Monthly Archives: May 2018

(Ladies) League Cup Final

Ashford Ladies 8  –  4 Godalming Town Ladies 

 It was another day better suited to lounging on the beach rather than football when the G’s ladies met Ashford, yet again, to compete for the League Cup Final at Bedfont SC. It turned out to be a crazy game.

The G’s were without their influential striker Toni West and several other regulars including Ella Chandler, Terri Brown, Charlotte Benson and Jo Harford. The good news was that Steph Le was named on the bench after a very long lay-off for a bad ankle injury and Kim Ketchell returned in goal.

Apart from a shot from Becky Monroe 10 minutes into the game that brought a great save from the Ashford keeper tipping the ball onto the bar and then over, the G’s started rather slowly and were forced to defend. After a miss-hit clearance and a bit of a mix-up in the middle of the G’s defence Ashford latched onto the ball and scored their first goal.

A second Ashford goal followed not long after and when a third came after 25 minutes from a ball that was spinning and seemed to deceive Kim Ketchell with its bounce. It seemed that it could be a long afternoon for the G’s as Ashford seemed to threaten every time they got forward. Steve and Darren made a change and brought on Steph Le for Hester Benham.

But, then after a good run down the right, the ball was played square into the area where Megan Vincer put the chance away well to give the Gs a glimmer of hope before half time. We have seen the G’s Ladies come back before, but they would need to get some breaks soon if they were to cut the deficit.

The G’s won a free kick on the left played into the box well by Loz Carnell. There was a bit of a scramble and the ball came back to Steph Le who threaded the ball through a crowd of bodies to Tamara Sidwell who got away a powerful shot, but it flew tantalisingly over the bar from close range. Had that gone in who knows what might have happened.

HT Ashford (Middx) Town 3-1 Godalming Town 

At the start of the second half it was clear that the next goal would be important. No one would have thought there were another 8 goals to come!

The next goal came from Ashford, 4-1 to them, but the G’s came back and put the Ashford defence under pressure and hit the post twice during a volley of shots, which were then cleared, before Ellen Thomas then hit a long range shot that cleared the Ashford keeper for the Gs second goal. Score now 4 -2 to Ashford. But straight after that Ashford scored again taking the score to 5 -2.

The G’s then cut the deficit back to two goals with a goal from Tamara Sidwell only to see Ashford cancel it out straight after. 3 – 6.  Becky Bloor then got a fourth for the G’s having made her way past a string of defenders. 4 – 6.

But with the Gs pressing to score they were open at the back and Ashford again scored 4 – 7. Becky Munroe was brought back, at right back and did some good chasing and tackling before in the closing minutes of this crazy game Ashford scored their eighth after a clash with the G’s keeper took her out and the ball ran free.

All credit to Ashford who were the better team on the day, but credit also to the Gs Ladies who never gave up the chase.

It has been a terrific season again for the GTFC Ladies gaining promotion yet again and I am sure we will see them well supported again next season although they will be without Megan Vincer who I believe is going to the States. She has been instrumental in providing so many good crosses and corners on top of a good number of goals and her defensive game has been outstanding. It will be difficult for Steve and Darren to find a replacement to match her. But I am sure the supporters will join her team mates in wishing her well.

Another exciting season for the ladies to look forward to next year.

North Greenford (A)

North Greenford Utd  8  – 4  Godalming Town

On paper this looked like a game that neither side had much interest in but it was a rip-roaring goal fest and a fiercely contested encounter that was really exciting. NGU were on a bit of a high having had some good results recently and scoring quite frequently.

Hats off to the whole Gees squad with tired limbs, injuries and niggles who turned out on the night for their third game in five days. They did themselves the Gees supporters and the club proud.

We arrived minutes before kick off and Dom Hardisty was behind us in the car park. We wondered who would feature in the squad. Once inside, the lads were already lined up to come onto the pitch and it was clear that things were tight as Gav Smith was kitted up and ready to go. To his relief he did not need to start as Dom somehow made the transition onto the pitch. Gav was the only option on the bench.

The squad was the same as for the Knaphill game on Monday other than Lewis Lodge and Tom Biss were not available, but Jack May returned up front and Tre Trower was on from the start.

Things did not go too well at the start as there seemed to be some slack marking in the Gees defence, who were appealing for offside when an NGU forward gently headed the ball over Aidan’s head from close range.

However, within minutes the lively looking Jack May latched on to good through ball and bearing down on the advancing keeper saw his shot blocked by the keeper, only for it to rebound back onto his leg and bounce in from the edge of the area. Relief to be back to 1-1.

The tireless Bobby Bennett made a great run forward and won the ball, when it seemed lost, and played it back to Bobby Webbe, who hit the junction of the upright and the crossbar with a long-range drive.

Then on 18 minutes in Piers Oldland delivered another great through ball for Jack May to use his strength and pace as he had done a few minutes earlier and this time he slotted the ball home cleanly and the Gees were now 1-2 up.

More was to come when the energetic Bobby Bennett chased down a ball beating the home keeper to it and neatly lobbing the ball from wide on the left straight into the net. So now the Gees were 1-3 up, to the disappointment of the home team dugout.

NGU replied with a good move down their right, which ended with a ball into the middle on the edge of the box which was curled into Aidan’s net, just inside the far post. 2-3.

A third from the home side came from what looked a bit like a poorly hit shot on their right at an angle. But it stayed at 3-3 for half time.

HT: North Greenford 3-3 Godalming Town

Bobby Bennett went close coming in from the right wing when he found himself one on one with the home keeper again, but this time his shot went just wide of the far post.

The question was, could the Gees squad keep up the pace with no options on the bench? Bobby Webbe received treatment, to the end of the first half and again early in the second.

NGU have a very dangerous winger of their own in Sandro Costa who, from a clever run from the left cut inside and put the home side back into the lead. This was disappointing as the move started with a blatant handball by a NGU player in their own half, right in front of us and you would have thought the linesman.  It seemed it would all be over for the Gees.

But, Bobby Webbe was subbed off and on came the new young forward sporting the number 18 on his back. Gav made an impression within minutes and headed a corner home to bring the Gees back to 4-4 and make a game of it. It was crazy. Just wait until Palms hears about that.

The home side then added another goal with 18 minutes to go and it was clear that the Gees were running on empty. But they kept on digging in against a side that had plenty of pace wide and used it well. Aiden made several crucial blocks in the dying minutes.

Just to prove that Gav hasn’t lost “it” (although if he’s anything like me he often forgets where he has put “it”) he nearly added another when he found himself in front of goal but could only pull his shot wide on this occasion.

The last ten minutes saw the NGU side capitalise on the situation and put the result beyond doubt, but well done to all the lads who battled through the game. It was really exciting and they made a proper match of it.

Hope to see a good few of these players back at Wey Court next season, in whatever league we might end up in.

The GTFC Ladies are in League Cup Final action on 20th May at Bedfont Sports against Ashford. I am sure they would appreciate as much support as possible.

Guildford City (A)

Guildford City 4   –  4  Godalming Town

After Saturdays goalless thriller against Hanworth the two teams in this local derby served up an 8 goal, nail biting, physical spectacular that was played at a frantic pace. Slightly weird as it was an away game for the Godalming side, but played at Wey Court because City’s ground was not available.

Amongst the City team were Jack Battie and Kieran Wright, both ex Godalming players. Amongst the crowd there were also some very well-known faces who are sadly rare visitors to Wey Court, but could not resist the evenings offerings.

There was little to chose between the teams in the first half, but for me the Godalming side edged it with the tireless running of Tom Biss back at left wing, Bobby Bennett in the No 9 position and Piers Oldland on the right.

Piers and Bobby Bennett both went very close to opening the scoring in the early exchanges. Eventually their pressing of the City defence led to a miss-hit clearance that shot straight up in the air and would have landed inside the 6-yard box, but Tom Biss challenged the City keeper for it in the air and headed home to give Godalming the lead at the break.

The Godalming midfield were battling for everything and Lee Boon and Bobby Webbe showed a good deal of skill and passion, with some great quick passes backheels etc in the build-up moving from defence to attack. But the question was, could they sustain the pace?

HT Guildford City 0-1 Godalming Town

Not long into the second half Piers Oldland popped up in the middle of the pitch and slid a super pass through the City defence for Bobby Bennett to chase down and slot the ball past the City keeper. So, at 2-0 up, all was looking good from the GTFC point of view. But we all know how quickly things can change in football. Guildford had started the second half with a bit more determination and were threatening.

In a matter of minutes, they got two goals back. The first from a corner to the near post that was headed on to the far post for ex Town player Kieran Wright to head in at close range. The other where it seemed they caught out the Town defence for pace, the shot initially hitting the post but the rebound was put in by Jordan Gallagher.

Time for nail biting, which led to despair when the Town defence seemed to be unable to clear a ball that was in the middle of a small group of defenders in the 6 yard box, none of whom could put their boot through it. Dan Stewart however stuck his boot in and poked the ball home for City.

So, from having a two-goal lead to being 3 – 2 down, it was surely all over for the Godalming team. Not so. Clearly the Town had no choice but to go for it.  With the introduction of Jack May up front and Tre Trowers in the midfield for the knackered Bobby Webbe and Lee Boon they started to come back and continued to play some exciting stuff in attack and following a great run down their right the ball was played in quickly for Jack May to hit the equaliser. 3 -3.

City were hitting all sorts of shots from range, but mercifully for Godalming they mostly sailed over the bar.

Having recovered what seemed to be a hopeless situation the Godalming side then were running themselves into the ground and the tireless Bobby Bennett, who chased everything all night somehow got to a through ball that it seemed would beat him to the goal line. But he pulled it back into the middle where Jack May’s back heel flick failed to find the net, but he was close enough to chest it over the line to unbelievably put GTFC back in the lead. 4-3 with only a minute or so of time left. Surely this was the three points that GTFC so desperately needed if they were to improve their position in the League.

All seemed to be under control until a City player hit a great long-range shot/cross from their right that found the far top corner of Aiden Upwards net to level. Aiden had played his part in a thriller, making a couple of first class saves when called upon to do so. One from a free kick on the edge of the box, which he did really well to tip over the bar.

An absolute thriller that left all those watching experiencing a mixture of emotions. Funny old game football.

Michael (Stato) Stats: (On a school night? – Ed.)

Teams                  Guildford City                Godalming

attempts                           15                                  11

on target                             8                                    7

corners                                7                                    3

fouls                                  13                                  12

Yellows                                0                                    0

poss%  1st                       50                                   50

poss% 2nd                      52                                   48

Bovril status:  Seemed strangely familiar… mmmmmm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hanworth Villa (H)

Godalming Town 0 – 0 Hanworth Villa

This was a far more impressive performance from the Gees than the away encounter to “The Villains” almost two weeks ago. Despite the score line this was a thrilling game, which if there was any justice the home side would have won comfortably. They rattled the woodwork 4 times and had a goal disallowed, apparently for offside.

On top of this there was a great display from the visitor’s goalie who was inspired, making a string of saves and somehow plucked the ball out of the air one handed when it seemed Piers had chipped the ball over his head late in the second half.

It was a similar Gees line up that took to the field to that which lined up against Hanworth last Tuesday, but for Aiden Upward returning as keeper and Harrison Gilkes in for Tom Biss.

In the early exchanges it was clear that Gilkes and his opposite number Piers Oldland were planning to have a go at the visitor’s defence and they did just that. Piers having the first attempt rounding off a move with a fierce shot that just missed the top corner.

Minutes later and Bobby Bennett, who is always dangerous when he gets in the area, had a good header tipped over the bar. Well, everyone in the ground saw the visiting keeper tip it over, except the referee, who insisted upon a goal kick restarting the game.

Harrison Gilkes then had an astonishing run from deep in his own half down the left flank, beating several defenders on the way with sheer pace and then cut inside and hit a powerful shot that at first sight seemed to be in as the netting bulged, only to realise it was on the outside of the side netting.

Towards the end of the first half a long-range effort from the visitors hits the Gees crossbar as it dips going over Aiden.

HT Godalming 0-0 Hanworth Villa 

The second half saw the Gees dominate play.

Piers made a run past several defenders only for the shot to be turned around by the visiting keeper. Chad Goulter went close with a shot as the ball came out from the area from the ensuing corner. A swinging corner from Bobby Webbe hits the crossbar.

The home side were putting some good passing moves together linking well. Gilkes popped up in the middle and slid the ball through to Bobby Bennett who hit the upright and Piers put the rebound in to the relief of the home fans before it was ruled offside.

This was the best performance from the Gees for a while and they were well on top when Bobby Webbe went off to be replaced by Jack May upfront to go all out for the winner. The impressive Dom Hardisty came on for Joe Bendell who appeared to be suffering.

The referee also appeared to be suffering and even after reluctantly having a cosy chat with his assistant who had flagged for a Gees goal kick he refused to budge.  Who would be a ref when even your assistants cannot agree with you! Bobby Bennett hit the post with a good shot but the ball bounced clear. The visiting keeper made a good block coming off his line smartly to stifle a one on one chance.

In the final few minutes Piers, who was having an outstanding game, cut in yet again from the right and appeared to have lifted the ball over the advancing keeper only to see him stretch one hand up and somehow pluck the ball out of the air.

A tremendous effort from the lads, which on another day would have and should have seen them walk away with all three points.  At least it put an end to the run of defeats and a point is a point.

It seems crazy to me that even now there seems to be no certainty as to how many teams will go down from this league this year with the League restructuring taking place.  Seems like running a race when you are not sure where the finishing line is. Someone must know surely?

Michael  (Stato)  Stats

Michael  (Stato)  Stats

Teams         Godalming Town        Hanworth Villa

attempts             19                                        10

on target               8                                          5

corners                  6                                          6

fouls                       8                                       19

poss% 1st           50                                        50

poss%  2nd         58                                        42

Bovril status:  After last weekend’s swelter fest today was a day made for Bovril!   A significant number of Godalming fans are climate refugees from more northern climes who understand that summers may only last 3 or 4 days and the rest of the year should be spent comfort drinking whatever beverage gets you through the other 361 days of grotty weather.