AFC TOTTON manager Jimmy Ball could not contain his pride as his players beat Sholing 3-0 at St Mary’s to make their season a treble-winning one.

The Southern League Division One champion Stags, already successful in league cup competition this season, cruised to victory over the Boatman in the Southampton Senior Cup on Wednesday.

Scott Rendell scored twice and Ethan Taylor – instrumental in the creation of the first two – added the third to seal victory over the local rivals.

Ball, who has managed at Snows Stadium for well over a year now, spoke to the Daily Echo on the touchline at the home of the Saints.

“Pride is the overriding emotion really, when your team plays like they did it’s pride – and they have been doing that most of the season,” he said.

“They’ve played some fantastic football with over 140 goals in 40-odd games, so we have worked hard and we have entertained.

“Sometimes on the big occasion with family and friends here and all that pressure, you never know if they could choke a bit or get a bit edgy but they didn’t.”

Family and friends were in attendance at St Mary’s – as well as a crowd with a good mixture of AFC Totton and Sholing supporters.

It was a chance to be a crowning moment for both teams – as both secured promotion to the Southern League Premier ahead of the next campaign.

“It’s more about the mentality we’re trying to grow and winning everything, whether that’s a game of tiddlywinks or a cup final,” Ball added.

“That environment we’re trying to create and that ethos as competitors and winners, entertaining people with attacking football – that’s the main thing.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s training or a cup final, be a fierce winner and be an entertainer – that’s the mentality I’ve wanted and they have done that all season, they really have.”

Rendell, 36, might have set the tone of the tie with his 35th and 36th goals of the season but Ball insists it is a balance of experience and exuberance that hits the right tone.

Ball said: “If you’re going to try and develop young players – and we are, we had five or six lads out there tonight 21 and under – then you’ve got to give them a spine to hang on.

“Maybe that’s where Southampton, looking at them just because we’re here at St Mary’s, maybe that’s what they’ve not done.

“They went with youth and player development, which I believe in, but you’ve got to protect them and give them something to hang on to and a good strong spine.”

However, Ball knows that there could be more change afoot at AFC Totton as he puts aside personal feelings to ensure the side is ready for their next step up.

“I recruited this season from the league above so I have no doubt that we can cope but my job now is a tough one because you can’t be sentimental, you have to go again,” he admitted.

“I’ve got players in there who have played all season and worked their socks off – but now I have to go and try to find even better.

“That’s just football and it’s not personal, I’m honest about it. There can’t be any sentiment and there isn’t. We have to go again and work very hard to get the right blend again to cope.”