Monthly Archives: August 2017

Knaphill (H)

Godalming 1 v 4 Knaphill

Football is a “funny old game” and “ a game of two halves”. We have heard it all before, but it is absolutely true of the G’s at the moment. The first half was pretty even with both sides having chances and for the first twenty minutes the Gs were on top.

When the G’s hosted Knaphill it was a chance to see an old favourite at Wey Court from a few years back one George Frith who suffered a bad knee injury after he left the Gs and when I last saw him his leg was in a brace. He said he was determined to get back and it was good to see that he has done it even if he did pop the last goal in against us at the death.

Anyway, the Gs were without Aaron Bufton in goal as he was unavailable (he had also damaged a finger). I understand that a replacement keeper had been arranged, but he suffered a damaged shoulder so that Simon Funnell was left chasing round for a keeper who was signed on Friday. A good keeper he turned out to be too. Ryan Burbidge putting on the gloves. Darren was getting married so a fair excuse for not being available.

Isy Nzelo was at right back in place of Joe Smith who had a head injury the week before. Captain Lewis Taylor was at left back Ashley Lloyd and Steve Betancourt centre backs, midfield Scott Elgar, Piers Oldland, Ben Cotton, Tre Trowers, with Hakim Griffiths and Shawn Lyle up-front. On the bench were Joe Smith, Mert Varli, Eugene Bongo, Danny Elgar and Kieron Wright.

An early attack saw a super shot from Shawn tipped over the bar by the visiting keeper at full stretch. Shortly after, on about 20minutes the Knaphill No4 committed a late tackle with studs up on Scott Elgar, which saw him taken off and replaced by his brother Danny. The referee gave a yellow, but the G’s will recall occasions when they have had players sent off for lesser offences. The same player committed a fierce tackle player a minute or two earlier, which the referee seemed to let go.

So at Half time it was 0 -0 and all to play for.

Early in the first half the G’s created a good passing move found Danny Elgar in the 6 yard area but again the shot was well saved by the visiting keeper at close range. However, the G’s seemed to get there break when shortly after the mercurial Hakim Griffiths got into the penalty area and was bundled to the ground by three defenders. Up stepped Lewis Taylor to put the G’s 1-0 up from the penalty spot.

But from then on with the G’s seeming to be under little pressure Ashley Lloyd was judged to have pushed an opposition player in the box, so a penalty for the visitors, which brought the scores level.

From there on things just went downhill for the home team. Knaphill had some serious pace on the wings and they were now getting their speedsters into the middle of the pitch looking to get on to the end of some high balls over the defence. This tactic worked and put them ahead.

The G’s were attacking at the other end, but that of course exposed them for the counter attack. The G’s nearly got one back towards the end but could not convert. Final goal (4th) for the visitors sealed it when it came from George Frith after he came on early in the second half proving how much work he must have put in.

Stats

G’s         Knaphill

Attempts                      15               11

on target                       11                5

corners                            2                0

fouls                               16                9

possession% 1st           54              46

possession% 2nd         49               51

Yellow Card                      1                  1

COYGs

Abbey Rangers (A)

Abbey Rangers 1 v 1 Godalming

(Written by Dave Ewing)

Graham was unable to make the match against Abbey and asked if I could write a few words about the match. I have neither a Dictaphone nor a degree on regurgitated gobbledygook (to interpret what gets played back from a Dictaphone) to help record the events of the night. I am relying on what I remember and a couple of scrawls on Michael’s stats board so apologies of the report is more of an impression than an account.

Firstly Abbey Rangers have a nice set up conveniently located just off junction 11. Andrew and his sat-nav tried to make the journey more complicated than it actually was by taking us on a tour of downtown Addlestone but the ground is actually very easy to access. Once again Football foundation money has gone to create a modern set of facilities with a bespoke building housing changing facilities, catering unit and a modern bar/social space with a terrace overlooking the ground complete with astro turf flooring and netting to avoid wayward shots spilling punters bevvies. Even the Bovril was served in designer Bovril branded cups- just like at the big grounds but at half the price!

The game started briskly and Godalming passed the ball cleanly linking well and looking bright. However Abbey were the first to show real menace. They had several strong breaks thwarted by the Godalming defence and won a few corners in that early period . Godalming had less of the ball but looked sharp going forward. Hakim in particular was able to suck in two or three defenders at a time and still emerge with the ball at his feet. However Abbey definitely had the upper hand when in the 24th minute Lewis Taylor powered a cracking low shot from well outside the box that left the Rangers players stunned. Against the run of play it was 1-0 Godalming!

The next 5 minutes should have seen Abbey equalise when a couple of defensive lapses – careless back passing and misunderstandings- gifted them easy chances that they failed to take. Their inability to make good seemed to knock Abbey and Godalming ended the half the stronger team creating more pressure up front and winning a corner or two of their own.
The second half started with Godalming still looking the more composed team. Abbey pushed forward but were thwarted by solid and disciplined defending seeing the attackers caught offside all too often. Godalming created a couple of chances of their own. Darren nearly chipped the keeper from the halfway line – the keeper caught sight of the ball just in time and back tracked fast enough to clear it but had that gone in the game would have been sealed. Captain Lewis stormed through the defence on a blistering run that sadly did not end in a shot and Shawn Lyle’s pace and agility was causing all sorts of problems both to the Rangers defence and the ref who seemed a bit down on Shawn.

75 minutes in and it looked like Godalming might hang on for the three points. They had soaked up the pressure and were starting to break back positively. Godalming have looked the fitter team in recent fixtures and this was no exception. However the pace of the game was stopped a couple of times as the ref and linesman discussed a few infringements. After one such hiatus the ever reliable Aaron in goal sliced a spot kick out of the ground about half way giving Abbey an innocuous throw in. What then followed was an attack that saw them thread the ball through a seemingly static Godalming defence that ended with pass to Kersley who produced a fine shot to secure the equaliser. 84 minutes in and 1-1. Godalming ended the game the more likely team to score a winner with a couple of late corners keeping the fans on their toes but there was no late cigar for the Gees.

On balance 1-1 was a good result. Abbey spurned some great chances in the first half and the team felt aggrieved not to have won the game. Godalming played well and nearly held onto their lead in good old fashioned Italian style through good defending. But Addlestone is a long way from Milan and the game at Combined Counties level a bit less “bella” than Serie A so Abbey’s graft got the goal. Nice ground, good game and driving home we were treated to the unusual spectacle of a completely empty A 3 through Guildford. A glimpse of what life would have been like if people had not gone and inconveniently plonked a city guising as a town of 140 000 people between Godalming and the M25.

Micheal’s Stats

Abbey Rangers     G’s
attempts                       10                   14
on target                         5                    4
corners                          10                    5
fouls                               18                    9
poss% 1st                      58                   42
Poss % 2nd                    50                  50
yellows                             2                    1

Farnham (H) FA Cup

Godalming 3 v 0 Farnham Town (Emirates FA Cup)

A comfortable win at home for the G’s saw them advance through the preliminary stages to the next round of the FA Cup. Monday should see the draw for the First Round of the FA Cup Proper and the G’s supporters will be keeping an eye on the draw to see who they are up against.

Simon Funnell was sticking with his preferred line up as the same squad of players took to the field as against Balham on Tuesday night.

Whilst there was no lack of passion in the play the game saw very few interventions from the referee who was to be praised for his handling of the game, in contrast to Tuesday’s refereeing performance.

After 20 minutes, with the G’s attacking the road end, Shawn Lyle playing wide on the right, in front of the stand, showed some remarkable skill by receiving a high ball out of defence, which in one move of his leg he was able to cleverly play the ball over his and his markers head and further down the line. He turned and showed good speed to get down the line and deliver a low ball across the front of the visitor’s penalty area where Hakim Griffiths took it and hit a low shot inside the near post. Would have looked good on MOTD, G’s 1-0 up.

A few minutes later the G’s were awarded a free kick outside the visitor’s penalty area virtually in the same spot where Darren Wheeler scored from on Tuesday night. He hit this one sweetly, but this time the visiting keeper did well and was able to get across and turn it round for a corner.

Another Wheeler run saw him cut in from the right and get a good shot in which was blocked.

1 – 0 the home team at half time.

Early in the second half the Visitors had an opportunity when one of their forwards latched onto a long ball over the top of the G’s defence into the space behind. Only the quick responses of Aaron Bufton prevented the scores being levelled.

Almost immediately after, as the play travelled to the other end of the pitch, the hard-working Hakim Griffiths was brought down as he weaved his way into the Farnham area. Captain Lewis Taylor stepped up and put the ball into the net to put the G’s 2-0 up.

The visitors were coming under more pressure and about ten minutes later Hakim was again attacking and three visiting defenders converged on him at the same time, flattening him in the process. Again, it was the captain Lewis Taylor who despatched the second G’s penalty to put the score well out of reach.

Danny Elgar was replaced by Piers Oldland as the G’s continued to press. Darren Wheeler hit another chance that just curled wide of the upright after a good build up. The G’s were playing some good simple give and go passes.

Mert Varli came on to replace the impressive Hakim Griffiths who was applauded off the pitch with about 20 minutes to go to the end of the game. Tre Trower also came on to replace Ben Cotton.

This was a good all-round performance from the lads and they seem to be starting to gel as a team.

All those who came on made a valuable contribution and appear likely to be featuring when the two suspensions kick in.

News from the bench:

Isy Nzelo was also present, but is also carrying an injury, which we hope he recovers from soon. Kieran Wright believes he is ready to come back after his hamstring injury. It was also great to see that Graeme Purdy was training with the lads although he has not committed to sign.

COYGS

Balham (H)

Godalming 1   Balham 1

This was the second game in the CCL and after two good performances and wins against Westfield in the Extra Preliminary Round of the FA Cup and Redhill on Saturday the G’s fans must have been looking forward to this one.  Unfortunately, it was something of a disappointment. The first half saw the G’s rather off the pace and although the same side that started at Redhill and performed so well against them lined up against Balham, they could not match anything like the performance.

There is always the referee to be considered. To be honest I lost count of the yellow cards issued and did not see Ben Cotton being given his second yellow. I never like to criticise referees, but overall, I do not think that the ref had a good game and it was not by any means a dirty encounter. He seemed to issue cards in the first half almost exclusively to the G’s, but ignored some of the indiscretions of the visitors. But I am biased and he and his assistants were the only people paid to be impartial. But it does not help your case to scream abuse at the man in black to his face. Interesting to think what the assessor might have made of it.

Anyway, having said all that the visitors started well and after about fifteen minutes they attacked, towards the road end, down their left and delivered a fine low cross for a close-range tap in to open the scoring.

Gs started to dig in and get back into the game, but without a lot of success. Ben Cotton was yellow carded on about 25 minutes as was Joe Smith and then Steve Betancourt minutes later. Then towards the end of the half Hakim made a good run towards the visitor’s line when he was brought down by the Balham No3, who was booked. In blowing for this the referee quite clearly pointed towards the penalty spot, but strangely then had the kick taken from wide of the area.  Balham then mounted another attack down their left and the G’s were lucky to avoid going further behind. Ben Cotton was apparently sent off at the end of the first half after a second yellow card.

So the G’s went in at half time one nil down and with only ten men on the pitch.

Joe Smith did not return for the second half and the impressive Piers Oldland came on to take up position in the midfield.

Minutes into the second half the G’s won a free kick between the visitor’s penalty area and the centre line. Much organisation of the attacking forwards ensued amid shouts of “Get in there Lloydy” while we were thinking, this is in ideal Darren Wheeler territory. He hit the ball as sweetly as he has ever done and it rifled into the top corner, rolling back the years (NM) and reminding us of some of the other outstanding goals he has bagged at Wey Court, which unfortunately are only recorded in our memories.  So only ten men, but back to 1-1.

Then a penalty was awarded against Aaron Bufton for a brave save he made going down at the feet of the onrushing Balham forward who had latched onto a long through ball that was deflected through the G’s defence. But the Godalming keeper was up for it and made a tremendous save diving to his left pushing the ball wide onto the post and round, much to the delight of the home team and supporters.

Shortly after any thoughts that perhaps the ten men could hang on to get a point were dented again when Steve Betancourt also received a second yellow card and was ordered off having had a tremendous game for the home team. So now the G’s were down to 9 men.

The ref then decided it was time to book a few more players on the Balham side and dealt out a couple of cards to their number eleven and number four.

Ashley Lloyd seemed to aggravate his ankle injury and was replaced by the impressive Isy Nzelo who fitted in straight away. Danny Elgar was replaced by Luke Elgar.

But the 9 man G’s kept attacking, kept the ball better, almost managed to score the winner and fought a great second half to hang on to a share of the points. From a pretty poor first half, they showed great spirit and determination in defending.

They will need to be switched on and ready to go against Farnham on Saturday. This is another big game and any previous results from Farnham are immaterial, we need to win on Saturday.

Man of the Match for the G’s for me has to be Aaron Bufton although it was great to see Darren putting in a few miles as well.

In the end the Balham No 11 was also dismissed to spend the last ten minutes in the stand.

A refreshed and rejuvenated Michael returns to the UK to give a rundown of the stats. His data has been processed, checked and rechecked, run though the sausage machine, analysed and here are the results.

COYGS

  Michael’s Stats

Godalming                Balham

attempts                  5                             9

on target                   3                             6

corners                      3                             4

fouls                         14                            22

yellows                      5                              3

reds                           2                              1

poss (%) 1st            45                            55

poss (%) 2nd           57                            43

 

Redhill (A)

Redhill 1 v 2 Godalming 

Another fine performance from the new Gs squad to earn three points from their first league game of the new season. It was a wholly deserved result and for me the goal difference should have been greater.

This encounter saw them travel to Redhill with a few changes to the squad that played so well against Westfield. Ben Cotton came in for Piers Oldland at No 8 and Darren Wheeler returned. I also got to chat with Kieran Wright about his recent short appearances on the pitch in several games, which he explained as problems with a ham string injury, which he was resting on Saturday in the hope that that it will give it a chance to finally repair.

But for an astonishing decision by the referee and two superb saves from the home goal keeper from Hakim Griffiths, as good as anything you will see on TV, the score line would have been even better for the Gs.

In the opening minutes, with the Gs the quicker starters, the ball was played across from the right to Darren Wheeler, who was blatantly brought down well inside the home penalty area.  The only person at the match who did not see it as a penalty was the ref who inexplicably simply waived play on.

The Gs were pressing the home defence from the start, chasing down their defenders at every opportunity and twenty eight minutes into the game Ben cotton, who is always so quick to see a half chance picked the pocket of one of the defenders just outside the home teams box and fired the ball past the keeper with confidence. Gs one nil up.

It was a pretty physical encounter and Joe Smith received a blow to the head, which needed some attention. Meanwhile Hakim Griffiths, who had run and chased everything with great energy, finally latched onto a long diagonal ball out of the Gs defence and hit the ball on the volley with power, but with the ball aiming for just below the crossbar, the home keeper jumping and going backwards got a hand to it and tipped the ball over the bar as we were about to cheer for another Gs goal.

The home team mounted an attack on their right towards the end of the first half and delivered a good cross from the right to the far post, where it was headed home from close range. 1-1 with 6 or 7 minutes to go before half time. But the Gs were not done for and attacked down their right. The ball was delivered low across the pitch to Shawn Lyle cutting in from the left just on the edge of the home penalty area where he hit a good low shot beating the home keeper on his near post. Gs back in front 1-2.

Captain Lewis Taylor was having a good game but also went down with a head injury and needed treatment, both on and off the pitch. It was nearing half time and there was a long delay whilst the referee awaited a substitution.  None was forthcoming. Lewis returned to the pitch and put in a great block at the end of the first half.

So the Gs 2- 1 up at half time and both left and right back doubtful for the second half.

The Gs again started well in the second half with captain Lewis Taylor sporting a well bandaged head, in Terry Butcher style, whilst the impressive Izzy Nzelo came on for Joe Smith at right back.

They absolutely pummelled the home defence for a long period, but without being able to convert the pressure into goals.  The home side had their keeper to thank when he brought off another fantastic save from Hakim who again seemed sure he would score with another powerful shot.

 

Danny Elgar brought another fine save from the home keeper again tipping his shot over the bar.

Luke Elgar replaced Danny Elgar with around 10 minutes of normal time left after a good performance where he showed again some very nifty footwork and the ability to battle for the ball in close contact.

Extra time seemed to go on for ever and Mert Varli came on for Darren Wheeler.

Man of the Match for the Gs was Hakim Griffiths who chased everything and but for some inspired saves from the home keeper, would have had a couple of goals to his name.

COYGS

Emirates FA Cup win

Godalming 2 – 1 Westfield 

 A tremendous win for the lads from a tough draw against a team who have been at the top of the CCPL for a while. The sunshine preceding the game gave way to a thunder storm as the game started. So, while there was the torrential rain, thunder and lightning overhead, there were also some big bangs on the pitch as players found it hard to keep their feet and tackles flew in. The rain was so heavy that even Cranewife took cover and he’s from “Up North”

For the Gs there was Aaron Bufton in goal, Joe Smith, Lewis Taylor(C), Scott Elgar, Steve Betancourt, Kieran Wright,  Luke Elgar, Piers Oldland, Shawn Lyle, Danny Elgar and Hakim Griffiths. On the bench Tre Trowers, Mert Varli, Izy Nzelo, Eugene Bongo and Callum Roots. The squad was without Darren Wheeler on stag weekend, Ashley Lloyd who limped off on Tuesday and the influential Ben Cotton who we believe is on holiday.

It was a game that saw the return of some familiar names at Wey Court. Sean Elliott, a Peter Pan character of Non-League football (still holds the record for appearances for the Gs) was captaining the visitors. Last appeared for the Gs in the Chelsea Legends event last season. Also amongst the visitors where another old boy in James Mariner and Kyle Bailey, Hitchem Adbellah and who all appeared for the Gs last season.

In the opening few minutes with the home team playing towards the training pitch the Gs went close, but failed to convert from very close range, when it seemed they were certain to score.

But both sides battled through the weather and the slippery surface, which produced some strange rebounds and at one stage, towards the end of the first half, the ball fell kindly to the visitors as they worked their way towards the Gs goal, but they could not get a final shot on target. Shortly after Aaron Bufton was called upon to make a brave save at the feet of the onrushing visitors No 9 Max Blackmore.

So at half time it was 0 -0. But the visitor probably had more than an edge on the possession figures, although they did not hit the target.

A game of two halves is a well-used expression in football, but with half time came not only a change in the weather but a change in the play. As the sun reappeared overhead the Gs started the second half with Izy Nzelo coming on at right wing back for Keiron Wright, which meant that Joe Smith moved to centre back alongside Steve Betancourt. What was said in the changing room we will never know but there was a greater urgency about the Gs and they made it tell within minutes of the restart. The visitors seemed a bit stunned as the Gs attacked and after a series of shots on their goal had failed to penetrate the visitors defence, finally a Shawn Lyle shot was deflected round for a corner. From this the ball found Lewis Taylor at the far post where he fired a low shot in to put the GS 1-0 up.

The goal seemed to inspire the new Gs team and they looked more confident as they continued to attack. The hard-working Hakim Griffiths made a nuisance of himself to the opposition while Izy made a couple of great runs from defence down the right of the pitch.

Hakim by his hard work won the ball from the opposition near the centre line and battled his way into the penalty area where he was in receipt of a clumsy challenge and the referee blew for a penalty.  Captain Lewes Smith stepped up and despatched it coolly.

Westfield then had to throw everything at their hosts and after some stout defensive work by the home team they won a free kick wide on the right, which was played in and resulted in a goal reducing the difference. To 2-1. Nail biting stuff.

But it all worked well for the Gs as they held out to advance through to the next stage.

Well done Simon and Matt for producing a competitive squad from virtually nothing.

On to the CCPL next week where we need another great performance to kick-off the League campaign.

Gs Man of the Match:- despite a string of good performances in the team must go to Lewis Taylor who had to cope with Hitchem Adbellah all afternoon and got both goals.

No stats from Michael as he is on holiday.

Axtell Cup

Godalming Town 0 – 1 Guildford City

Last night saw Godalming host Guildford at Wey Court in the Axtell Cup, the last of their pre-season friendlies before their FA Cup encounter with Westfield this Saturday.

It was a new look Godalming side, which featured only Ashley Lloyd in the opening line-up and Piers Oldland (coming on from the bench recovering from injury) from last year’s squad under new Gees manager Simon Funnell.

The Godalming squad started brightly and indeed probably played the best passing football in the opening exchanges. Ben Cotton and the Elgar brothers, all three of them, featured prominently.

On around 30 minutes they won a free kick in their opponents half midway between the centre line and the Guildford penalty area at the road end of the pitch. Ben Cotton took it and brought a fine save from the visiting keeper at full stretch tipping it onto the crossbar as it was heading for the top corner.

Some good passing moves saw the home team create some excellent chances, but they could not convert them into goals. One scuffed shot from inside the 6 yard box particularly stands out in the memory after some fine play in the build-up.

Towards the end of the first half the visitors created more pressure but could not get their shots on target. The home defence dealt well with the threat from their visitors.

 

At half time it was 0 – 0.

 

In the second half the game saw some more good build up play from Godalming, but Guildford were looking dangerous with some good pace out wide on both flanks.

Anyone who watches football will know that unless you put away your chances to score you are likely to be punished and well into the second half a long diagonal ball into space behind the Godalming defence found a visiting forward one on one with Aaron Bufton in the home teams goal. A neat chip over the advancing keeper was well executed and gave the visitors the lead. 

Bufton showed how good he is with some fine brave saves at the feet of the advancing forwards in the second half as the home team pushed forward.

Godalming were not done for at that stage producing several individual runs into the visitor’s penalty area. Hakim Griffiths showed great determination and pace joining Shawn Lyle up front, but could not find the finishing touch.

Piers Oldland rattled the visitor’s crossbar again with a fine left footed shot that had the visiting keeper beaten.

The new manager at Wey Court can look forward to the coming season with a promising new team that can play some attractive football, but will face a tough test against Westfield on Saturday who narrowly missed promotion last year.

#COYGS