MATCH REACTION: KEVIN HILL ON TOTTON DEFEAT

Exmouth Town manager Kevin Hill reflected on his side’s 3-1 defeat at the Circle of Care Community Stadium against AFC Totton, in the Southern League Division One South.

A corner and a clever free kick routine saw goals from Charlie Kennedy and Luke Hallett put the visitors two to the good heading into the break.

Totton went down to ten men as Jordan Ragguette was dismissed for a foul on Ben Steer, but it wasn’t to be for Town as Scott Rendell capitalised on a defensive mistake, and squared the ball to Ethan Taylor who made it 3-0. 

It became 10 vs 10 as Tom Gardner was sent off for a identical offence to Ragguette’s, dragging down Taylor as the deemed last man, but the hosts fought back as Ethan Slater gave Town some hope as his deflected effort made it 3-1, but it was too little too late.

Speaking shortly after the game, Hill said: “Every defeat is disappointing, but to me they are the best team in the league.

They move the ball well, their movement off the ball was great, we are a makeshift team at the moment, trying to put square pegs in round holes.

We are a hardworking team, you saw that second half, we came into the game with the two sending offs, one for them one for us.

When it goes end to end, we are a lot better, you see that in the second half, with chances coming, but why wasn’t it there in the first half?

If you look at their goals, it’s a corner and we have usually been strong from corners over the years, a free header, six-yard-box and goal.

You give someone like Totton a lead, and they get a short free kick, don’t track the runner, just a one-two and he goes through, squares it and goal, these are all avoidable.

You don’t give sides like that a 2-0 head start, they wouldn’t give us two sniffs, we’ve got to huff and puff.

I was very disappointed with the first half, with the way we didn’t press and we weren’t in their faces.

Second half we changed formation, a lot better of a reaction and to be fair to the lads they stuck at it, it was a little bit end to end and we finished the second half 1-1, but the damage was done.

Because we don’t film games we can’t show it, and some of the lads think they haven’t done wrong, and you try to explain to them their positions, but you can’t see it so sometimes I wish we could go back and show them where they went wrong.

We are making silly mistakes, but don’t get me wrong, they are man for man better us, we are just a working team, the lads have been together for so long and we are a decent team, we are a tough side to beat at home.

I don’t like getting rolled over like that, and I was disappointed with how we performed in the first half.

I thought (Dave) Rowey was coming across, and I’m not just saying this because he’s my man but it was right in front of their bench, they were winning 3-0 at the time, and their gaffer admitted it wasn’t a red card.

You knew exactly what he was going to do because he’s done one the other end, it was an easy decision to make.

Their red card was when Ben (Steer) was through, with no one around him, and ours we had Rowey their to cover him.

Whether he’d of got there I don’t know, because he’s not the quickest!”

Despite the 3-1 defeat, Town can take a lot of positives from the last 15 minutes, where they showed plenty of fight, and this was something that Hill was happy with.

“You get the lads that turn up every week and they are itching to get on, players like (Jordan) Casey, and (Dean) Billingsley, and I might shake it up Saturday.

If you look at what we finished with, James Richards was on a card and I couldn’t afford another sending off, and you don’t know what’s going to happen, so I took him off to save him for Saturday.

I’m not being rude but I had almost resigned to the defeat so I thought to get some of the lads on, Ace (High) plays 90 minutes almost every other week, so he’s come off for the rest, Jordan (Harris) has been scoring lately but it wasn’t quite working tonight in front of goal, so we chucked Dean on, gave him a run-around and if you look at the side that finished, they did really well.

For the last 20 minutes, we gave it a good go, yes it goes end to end but that’s the way it goes.

If we had lost one-nil and played well it would have been the same result in the end.”

Exmouth will have the chance to put it right as they welcome Bristol Manor Farm to the Circle of Care Community Stadium this Saturday (3pm KO). 

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