AFC TOTTON missed the chance to knock unbeaten league leaders Yate Town off their lofty perch yesterday.

But the Stags at least had the consolation of breaking their penalty jinx as they came back from behind for a 1-1 Evo-Stik One South draw.

Having seen his side miss their last six penalties, manager Louis Langdown couldn’t bear to watch when Justin Bennett placed the ball on the spot after Callum Chugg had been fouled with an hour of the contest gone.

And it wasn’t until he heard the cheers of the home fans that he knew it was finally mission accomplished from 12 yards.

“I just looked at the floor and waited for the crowd’s reaction,” he said.

“I’m really pleased for Benno because he missed his last penalty, but it says a lot about him that he stepped up and took responsibility.

“Missing six penalties in a row is a bit of a nightmare for any team but, fingers crossed, we’ve broken our duck!”

That equaliser was the least Totton deserved in Langdown’s eyes.

“It’s frustrating because we created so many good opportunities,” he reflected.

“We should have been 3-0 up in the first half but, instead, we’ve gone in 1-0 down from the strangest of refereeing decisions.

“Ben McLean’s made a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge, not even that, and the ref’s given a free-kick that never was.”

Nick Peare took full advantage with a sweetly struck set-piece and, after Yate had hit the post early in the second half, Peare was sent off for a second bookable offence.

“I think the sending-off was to balance things up,” said Langdown. “Chuggy’s then hit the post with a header and the ball’s come back to him and the keeper’s stuck a leg out to stop it.

“I wanted us to be the first team to beat Yate this season and I really fancied us to do it. You’ve got to give them some credit, but it’s a bit of a slip-up from us especially as they went down to ten men.

“But that’s one loss in nine for us now which isn’t too bad considering we had no Stuart Green (knee) or Charlie Gunson who’s going to be out for a month with a hand injury.”

On Tuesday (7.45pm) Totton make the short trip to Blackfield & Langley in the Southern Challenge Cup second round.

Blackfield dropped a place to third in the league table after a 1-0 defeat at Bristol Manor Farm.

The Watersiders had their chances, including a shot that hit the post, but Farm’s Ashley Kington sealed the points with a spectacular 20-yard free-kick that cracked in off the underside of the bar with 56 minutes gone.