AFC TOTTON will want to put Tuesday's nightmare behind them when they welcome Larkhall Athletic to the Total Branding Community Stadium on Saturday (3pm).

The Stags are struggling to get their heads around a cruel 3-2 home defeat by Bideford, having dominated proceedings after fighting back from two goals down.

Wounded by two soft goals in the first five minutes, Totton pulled themselves back on terms through Jack Smith and Toby Adekunle.

A combination of the woodwork and some inspired goalkeeping stopped them building on it and, having fallen behind to a header from a controversially awarded free-kick, Totton's hopes of a point vanished when Charlie Gunson’s penalty hit the underside of the bar.

To heighten their displeasure they lost 17-year-old Aldershot loan midfielder Matt Bozier to what boss Louis Langdown described as “a sickener of a tackle”, assistant boss Adam Wilde was sent to the stand and defender Dave Allen saw red for a second bookable offence.

An unimpressed Langdown told the club’s official website: “I am fearful for Matt Bozier because it is his career.

"He is a young man trying to learn his trade and he gets whacked, his leg is cut open, his sock is cut open.

"The incident was right by the dugout. I walk on the pitch because I can see it, I understand the injury mechanism. We had a player who was in agony and all the referee is bothered about is that I am stood on the pitch.

“Dave (Allen) has been shown a second yellow for what the referee described as an elbow to the 'keeper when the video clearly shows no elbow or contact from Dave.

“Comically, we have Adam (Wilde) sent to the stands for a comment a supporter near the bench made. You seriously couldn’t make it up.”

It was Totton's second home defeat in the space of four days and Langdown can only hope for a better outcome on Saturday.

“When we have played poorly we accept defeat, but right now we are taking hit after hit. That's just how it is sometimes," he rued.

“I just feel so gutted for the lads because we didn’t deserve to lose.”

Totton are eighth, two points off third spot in a congested top half of the table.

Saturday's visitors Larkhall sit 14th. The Stags edged the away fixture 1-0 in September thanks to Nimes Pina's late stunner.