Godalming Town 3 – 0 Banstead Athletic
What a difference a few days can make!
Tuesday night’s performance was disappointing at Colliers Wood, but this was a whole lot more enjoyable. With Steve Bettancourt unavailable the Gees fielded probably the youngest back four in living memory. Andrew is convinced that their combined age is less than mine. His addition is flawed, but not by much. They really impressed. Dom Hardisty was at right back and Josh Pound at left back, while Josh Kempton and Lewis Lodge were the centre backs. Tom Webb was in goal and had a pretty easy game, having only one really testing shot that he had to deal with and he did just that, getting down at full stretch in the second half.
In the midfield Jack Howard, and Lee Boon (captain for the day) were everywhere. Ben Cotton was wide on the right, while new faces Hanson Gilkes wide on the left and Nathan Webb up front alongside Hakim Griffiths. The bench included Benga Ogunseye, Ainsley Everett, Isy Nzello and Jon Palmer. Bobby Bennett is suffering with a ham string problem, but hopes to be back in a week or so, if all goes well.
The game could not have started better for the home side as within 6 minutes of the start Nathan Webb slipped the ball neatly through the Banstead defence for Hakim Griffiths to run onto and score from close range. Just reward for the effort that Hakim always puts in to his game.
Shortly after the goal Jack Howard hit a powerful shot that the visiting keeper had to get down well to stop. A dominant performance from the Gees in the first half that saw them lead 1-0 at half time.
HT Godalming Town 1-0 Banstead Athletic
Hakim and Nathan were giving the visiting defence no time on the ball and early in the second half there was some indecision in the Banstead defence and the lively Hanson Gilkes responded quickly and poked the ball past the visiting keeper to give the Gees some breathing space.
With 30 minutes to go Ben Cotton who seems to be getting back to match fitness was replaced by Ainsley Everett and soon after Hakim came off as Benga replaced him upfront. The third replacement saw Isy come on for Hanson. Like Ben, Isy is recovering match fitness after a long period out with injury, so it is good to see him getting some match time.
The second half saw the visitors throw everything they could at the Gees, but the back four stood up well, as did the rest of the squad.
Ainsley made a terrific run out of defence and made it into the area where he was brought down. After the ref consulted his assistant he awarded the penalty. Ainsley hit it well and with power. Just as well as the keeper got his hands to it, but could not keep it out.
A terrific result, three points and a clean sheet. It is not over by a long way, but well done to the whole squad including Gav and Jon for a great performance.
Michael (Stato) Stats
Teams Gees Banstead
attempts 8 11
on target 4 5
corners 4 6
fouls 13 12
Yellow cards 1 3
poss%1st 57 43
poss% 2nd 42 58
Bovril status: freshly milled black pepper,a steaming mug of black magic and three points in the bag… it just doesn’t get better than this!