top of page

MATCH REPORTS FEBRUARY 2024

T&MU 0-1 Knaphill

Tooting kicked off away from Bishopsford Road. Tooting had won their last four league games. Knaphill wore their 2nd kit of yellow.

It was a cold day and both teams struggled to get going, but Knaphill took the lead after 31 minutes with a strange goal having hit the bar twice and the ball tapped in as an own goal by Lewis Gonsalves who could not clear the crowded goal area.

Knaphill looked livelier and missed several chances. They had their usual three forwards missing due to injuries and only had two naned Substitutes on the bench.

H-T 0-1.

In the 61st minute Lewis Gonsalves was sent off for stamping on a Knaphill player, but it looked a harsh decision.

There were very few attacks from both teams and despite Tooting making several changes towards the end, there was little to challenge Knaphill goalkeeper Jos Barker.

F-T 0-1 Attendance 165

 

Croydon Athletic 0-3 T&MU

A tremendous performance and a great result as Tooting turned on the style.  The scorers were Blake Loyza, Shay Brennan and Conor Melody

Full report to follow...

 

Abbey Rangers 0-2 T&MU

Combined Counties Premier Division (south), Saturday 17 February 2024

Tooting gave a glimpse of the side they could be under Jamie Byatt, with a thoroughly impressive dismantling of third-placed Abbey Rangers on their own pitch. This victory moves us back into the top half of the table and re-ignites hopes that a play-off place may yet be possible. Of course, the trick is to put performances like this together on a consistent basis - particularly against those sides with high ambitions of their own - but, at least for now, we can bask in the warm glow of a thoroughly satisfying afternoon.

 

It is hard to recall any moments where the hosts put us under any real pressure as the defence didn’t put a foot wrong all afternoon. It would be easy to single out Andy O’Brien and Lewis Gonsalves as the reason - and of course they were immense again - but Louie Reid and Johnny Akoto have also started to show resiliency and confidence, and with Noah Kelo and Deji Adeosun - starting together for the first time - protecting the back four, there was no way through a formidable barrier.

 

This solidity at the back allowed our attacking players to play with confidence, and they might have plundered more goals that would have given the scoreline an even more eye-catching look.

 

Midway through the first half, a promising move led to Blake Loyza breaking down the left. He cut inside and sent a dipping cross into the box. The home defence failed to clear and the ball fell to Shay Brennan at the far post but his first-time effort struck the bottom of the post (possibly a combination of keeper and post) and was hacked away from danger.

 

In the 34th minute, a ball lofted over the top didn’t seem too dangerous, but the Abbey defence made a mess of things, and Shay seized on the loose ball, shrugged off a defender, and finished in style. Tooting had the reward for an enterprising first-half display.

 

Jack Minchin had had little to do in the opening period, a routined save from a header being the only time he was really called upon to get his hands dirty, but it was hard to believe things would stay the same after the break. However, he may as well have brought a deck-chair back out with him, so untroubled was he in the second-half.

 

The game was effectively put to bed six minutes after the restart; Blake had already gone close with a twsting header, but the goal that doubled our advantage would not have been out of place several levels higher. A free-kick was floated across the penalty area, and Tooting won two key duels in the air. From the second of these, Blake flicked the ball into the path of Mario Quiassaca, and the big striker took it down on his thigh, before hammering it across the keeper and into the top left corner. A demoralised home side never looked like thay had it in them to come back from that, and Tooting declared at two to bring a huge three points back to south London.

Match report by Ed Parlett

T&MU 2-1 Camberley Town

Combined Counties Premier Division (south), Saturday 10 February 2024

Tooting made it three wins out of four since the turn of the year, holding off a late flurry from the vistors to record a narrow triumph.

 

Camberley didn’t look much bigger than our boys, but adopted a physical approach from the first whistle that took us by surprise a little; thankfully it was stamped out with some judicious use of the whistle by referee Alfred Finch-Critchley, enabling us to settle down and start to dominate proceedings. 

 

Our first chance saw Conor Melody play a nice ball down the channel for Shay Brennan to run on to. The skipper side-stepped a defender neatly, but couldn’t get sufficient weight on his shot and it deflected off a visiting defender, across the face of the goal, and wide.

 

We were in front after our next significant attack, when full-back Johnny Akoto picked up the ball just inside his own half and went on a mazy run, shrugging off defenders with ease until he found himself on the edge of the area. Seeing a gap to the goalkeeper’s left, he went for it and curled a beauty beyond him and in.

 

The Terrors’ tails were up, and we threatened to increase the lead on several occasions before the first-half was out; a run from Conor down the right ended in a looping cross which Mario Quiassaca headed just over, Shay was slightly wide with his speculative shot, and a low ball angled goalwards by Blake Loyza was just about held by Owen Crawford in the Camberley goal. The visitors were offering little in response as we saw out the half comfortably on top.

 

A brief flurry of Camberley pressure at the start of the second period yielded litte in the way of tangible chances, and we eased our way back into control and topped off a dominant passage of play with the second goal just before the hour; Shay advanced with the ball into the box, and provided a deft touch to Blake who measured a cushioned header past Crawford.

 

That seemed to be that, but Camberley conjured up a well-taken goal, quite out of place with what they had produced to this point, when Kingsley Anokye curled home from the edge of the box but we held on for victory.

Attendance 170.

Match report by Ed Parlett

Balham 2-1 T&MU

Combined Counties Premier Division (south), Saturday 3 February 2024

 

Let’s make no bones about it - Tooting should have come away from this game with a comfortable three points in the bag, having extended our 100% record to three matches in 2024 in the process.

 

We dominated this game for the majority, so much so it is difficult to recall any clear-cut goalscoring opportunites for the hosts - until the last seventeen minutes when they suddenly found two goals against our hitherto watertight defence.

 

Balham started the match playing a very high defensive line, which was breached twice in the early knockings, with Shay Brennan breaking clear before he steered his shot just wide of the post, and Conor Melody doing similar to skip down the flank and cross to Blake Loyza whose shot was smothered.

 

Further chances fell to Lolu Ojo and recent returnee Noah Kelo, both of whom tried their luck from distance - Lolu’s was the closer effort, clearing the bar by inches as the Terrors continued to display the initiative.

 

If you play with fire, you’re liable to get burned at some point; the only surprise may have been that it took until four minutes from half-time to finally break through with purpose. Mario Quiassaca and Shay Brennan both broke clear beyond the last man, with the flag staying down as Balham appealed for offside. The big man showed a deft touch as keeper Haydn Read advanced, slipping it neatly past him and into the corner of the net.

 

The Tooting dominance continued as the second half got underway, as we retained the lion’s share of possession, playing the majority of the next thirty minutes in the Balham half of the field. If a Sky Sports-style heat-map had been produced, the Tooting penalty area would have resembled the Antarctic.

 

Around the hour mark came the clearest chance to double our advantage, as Shey Brennan latched on to an inviting through-pass, advanced into the penalty area, and rounded the keeper to leave himself with a gaping net; however the usually reliable frontman’s sights were slightly askew here, and he could only put the ball into the side-netting.


This reprieve gave the hosts a bit more confidence, and their topscorer Tom Read put them on terms when Tooting failed to clear a corner.

 

But almost immediately, it looked like Shay had atoned for his earlier profligacy, as another (seemingly) well-timed run saw him clear of the back line to receive Lolo’s through pass and execute an unerring first-time finish past Read, but this time Balham’s appeals were upheld, and a late flag went up.

 

That was frustrating, but worse was to come when sub Andre Rosa got the winner, with - admittedly - a fine lob over a stranded Jack Minchin. A late Terrors flurry failed to yield a point, which would have been the least we deserved.

Match report by Ed Parlett

bottom of page