one with the goalkeeper again slid it past for a three goal advantage.

Totton goalkeeper, Steve Mowthorpe, didn’t have too much to do in the first half, but produced a brilliant one-handed save in the second half to keep a clean sheet for the first time this season.

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One of Totton’s headed chances going just wide.

Totton’s confidence was growing at the thought of winning back-to-back games in the league. After a string of corners, Jake Burgess found Jack Simpson’s head to guide the ball across the line, giving Simpson two goals in two games.

Bridgwater did have their opportunities despite being four goals down, especially when Mowthorpe brought down Bridgwater’s number 9 in the box, but Josh Wadham couldn’t convert, curling the shot round the post, adding to their dismal day.

Another corner resulted in the Stags’ final goal of the game. This time, Sherborne took the plaudits, heading the ball past the inconsolable goalkeeper and giving Totton their biggest away win since February 2011; once again, Sherborne scored in that game as well.

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Manager Steve Hollick believes his team had a slow start to the season but are now proving their worth

Totton manager, Steve Hollick, was overly pleased with the result, but is staying grounded: “It takes the pressure off a bit, but it could have been double figures. We missed some good chances on top of those we scored.

“We’re not getting carried away, but it was a good performance from us and there’s still plenty more to come from the boys.”

Cinderford Town are Totton’s next league opponents, and will provide a sterner test away from home once more, but the signs are showing that the Stags are on the rise, climbing to 17th in the table.

O’Flaherty: “AFC Bournemouth can withstand the Premier League”

AFC Bournemouth’s Development Goalkeeper, Patrick O’Flaherty, believes that his squad have not been hyped up enough for their first ever season in the top flight.

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Photography by Naomi Baker

O’Flaherty, who has been at the club for the last 18 months, sees the potential of the squad on a daily basis in training, and says that their manager is the reason why people should be looking forward to Bournemouth’s style of play.

“The way that Eddie Howe has them playing, the team should be hyped up (by the media). People should be excited to watch them play,” he explains, and is adamant that his side can cope with the pressures of their new-found exposure.

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With assistant goalkeeping Coach, Martin Pidgley

“We play a different style of football to the other teams and so I do think we can withstand the Premier League. They have confidence in how they want to play the game, but it will be a tough season.”

And he isn’t wrong. After an unlucky 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Aston Villa last weekend, Bournemouth found themselves on the wrong end of an offside decision last night for the only Liverpool goal, leaving them pointless after two games.

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The 6ft 5′ Goalkeeper doesn’t get beaten easily – Photography by Naomi Baker

Despite the first team struggling to adapt to the fast-paced nature of the highest league in England, O’Flaherty believes the development squad can win their division this season: “Being in a third category league, it’s not going to be easy and the others teams are going to push us.

“Exeter are probably our toughest opponents this season. They have players with first team experience and showed us how difficult this league will be, but we should be winning it. That’s the aim.”

To hear more of Patrick’s interview on the Bournemouth squad and his contract extension, click the link below: