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Tooting & Mitcham United FC September 2019 Review

Tooting & Mitcham United FC September 2019 Review

Danny Basett
Danny Bassett (right)

Tooting & Mitcham FC go from strength to strength this season, with success in the league and the FA Cup! Roger gives us the latest in his September review...

It’s been a great few weeks! We’ve had great weather and Tooting have started the season on fire and are unbeaten after 12 league and cup games. The tremendous run of results that we saw in pre-season has been translated into an even better run of results now that the serious stuff has started.

We began the month with the FA Cup 1st Qualifying round where our opponents were AFC Varndenians who hail from Brighton. They play their football 2 divisions below us, but there were times that had us under pressure. However, we managed the game well and ended up comfortable 3-1 winners with goals from Nathan Daly, Nebay Haile and David Castanho.

We followed this up with a victory in the Isthmian League Cup which is known as the Velocity Trophy. We travelled to South Park with a mixture of 1st teamers, under 23s, and a couple of debutants. The back-up players didn’t just take their opportunity to perform but at the same time demonstrated that the managerial team of Ashley Bosah and Cornelius Nwadialor have not only put together a strong 1st XI but have also built a squad that seems to have strength in depth. We ended up 2-1 winners with goals from Nebay Haile and Dontai Stewart.

However, this does not mean that we are through to the next round as this season they have re-jigged the format so we will be playing the first 4 games in this tournament as part of a group stage with the group winners moving into the traditional knockout stages. How the new system works out remains to be seen but we have made a good start.

David Casthano
David Casthano (centre)

We moved back into league action with our 100% record on the line away to promotion hopefuls Harlow Town. It was always going to be one of the tougher away trips and so it panned out.  We took the lead on the stroke of half time with a strike from Razzaq Coleman but Harlow soon equalised a few minutes into the 2nd half. It was probably the first game all season when we didn’t dominate for long periods but we did enough to secure the draw.

It probably worth noting that a previous achilles heel of ours seems to have been fixed. We conceded quite a lot of goals last season even when were were on top in a lot of games. This season we are a lot tighter at the back having not conceded more than 1 goal a game so far this season and completing a couple of clean sheets in the process. Long may that continue!

Our next league game was at home to Bedfont Sports who will probably end up in the bottom half of the table this season, so it’s a game we needed to win if we were to maintain a challenge at the top of the table. And in the event we ran out comfortable 4-0 victors. After an excellent first half where we raced into a 3-0 lead with goals from Razzaq Coleman, Danny Bassett and David Castanho, we eased off a bit but completed the scoring in the 89th minute with a penalty from Omari Hibbert.  Once again, there were numerous occasions last season when we failed to beat teams at the wrong end of the table so it was good to get a big win under our belts. And another clean sheet. 

So onto the next game and the next round of the FA Cup. We were handed a home draw against Dorking Wanderers who were the highest ranked club in our section of the draw – so the task couldn’t have been harder. Since we pipped them for the title 3 years ago, they have improved immeasurably and are now playing 2 divisions above us in the National League South and are sitting in 4th position, well placed for another promotion attempt. Despite being very much the underdog, we started well and had the better of play in the first half an hour and had a couple of good chances to take the lead, but the game remained goalless at half time.

There was a question of whether we could maintain the intensity in the 2nd half and the answer was a resounding YES! Just 4 minutes into the half Danny Bassett pounced to score from 15 yards out for his 6th goal in just 9 games. Then, just 10 minutes later, Sol Patterson-Bohner received a yellow card leaving us to face the last half an hour with just 10 men. Surely the visitor’s superior league status would begin to take effect now.  But no – Tooting showed a tenacity that has been missing for a couple of years. A slight reshuffle of the playing personnel and Tooting were able to snuff out any attempted comeback from Dorking and completed a memorable victory. It was the first time we have beaten a team from 2 divisions above since 2014 which was also the last time we reached the 3rd qualifying round of this competition.

We have been drawn at home to Poole Town on Saturday 5th October so it would be great if we could draw a big crowd for this one. If you have never attended a game before, this would be a tremendous game to start!

With all the cup action going on, it was crucial that we kept our eye on the ball with the league games as well. And on Saturday we travelled to Waltham Abbey in a potentially difficult fixture. However, we made light work of the hosts and came away with a 3-0 victory. Danny Bassett scored another 2 including one from the spot and David Castanho scored his 5th of the campaign which is a decent return from midfield at this stage of the season.

October sees a lot of cup games. We are at home to Poole Town in the FA Cup on the 5th, Whyteleafe away in the FA Trophy on the 12th and Frimley Green at home in the Surrey Senior Cup on the 15th.  A great chance to come down and catch cup fever

Come along – the 280 bus is on diversion at the moment and stops at Morden Road, just a few minutes walk from the stadium!

Upcoming Home Fixtures:

  • Poole Town (FA Cup) – Sat 5th October – Kick off 3pm
  • Frimley Green (Surrey Senior Cup) – Tue 15th October – Kick off 7:45pm

Keep up to date with all the TMUFC goings on at the Unofficial Website or Official Facebook Page.

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