Godalming 0 – 3 Sheerwater
Sheerwater visited Wey Court with their sights still on promotion. So, it was another big challenge for the Gs youngsters.
A look at the team sheet before kick-off for any Gs supporter caused a fair bit of head scratching and concern. No Curtis Osano, Oghail Ogbaudu, Reegan Scotcher, Jake Heard or Jordan Clements. Even the mighty brain of Lord Hendo of Haslemere was bemused and befuddled to see an extreme lack of defensive players and apparently our leading goal scorer wearing the number 5 shirt. Surely it must just have been the only shirt that would fit him? But no – it was for real.
In front of Jordan Knight were Dom Hardisty, Ollie Stevens, Joe Lewis and Ryan Villa.
Jack Howard, Richie M Bele in the midfield with Darren Wheeler still with a wonky leg wide on one side and Kenny Kassabante on the other. Jack Cleeveley and Donte Lodge- Francis.upfront. Abdallah Ismail, Liam Gadd, Charlie Chennell and Matt Kerbey on the bench.
In the opening minutes the visitors exploited the situation well but could only upset the kids playing on the training pitch as they cleared the bar with their shots. That is only until the twelfth minute when a well-aimed curling shot found its way into the top right- hand corner of Jordan’s net to put them 1-0 up.
Just before that Jordan was called upon to make very good stop from close range with a one- handed reaction pushing the ball over the top.
Strangely that seemed to spark off something in the Gs and they started to put together a few moves of their own and Jack Howard unleased a great long-range shot that was dipping under the bar when the visiting keeper was called upon to make a great save of his own to push it over.
The referee then took exception to Kenny Kasabante’s ankles. Yes – his ankles. They were such a distraction to him that he ordered Kenny to have yellow tape applied to them. Les failed to see that point of this, like everyone else in the crowd. We also noticed that players were wearing different colour undershirts with long sleeves, different colour undershorts. Some of their boots were even in colours that clashed dreadfully with their kit. What will we have next? Sending players off the pitch to get their hair combed?
Anyway, when the football started again Ollie had been given the nod to go forward for a set-piece and he got on the end of a ball wide of the area and lifted the ball gently toward Donte in the 6 yard box, which he headed down well but could not get enough ooomph behind it to beat the Sheerwater keeper. But the Gs were causing some problems.
Kenny was getting into the game as we saw he was getting the better of the visitors left back with his pace and trickery. Perhaps we could get something out of this after all? Kenny worked his way around his marker and to the edge of the area and chipped a great ball through to Donte who this time got a good bit on it with his head but the ball went tantalisingly just wide of the far post.
Then after the ball had gone across the home goal and out wide again the ball came in high and although Jordan got up to it he seemed to flap at it and the ball dropped for a visiting forward to take the opportunity and finish from close range just before half time going 2-0 up.
As the Gs team took to the pitch for the second half the ref insisted that several of them also needed to tape their ankles clearly it was too much for him.
In the second half with the Gs defending the goal at the road end a tentative ball from the right appeared to bounce in the 6-yard box and go straight into the Gs net.
Darren eventually gave way to his wonky leg and made way for Abdallah to the appreciative applause of the home supporters.
Jordan made a good stop diving down to his left to get a hand to a shot. Donte was again impressive both holding up the ball and using his strength and long legs to go around players. He was brought down in front of goal but much to the displeasure of the home support the ref simply waived play on. He has worked so hard for the Gs and deserves a bit of luck.
Another one who has worked so hard is Ollie Stevens. Hats off to him for taking up the challenge of playing out of position when there was little option at the back for Les.
Charlie and Liam both got to appear for the Gs and looked comfortable to me so good for the future.
attempts 8 15
on target 5 7
fouls 11 14
Poss% 1st half 44 56
Poss% 2nd half 31 69
yellows 3 1
Bovril status. The chief taster was away but there were 2 happy recipients at half time on a sunny but cold afternoon.