AFC Totton 2 Larkhall Athletic 0.

THE home hoodoo has been lifted for AFC Totton.

After a run of five straight league defeats at the Total Branding Community Stadium, the Stags finally gave their loyal fans a result to smile about by seeing off Larkhall Athletic 2-0.

A dull but disciplined first-half ensured Totton had something to build on before some bold substitutions by manager Louis Langdown helped unpick the lock.

It took Nathaniel Sherborne just two minutes to make his mark after replacing Toby Adekunle, latching onto Alfy Rutherford’s slide-rule pass and forcing goalkeeper Liam Armstrong to divert the ball straight to predatory No9 Craig Feeney who broke the deadlock with 67 minutes gone.

Sherborne’s arrival had seen Tony Lee pushed wide left and on 75 minutes came a moment to savour from the former Eastleigh and Poole striker.

He cut inside and deftly manoeuvred himself into space before unleashing an impudent right-foot finish inside Armstrong’s the near post.

While that goal – Lee’s tenth of the season - was a real show-stopper, the hard-working frontman wasn’t the only player to catch the eye.

Totton’s back four of Ian Oliver, Jack Smith, Callum Chugg and Stuart Mott put in an excellent shift as did sponsors’ man-of-the-match Robin Nicholls, an all-action midfielder described as “different class” by Langdown.

The goalless first half was solid if unspectacular, but Langdown said: “That’s how we wanted it. In the last five home games we’d conceded early and given ourselves a mountain to climb.

“I don't think Larkhall had played for two weeks so they were fresh, whereas we’d played a lot of games on heavy pitches and we knew we had to come in at half-time with a platform to build on.

“I changed it up early and put on Curtis (Young) and Sherbs to give us a bit more energy and put us on the front foot.

“Unlike Tuesday (a tetchy 3-2 home defeat by Bideford) there were no contentious decisions today and the game felt comfortable rather than edgy and exciting. I thought the referee and his two assistants were superb and let the game flow.

“We’ve had a tough time at home of late, but this result might just have got us through it and I’m pleased for our supporters.

“The Paulton defeat aside, we’ve competed quite well and deserved more than we’ve got at home of late – and the fans keep on coming. To get over 250 today on a damp, dingy afternoon was great.”

Totton, who have bounced back up to fourth in the Evo-Stik South West, now take a well-deserved breather before hitting the road to North Leigh on Saturday.

“We’ve taken hit after hit lately, but we’re still where we want to be,” said Langdown.

AFC Totton: Shane Murphy, Stuart Mott, Ian Oliver, Robin Nicholls, Jack Smith, Callum Chugg, Charlie Gunson (Curtis Young, 59), Alfy Whittingham, Craig Feeney (Dave Allen, 79), Tony Lee, Toby Adekunle (Nathaniel Sherborne, 65). Subs (not used): Connor York, Adam Wilde.

Referee: Declan O’Shea.

Attendance: 252.