GOALKEEPER Gareth Barfoot was sent off for the second time in four nightmare days as AFC Totton’s play-push was shunted off the rails again with a 3-0 defeat at third-placed Stourbridge .
Having been dismissed for an alleged headbutt in Saturday’s 4-0 collapse at Hitchin, Barfoot unbelievably saw red again 51 minutes into tonight’s Southern Premier clash in the West Midlands.
With Totton trailing to a Ben Billingham goal scored on the stroke of half-time, they were in danger of conceding again when Luke Benbow broke clear.
Barfoot came haring out of goal and clipped the striker’s ankles as Benbow attempted to round him, giving the referee no option but to send him off.
Totton were already up against it with Ross Bottomley, Ryan Hill and James Coutts all crying off ill, leaving just four on the bench including assistant manager Chris Ferrett.
Their problems looked to have deepened when Baily Cargill pulled up injured eight minutes in but, thankfully, the AFC Bournemouth youngster was able to continue.
Totton came into it around the half-hour mark with Mike Gosney and Stefan Brown combining to set up lone striker Richard Gillespie, whose shot bounced up and was scrambled away.
But just when the Stags looked to have come through the first half unscathed, the Glassboys upped the pressure in the closing stages.
On 43 minutes Leon Broadhurst fired a 25-yard free-kick just wide and, seconds later, the hosts edged in front.
Benbow chipped the ball over the defence, Sean Evans pulled it across from the by-line and there was Billingham to net a stooping header from inside the six-yard box.
Luke Roberts replaced Gosney at half-time, but Totton boss Steve Riley’s plans went awry when Barfoot got his marching orders and Matt Oldring had to be sacrificed for sub ‘keeper Ross Casey.
The teenage stopper was soon in the thick of it, saving from Broadhurst, but there was little he could do as Billingham doubled Stourbridge’s lead with spectacular dipping volley on 70 minutes.
After Jono Davies had sent a long-range effort just wide for Totton, Billingham completed his hat-trick on 78 minutes, charging down Cargill and scoring at the second attempt after his first effort had been well saved by Casey.
It could have got worse for Totton, but Casey denied Billingham a fourth before Evans hit the post.
The Stags kept going to the bitter end with Roberts drifting a shot narrowly wide and then just failing to reach Gillespie’s inviting cross.
The result drops Totton to ninth, having won just two out of 15 matches on the road this term.