Godalming 0 – 3 Tooting & Mitcham
With Tooting flying high at the top of the league and the Gs well and truly at the bottom despite a recent improvement in form, this was always going to be a tough fixture for the home team. But with Chris Musgrove on a very unlucky suspension, Graeme Purdy and Darren Wheeler both out injured (though Purdy was named on the bench) would have made life even tougher.
So Dan Turkington had come up with plan to deal with the visitors who were rampant in their last few away games. He certainly seemed to have managed to do that right up to the 78th minute when it was still 0 -0. So while the feeling after Tuesdays match was of extreme frustration and disappointment there was a feeling that in the battling performance from the home side almost won them some points.
The visitors had a huge amount of possession in the first half, but despite that produced very little other than the odd long shot. They won ten corners in the first half, but were unable to produce any real threat from them with some strong performances from the home defence led by captain for the day Chris Wales and Matt Bunyan yet again who had another really impressive game helping out in defence as well as leading the attack.
Nick Sowden returned to the midfield to add some more energy in that department alongside Steve Brown and Bobby Dormer, whilst upfront Gs started with newcomer Emmanuel Quarshue alongside Matt Bunyan.
In the back row were Piers Oldland, Joseph Strochetti, Chris Wales Carl Garstang and Sean Mason. Oneal Garnes was in goal. The bench was made up of Graeme Purdy, Tom Webb, Callum Roots, Rory Sellick and William Efambe.
It was a cold and windy day with rain forecast for the second half.
While T& M showed why they are top of the league with some good passing moves in their build ups the Gs defence was a match for them. Incredible though it seemed with the score at 0-0 at half time it gave some hope to the home supporters that they might indeed get something from this game. Jo Strochetti received a yellow card and a further talking to from the ref, so was replaced at half time by Rory Sellick.
A few minutes into the second half T& M brought on Jack Mazzone, who only a couple of months back was the fans favourite at Wey Court with so many brilliant and inspiring games for the Gs when they were managerless and in real trouble.
Fifteen minutes into the second half William Efambe came on for Emmanuel Quarshue. He is a promising youngster growing in confidence every game.
Twenty minutes in to the second half the T&M no 7 had a shot from range which rattled the crossbar when it hit the junction of the upright and the crossbar Oneal Garnes having watched it go past.
Then at the other end Matt Bunyan got onto a free kick from Carl Garstang and back headed the ball towards the T&M goal but Kyle Merson (also an ex G) was up to it and saved comfortably.
The influential Bunyan appeared too receive an unfriendly elbow to the throat, which felled him in front of the dugouts. Fortunately he was able to continue.
The Gs won their first corner after 30 minutes of the second half. Could they snatch a goal against the run of play? So the scores stayed level, but not for much longer.
Carl Garstang gave away a free kick on the Gs left. T&M No 3 Peter Wedgeworth hit a curling shot over the wall that dipped into the far corner of the net. Rather as we are used to seeing a certain Darren Wheeler do over the years.
So now on 78 minutes the Gs were one nil down. Hard for the lads who had battled so hard. But they did not let their heads drop.
Matt Bunyan saw another attempt go just wide of the post.
The Gs were pressing more now trying to get back into the game with their wing backs getting forward more.
Of course that left them a bit more exposed to the quick break, and so it was. The visitors attacked down their left when a low cross was delivered to that man Mazzone who was not going to miss from a couple of yards out.
The Gs still battled on and having won a few more corners with Rory and William bringing some more pace up front. They seemed to have scored a goal from a Garstang corner, but the referee insisted that there was interference with the visitors keeper rather than that he had just missed it in the wind as so many saw it at the time. Difficult to take when you think of some of the treatment that has been handed out to Oneal in the past when opponents have scored this season. But there it is.
Not that it could have changed the result.
Anyway almost straight from the restart of play Jack Mazzone got his second and the visitors third just before the final whistle.
Worthy winners but as I have said before it is tough when the guys fight so hard and get nothing.
G’s Tootng & Mitcham
attempts 6 14
on target 2 7
corners 3 15
fouls 14 18
Dayglow cards 3 1
poss 1st Hasf 31 69
poss 2nd Half 48 52