AFC TOTTON hope to make it third time lucky in knockout competition on Tuesday night.

The Stags will head for Sholing (7.45pm) in the Russell Cotes Cup still licking their wounds after yesterday's 3-1 FA Trophy exit at higher-league Dorchester Town.

That, in turn, had followed hot on the heels of a much-changed side bowing out of the Southern League Challenge Cup 4-0 at Blackfield & Langley.

Totton got off to a dream start at Dorchester, snatching the lead after 62 seconds when, from Toby Adekunle’s left-wing cross, Craig Feeney’s header was parried straight to the feet of Justin Bennett to tap home.

But Harry Kite’s spectacular 30- yard leveller after 19 minutes gave Dorchester the lift they needed and their Evo-Stik Premier South quality proved too much for an injury-hit Totton side whose troubles had deepened when rightback Connor York damaged an ankle in training.

Having spurned one golden opportunity to put the Magpies ahead, on-loan Exeter City man Ben Seymour struck from close range on 27 minutes.

Just two minutes later, the goal-hungry Grecian was at it again, bringing his Dorch tally to four in four games.

In truth, Totton never really looked like getting back into it and could have slipped further behind when Dorch winger Antonio Diaz beat Adam Siviter with a 20- yard shot that smacked the post.

“Until they scored, we were doing alright, but the lad Kite’s hit a worldy and, from then on, Dorchester showed us how to play football,” reflected Totton boss Louis Langdown.

“We’d got off to a great start and they looked a bit rattled, but Kite’s hit a shot a bit like Motty (Stuart Mott) did for us in the last round at Gosport, and it was game over.

“We huffed and puffed second half, but it was a bridge too far. We’re picking up injury after injury with a very small squad.

“We can’t sign anybody for the Russell Cotes Cup, but we need to bring in one or two between now and Saturday to help with the league campaign because the squad is light.

“Connor did his ankle blocking a shot in training. Fortunately we were at Staplewood and their physio sorted it out for us, but Connor’s on crutches and will be out for six weeks.”

No such problems for Sholing who made it 12 Sydenhams Premier wins from 12 by beating Bashley 3-1.

“They’re a Southern League side really with a fantastic budget and a good group of lads,” said Langdown.

“We’ll have to be right on the money if we’re to get anything there.”