Yate Town lost ground on Blackfield a Langley as they were forced to settle for a point against AFC Totton at Lodge Road writes Tom Mason.

The away side took the lead in the first half through Stuart Green, only for Bluebell’s striker Olly Mehew to level up with four minutes remaining.

As a result, Paul Britton’s side are now three points behind Blackfield and Langley in second place.

The Yate boss made three changes from last weekend’s win at Highworth Town, as Mehew, Alexis Andre jnr and Jack Twyman came in for Josh Cann, David Sims-Burgess and Sam Kamara.

The visitors began strongly, but it was the hosts who had the first clear-cut chance, with Mehew firing over the bar from close range after being picked out well.

Totton centre back Jack Smith, should have done better with his header from the game’s first corner as his effort ended well clear of the target as his side impressed early on.

The illustrious Totton skipper, Jack Masterton was integral to everything they did early on and nearly played a part in getting his side ahead, but Justin Bennett couldn’t direct his header goal wards.

Totton’s dominance finally paid dividend in the 39th minute as they took the lead thanks to a fine solo strike by Stuart Green, which too much power on for Andre in the Yate goal.

This all meant that the Stags were heading into half time with a deserved lead.

The second half was quickly with us and the Bluebells were looking to find their way back into the game, much like they had done last week.

Yate started the second period well, but at times found it tough to break down a stubborn, strong Totton defence.

It wasn’t long before Britton decided to make an attacking change, Sims Burgess was introduced in place of Michael Bryant to add some extra empathise to the Yate attack.

A key point came just past the hour, when the hosts felt that they should have been awarded a penalty for a hand ball in the box, but the referee wasn’t interested much to the disgust of the home crowd.

The Stags were a constant threat on the counter attack as they looked to bounce back from the loss at home to Larkhall Athletic last weekend.

Adam Price had two efforts in the space of eight minutes go narrowly wide, one of which hit the post as he look to take the game to his Hampshire opponents.

It was looking like being a frustrating afternoon for the home side until Mehew stepped up, guiding a header low into the bottom corner with just four minutes remaining, after great work down the left flank by sub, Sims Burgess to rescue a point.

Yate were striving for a winner, but it proved not to be and they were forced to settle for a point in the end.

Next up for the Bluebells is a trip Calthorpe Park to face bottom of the table Fleet Town on Tuesday.

Yate Town: Andre, Humphreys, Keightley (Kamara 76), Leigh Gilchrist, Peare ©, Ford, Boulton, Price, Guest, Bryant (Sims-Burgess 55), Twyman (Langworthy 88)

AFC Totton: Murphy, York, Perett, Nicholls, Allen, Smith, Green, Chugg (Haynes 80), Masterton ©, Bennett, Bradley

Attendance: 265