Category Archives: News

Epsom and Ewell (A)

Epsom and Ewell 5 – 2 Godalming

Let me start by saying that at first sight and looking at the score you would be forgiven for thinking this was a trouncing. Nothing could be further from the truth as those who were there will be well aware of. It was an exciting encounter, which, up until the final few minutes, dared to make us think that we could get our first point of the season.

Whilst the Jersey match was a step into the unknown, this game brought us back to more familiar territory and Chipstead ‘s ground to visit ex G’s manager Simon Funnell (and I see another Funnell on the E&E team sheet). Also, the mercurial Bobby Bennett also an ex G player who was a prolific goal scorer for us and probably capable of playing at a higher level.

The first challenge was getting to the ground on time, but the M25 was good to us on the night even if the restricted car parking did delay us sufficiently to miss the kick off. Seeing the team sheet on the way to the ground and seeing that there was no Ollie Stevens to go along with the missing Curtis Osano to go along with the injured Adam Bricknell did not bode particularly well, but, on the good side Jack Stow was back on the list as was the new name of Mohamed Angar at left back.

This allowed Rory Sellick to be located in front of the back four along with Darren Wheeler and Ryan Villa with Jack Cleeveley upfront and Kenny Kasabante and Francis Sey in the wide positions. The trusty Dom Hardisty was on the bench with Myron Mckenzie.

Again, the G’s started the game brightly and Kenny got in a great run down the right flank and delivered the ball to the 6 yard box where Francis closed in and got his foot on it, only to see the home keeper get down really quickly to block the shot. Mohamad at left back looked really comfortable even having to look after Bobby Bennett.

Darren showed his undeniable skill when he danced through the home defence at pace past three or four defenders only to finally loose the ball in the penalty area. It brought back memories of the many special moments he has given us in the past years. It is a shame that these were not all recorded on film for posterity.

Sure, the G’s were forced to defend for a fair bit, but there were few real chances for the home side on Jordan’s goal although he did have to save from Bobby Bennett at close range. It was 0-0 at half time and the Gs certainly showed some threat on the break. Rory and Ethan again stood out for me as did Kenny, Francis and Ryan in the attack.

We have seen our defence caught out by long ball over the top before when we are in attacking mode and so it was again. We were 1-0 down, but the lads up front and in defence kept giving it a good go.

In the end Ryan worked his way in from the left side and on the edge of the box he hit a good shot that took a deflection on its way through to bring the score level. Ryan’s first goal for the G’s I think. Jack Cleeveley picked up a yellow card.

Then 30 minutes into the second half we were then caught out again by the long ball when Bobby Bennett latched onto another delivery behind the G’s defence, he advanced towards Jordan before putting the ball away to put the home side in front again at 2-1.

But the Gs were not done for and 13 minutes later Francis also cut in from the left (after the ball was skilfully delivered back onto the pitch by Dave Spindler as only he can) and delivered a shot that brought the score level. Well-deserved for his hard graft and again a first goal for the G’s I think.

At this point we were cruelly allowed to think we might leave the game with at least our first point of the season as the match seemed delicately poised with only few minutes left. E& E were awarded a free kick in the middle of the pitch that was hit to the far post then being played back across the face of the goal before being volleyed home to put them in front again at 3-2 as we went to injury time.

That was just long enough for E&E to add two more goals as the G’s threw Ethan up front as well in an attempt to get at least a point. No complaints at all about the effort from all of the lads who did themselves and us proud but shipped three goals absolutely at the death.

Sure we start to pickup some points in the next few weeks as players recover and hopefully return.

Jersey Bulls (H)

Godalming 0 – 5 Jersey

We were all keen to see what the newcomers to the League were like and as they arrived at the Bill Kyte Stadium as top of the League scoring nine goals and without conceding a goal in their opening two matches it seemed that they were going to be pretty good. That was an understatement. If they can hold the team together for the season, from what I saw, they will win the League at a canter.

It was a worry to see on the trip to the ground that the Gs would be without Joe Lewis, Jack Stow and no sign of Reegan Scotcher as yet, but also no captain Curtis Osano as well. So, neither of Les’ favoured centre backs. Also, a worry to see that, although he was back from holiday, Darren was wearing the number 4 shirt. Not really centre back material I wouldn’t have thought. It was clearly another cunning plan, or was it just that the shirts did not fit that Adam Bricknell was also shown as number 7?

Dom Hardisty came into the back four as did Ryan Villa with Ethan Kaiser and Rory Sellick being drafted in to the centre back positions. It was also good to see the talented Richie Mbelle back on the squad sheet for the first time this season. Adam Bricknell was also in the midfield with Jack Cleeveley and Francis Sey and with Ollie Stevens upfront there was at least some hope of a goal or two.

For some reason Kenny Kassabante was starting on the bench along with Matt Kerbey, Charlie Chennel, Liam Gadd and new name Myron Mckenzie. In fact, for once, the G’s got into their stride well in the opening minutes and pressed their opponents when Darren Wheeler made a well-timed tackle before slipping the ball through the visitor’s defence to Jack Cleeveley who delivered a shot from outside the area that hit the crossbar, but bounced harmlessly away.

Then I think it was Richie Mbele who wiggled his way to the left-hand side of the visitor’s area and finally delivered a floating ball into the 6 yard box where Ollie had perhaps a bit too much time to pick his spot, but unusually on this occasion he did not hit the target with his header.

The visitors first goal was all my fault as I had just commented upon the fact that we were dominating the play after 11 minutes. However, a very soft free kick was awarded to Jersey from where they played the ball diagonally wide down their left and then back across the face of the G’s goal before it was hit on the volley powerfully past Jordan.

The second goal was an unstoppable shot from 35 yards out wide on their right that just found the top far corner of Jordan’s net. Don’t think we could have stopped that if we had two keepers. The G’s cause was not at all helped when Adam Bricknell went down injured midway through the first half. He soldiered on until the break, but clearly was not able to run it off.

Despite being behind to two fine goals the lads did pretty well through the first half but inevitably the Jersey lads found their feet well and looked very strong in defence.

The second half saw Kenny come on to replace Adam but was pretty well dominated by the visitors. Despite this it has to be said that there were some superb performances from the G’s squad particularly from both Rory and Ethan who were getting in some crucial tackles and blocks.

Sometimes you just have to accept that you are beaten by a much better team and that was the case in this game. Seems unlikely that Jersey will remain in this League beyond this season as they were so much stronger everywhere on the pitch. 5- 0 does not look good, but I suspect other teams will suffer a similar fate.

Onwards to the next encounter with Epsom and Ewell where we hope to get some joy and possibly a point or two.

Fleet Spurs (A)

Fleet Spurs 4 – 2 Godalming

Well we are at least consistent. 2-4 again. But wouldn’t it be good to be consistently winning 4 – 2 ? Or is that too much to ask for.

We visited the very friendly folk of Fleet Spurs with the memory of our last few trips to Kennels Lane last season still vivid in our minds.  Andrew and I spent an hour or so forking, sweeping and generally trying to remove the small ponds that had landed upon the Fleet Spurs pitch with Matt, Giles, Les and others alongside the Fleet guys, whilst the ref encouraged us all in the attempt to get the game under way. It all seemed to have been worthwhile as the transformation slowly took place, and with the G’s strong squad observing from the side-lines all seemed to be going well. Then a few minutes before the teams got on to the pitch the heavens opened yet again and we made our way home again muttering under our breath as the pitch gradually disappeared under the water again. But we came back for the replay and won a tight game 2-1 on that occasion.

The Gs started well and dominated the opening minutes of this game despite the wind, which was blowing an absolute gale in favour of the home side but we could not get our shots on target. You know what happens when you commit players forward with the pressure mounting on your opponents. They break quickly with long balls out of defence. In fairness their number nine Andre Smith looked a class act taking the ball well, using his pace and hitting a good shot past the G’s keeper Jordan Knight.

Fleet attacked gain quickly down their right and were able to deliver a low cross into the 6 yard area for their second goal from a tap in. The Gs continued to get lots of possession and had numerous chances but none to really trouble the home goalkeeper.

So, 2-0 down as the teams went in for half time and the rain started as well. But it would be in our favour in the second half – wouldn’t it?

No stats from Stats-Man Michael as he is away visiting Europe, while we still can. But Hendo assured me that the Gs had 8 attempts in the first half to 2 for Fleet Spurs. Who could argue with Hendo.  We certainly had plenty of chances but were just not converting them. It would all change in the second half. Indeed, from apparently nowhere the sun appeared as the wind eased and it seemed tat the Gods might at last be looking favourably upon us.

But Rory Sellick took a nasty knock in a tackle, which did not seem anything too fearsome, but saw him carried off the pitch and Liam Gadd come on to replace him.

Ollie Stevens was hauled down in the penalty area and Joe Lewis stepped up to take the spot kick to make it 2-1. Perhaps our prayers were to be answered after all.

Ollie was doing well upfront with Kenny also doing well cutting in from the wide positions. But we could not find the finishing touch needed. We hit the post and the ball rebounded conveniently straight to the home keeper. Jordan made a good save diving low to his left from an advancing Fleet forward.

Not long after a shot from a fair way out seemed to bobble its way just inside the far post to put the home side 3-1 up. Ethan Kaiser got up well from defence, but his shot just cleared the bar.

Somehow the home forward Andre Smith worked his way through the middle of the Gs defence to make it 4 – 1 before we saw Kenny yet again get down the right wing and this time his ball into the are found Ollie Stevens on hand to hit a strong header against the bar which fell on top of the home keeper and a defender cleared the ball, but the linesman flagged for a goal for the Gs.

Final score 4 – 2 to the home side. One of those games where you get punished if you do not take your chances. Looking forward to Jersey Bulls at the weekend and an early kick off at 1pm to give them a chance to get back to the airport in time.

Chessington & Hook (H)

Godalming 2 – 4 Chessington and Hook

After some encouraging performances in the pre-season “Friendlies” we hoped to get the new season underway with a home win at the newly named Bill Kyte Stadium. Unfortunately, the plan did not come to fruition as intended.

There was no Darren Wheeler, Reegan Scotcher or Felix Onabanjo, but we had Jordan Knight in goal, Ethan Kaiser, Joe Lewis, Curtis Osano and Rory Sellick as the back four. Jake Heard, Adam Bicknell and Jack Cleeveley in the middle, Francis Sey wide on the left, Jack Stow wide on the right and Ollie Stevens at number 9. On the bench were Liam Gadd, Kenny Kasibante, Matt Kerbey and Don Hardisty.

After only a couple of minutes we saw the visitors waltz through the G’s defence and put the ball in the back of the net, before any of the players had broken sweat. Worse was to come when the home side went two nil down after appearing to have defended an attack but failed to clear the ball effectively.

At times the G’s were passing the ball well amongst themselves in the middle but found it difficult in the final third of the pitch. The third goal was a self-inflicted wound when an innocuous looking back pass to Jordan went clean under his foot and into the net. In my days we were always told to play the ball back wide of the goal for this very reason, but no-one seems to bother these days. Our heads were in our hands by now wondering what tragedy we would see next.

Then within about the first 40 minutes we were 4-0 down and wondering whether it was worth watching the rest of the game when Ethan got forward on the right hand side and played the ball low into the 6-yard area where Ollie Steven did what he does so well and steered the ball into the net.

The G’s were pressing again and won a couple of corners as a result. From a corner on the left the ball was pulled back to Jake Heard and Adam Bicknell who delivered the ball beautifully into the box for Ollie to net again for the G’s second before half time. It gave us the faintest hope that perhaps we would see a Liverpool like come back.

All of a sudden it looked quite possible that the game was not a forgone conclusion. Six goals in the first half and three of them score by the G’s.

The second half did not start that well either as the G’s gave away a penalty opportunity early on, but Jordan Knight picked the correct side, getting down well to pushed the ball away to his right while diving full length. Maybe this was the catalyst for a G’s recovery, a sign from the footballing Gods?

Jack Stow for me did well enough although out of position but gave way to Kenny on the right wing. The second half was much more evenly contested with Curtis going close with a header from a corner, but the goals dried up. This was of course was disappointing for the opening game but let’s hope we see a better performance on Saturday at Fleet Spurs.

Michael (Stato) Stats

 Teams                   G’s            Chessington & Hook

attempts                 10                     10

on target                   5                       6

corners                      3                       1

fouls                           7                       9  –

poss% 1st               50                     50

poss% 2nd             60                     40

Yellows                     2                       1

Reds                         1 (manager)

Sin bin                      1

Bovril status:  Too hot for the tasting committee. Given how the climate is changing when will the big brains at Bovril HQ bring out Bovril’s ice lollies or Bovril’s ice creams for the summer season?  Imagine a Bovril ice cream with a stick of beef jerky sticking out of it as a sort of meaty 99?

 

 

Guildford City (Bill Kyte Memorial Trophy)

 

Godalming 0 – 3 Guildford City (Bill Kyte Memorial Trophy)

This was the final friendly of the pre-season and annual derby meeting with our friends from Guildford. Good to see lots of old G’s amongst the visitors including Izzy Nzelo, Sean Mason, Benga, Bobby Webb, Ben Cotton and I have probably missed one or two others.

Also good for the G’s to see that Rory Sellick was back at The Bill Kyte Stadium as was Ollie Stevens, Kenny Kassabante, Curtis Osano Joe Lewis, Jordan Knight, Darren Wheeler, Dom Hardisty, Liam Gadd, Jake Heard, and Ethan Kaiser. They were joined by some impressive looking newcomers who fitted well into the squad. Les has announced the starting squad for the season now so lots of good returning players including Matt Kerbey, Reegan Scotcher, Charlie Chennel, Jack Cleeveley, yet to make an appearance.

For me this was the slickest Guildford side I have seen and all credit to them, they looked good. Their number 11 was lightning quick and good with the ball too. Izzy and his counterpart in the left wing-back position were giving the home defence a hard time. But the only way to learn is to keep playing strong teams.

It only took a couple of minutes for the Guildford flier to create the first goal, when he got around the back of the G’s defence and delivered the ball low into the 6-yard box for a relatively easy finish.

The G’s were trying to play the attractive passing football that Les wants to see and Francis did some good work out on the left and delivered the ball into the box where Ollie twisted and hit the ball on the volley, but could not keep it down and it cleared the bar.

The second came from Guildford as the ball was allowed to ping pong from left to right in the G’s goal area before being put away.

After the G’s won a corner Curtis had a good chance, but could not keep his shot down and it also cleared the bar.Guildford seemed to have scored a third before it was flagged as offside.

In the second half Ethan Kaiser got his head to a well delivered ball from a free kick from Joe Lewis who had came on for the second half as the re-arrangement of the side stiffened up the back row.

The home side then delivered another gift to their visitors when they coughed up the ball when trying to play out of the defence and went 3-0 down.

The G’s still managed to get some good passing moves together and Francis Say seemed to have wiggled his way through before being brought down in the penalty area, only to be told he was offside.

So, some good things certainly although on the night the G’s were second best. Roll on the first match of the new season against Chessington and Hook on Saturday.

Tooting Bec (H)

Godalming 1 – 5 Tooting Bec

We had hoped for a win against promotion chasers Tooting Bec on the last game of the season at home. But, despite a reasonable performance, it was not to be. Tooting were armed with a flying number 11 Eddie Mibango who had one heck of a game and came away with four goals to his name.

The Gs fielded a more settled side and it was great to see Reegan Scotcher declared fit again after 5-6 weeks away. In the opening minutes Ollie Stevens in typical style showing strength and speed got himself in between the visiting keeper and his defender to poke a shot goal-wards that narrowly missed the target.

But the Gs defence which seemed to start with three in the back line was undone when a ball from the Tooting left wing was allowed to travel across the face of the goal for a close-range header to put the visitors 1-0 up almost immediately after Ollie went close.

Matters got worse when from a corner out on their right a first-time unstoppable volley was hit spectacularly into the Gs net to put Tooting 2-0 up with only 17 minutes gone.

For me the Gs were matching Tooting in the build-up play, but it was clear that the visitors had improved since we played them at their place and were a well organised and experienced side compared to the Gs youngsters.

Darren Wheeler delivered a cracking corner for the Gs out on their right at the road end and we saw Curtis Osano get up and place a glancing header inside the far post to bring the score back to 1-2. It was all to play for.

Gs mounted a fair bit of pressure on the visitor’s goal but could not convert their pressure into goals. Then another quick break out of defence saw that pesky number 11 gain his hat trick before half time when he was being challenged by Reegan, but somehow still manged to beat Jordan Knight as he came out to close down the angle.

HT Godalming 1-3 Tooting Bec.

Joe Lewis received a yellow card and then not long after was unfortunate to hurt himself as he cleared the ball away near the dugout touchline, the ball taking out a Tooting player as it struck his head. Joe fell awkwardly and the damage was done so he was taken to hospital as a precaution. Hope he is on the mend now. Dom Hardisty came on for him.

Shortly after Donte who had another great game for me played Kenny in and he went beautifully around the visiting keeper only to be given as offside. Had that brought the score back to 3-2 who knows what would have happened.

But Tooting were not done for when that number 11 managed to squeeze another shot home at the near post from what appeared to be a very tight angle. Darren was Yellow carded as he tried to help a Tooting player onto the bench.

Jake Heard came on for Richie Mbele in the middle. Richie unable to come up with another spectacular goal on this occasion. Jordan the was unable to keep hold of a speculative long range shot which gave the visitors a close-range tap in to effectively finish things of. Good to see Liam Gadd come on for Darren and make his mark on the game, even if some of the Gs supporters were unsure about the growth on his chin.

The Gs never gave up in a more dominant second half performance although the result was clear and Kenny got in a good shot that brought a great save from the visiting keeper at the death. You will see from the stats that we had plenty of pressure and corners but it was one of those days when the Tooting number 11 could do no wrong while the Gs can feel that they got little in the way of luck. But that is the way it goes.

Cannot make it to the game at Chessington so if someone else feels the urge to make a few notes that would be great. That also means I will not be able to make it to the awards evening, which is unfortunate. I think Les now has the basis of a very good squad for next season, if he can hold these lads together. Here’s to a great next season. Probably see a few of you before then.

COYGs.

Michael (Stato) Stats

                   Gees      Tooting Bec

attempts     10                 11

on target     6                   7

corners       7                   4

fouls           13                  5

poss 1         44                56

poss 2         52                48

cards          2 yellows

Bovril status:  Bovril back in town but this time in cube form.  Head Bovrista Kevin is experimenting with dosages and stirring techniques to extract the perfect dose of beefy magic.

Kensington Borough (H)

Godalming 2 – 2 Kensington Borough

We hoped to take all three points from this encounter after the somewhat dismal showing when we were away to Kensington and they ended up with all three points as the result of an early penalty. It looked to us all as if we were going to comfortably walk away from the ground with a smile on our faces as the two superb goals that the Gs youngsters scored appeared to be enough to wreak our revenge. But, at the absolute death, there was a moment of indecision that allowed the visitors to share the points.

We are almost seeing a settled squad – at last! A bit late you say, well – better late than never I suppose and let’s hope this group can stick together to form the basis of the team next year

In front of Jordan Knight were Dom Hardisty, Curtis Osano, Joe Lewis. Jake Heard, Jack Howard and Richie Mbele in the middle Kenny Kassabante and Ollie Stevens wide and Jack Cleevely at No 10 and Donte Lodge Francis at Number 9.

The Gs started well putting pressure on their visitors and Ollie Stevens going close from a header from a corner. Curtis ended up being booked, for what I do not know, but the ref seemed a bit keen to try out his new whistle and this disrupted things for me at times. He missed totally that Curtis had his standing foot taken from him a little late but penalised all sort of delicate touches.

Gs had a few more opportunities that they could not convert but towards the end of the first half Donte worked hard on the right flank to shrug off a number of defenders before getting the ball in to the box. The ball then came out as far as Richie Mbele who showed his undoubted class yet again when he adjusted his balance and hit the ball from outside the box left footed curling the ball into the top left corner in as good a strike as you will see on MOTD.

HT Godalming 1-0  Kensington Borough

All seemed to be going quite well for the Gs although they could not capitalise on further chances. Ollie Stevens again leading the charge and in one episode showed great pace wide before cutting in and shrugging of a string of defenders and finally hitting a powerful shot across the goal that hit the upright and bounced out. Ollie certainly was unlucky not to get on the score sheet again in this game. He had a good header from a Jack Howard corner go just wide amongst others.

Then as often seems to happen if you are pressing you are open to a quick counter attack and just such a case allowed a visiting forward space down the middle to allow them to draw level one-on-one with Jordan to bring them level.

With around twenty minutes to go Kenny Kassabante chased down the visiting keeper who was a bit slow trying to get to a ball outside the box on the Gs right. Kenny got possession and lifted a delightful left footed chip into the net to the delight of all of us watching and his team mates. We know how good Kenny is and he seems to be getting his form back.

Always alert Ollie Stevens finally did get the ball, into the net, but only to be ruled as offside to the displeasure of the Gs supporters at that end.

As the home side seemed to be piling on more pressure even Joe Lewis took an excursion into the Kensington defence and hit a good shot that the visiting keeper needed to scamper across to cover.

So as we seemed to be cruising to three points a long clearance from the visiting keeper bounce in the Gs half and Jordan called for the ball, but somehow got caught in two minds about whether the ball was going to carry into his area and instead of just wellying it into the stands he was beaten to the ball, which was side-footed home to the delight of the visiting team. Who would be a keeper? There was barely time to restart the game.

Michael (Stato) Stats

                 Godalming       Kensington Borough

attempts              11                         9   

on target                8                         6

corners                  6                         2

yellows                  2                         1

poss% 1st           46                       54

poss% 2nd          53                       47

Bovril status:  Never mind Brexit or Mexican border walls… we have our very own constitutional crisis at the Oven Door.  The Bovril drought continues!

Bedfont & Feltham (A)

Bedfont and Feltham 5 – 0 Godalming

On the face of it this looks like a complete drubbing for the Gs, but despite the scoreline this for me was a much better performance than we saw on Tuesday night. This time against the team at the top of the table.

Make no mistake we lost to a much better team who are probably the best team we have seen in this league. An experienced well organised squad who generally towered above the Gs youngsters. But it was definitely “a game of two halves” as they say.

Jordan Knight was in goal as usual but with no Darren Wheeler, Jake Heard, Jordan Clements or Reegan Scotcher it seemed that Les lined up his squad with three centre backs Curtis, Og and Joe and presumably playing as two wing backs Ryan and the returning Kenny Kassabante. Good to see him back with us.

Jack H was in front of the defensive line and Richie and Jack C in the middle with Ollie and Donte up front. On the bench were Dom, Samba, Liam, Charlie, Matt Kerbey and a returning Abdullah Ismail who we have not seen for a while.

For me the Gs looked good when they started and indeed were the first to find the net, but Ollie was rightly flagged for an offside. Then with the visitors having had the best of the possession in the first fifteen minutes the home side managed to break down their left and delivered a simple low ball into the 6yard box for a close-range tap in.

Only six or seven minutes later they made it two when their No 11 was allowed the freedom of the parish and accepted the invitation to deliver again a square ball into the 6- yard box for a mirror of the first.

Les then chose to change the line-up and replaced Ryan Villa with Dom Hardisty as a more conventional left back in a back four.

However, the home side were able to add another before half time with a shot from well wide on their left that found the inside of the far post.

HT: Bedfont & Feltham 3-0 Godalming

The second half saw a big improvement and lots of good football from the Gs with both Donte and Richie outstanding and demonstrating their quality. Ollie as always was working hard upfront but after a period of 30 minutes when we seemed to dominate the play a defensive error at the back called on Jordan knight to make a save at point blank range.

It seemed that Donte might get one back when after some great play he headed off towards the goal fending off a defender. He hit a cracking shot that crashed against the upright and bounced back into play. It was just one of those days.

After all that the home side went up the other end and a further weakness in the Gs defence saw them fail to clear a speculative high ball into the box and the hosts were up to four against the run of play.

Just to add insult to injury we gifted another goal to them before the end with indecision at the back when we could have cleared the ball.

Perhaps the desire to play attractive football, which is itself admirable, needs to be tempered with a need to play a more direct style at times. Just a thought.

I was impressed by the set up at Bedfont :- great pitch and supporters. Very welcoming excellent squad and no whinging to the ref,. Before the game they marked a horrendous day in their history when, thirty years ago, three of their players died in a freak car crash when they were hit by a police car travelling at speed on the way back from a game.

 COYGs

Michael (Stato) Stats

                 Bedfont & Feltham                     G’s

attempts               15                                        8

on target               10                                        5

poss% 1st             65                                      35

poss% 2nd            45                                      55

cards                                                                 1

Bovril status:  No issues this week with Bovril recognition.  It was on their menu of delights just above Dog Rolls.  Being such a jet-setting hipster place we were served delicious Bovril cubes! Great idea but will it ever catch on away from the Big Smoke?

Sheerwater (H)

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.

Michael(Stato)  Stats:-

                               G’s                 Sheerwater

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. 

Kensington Borough (A)

Kensington Borough 1 – 0 Godalming

Having seen the Gs earn three points on Saturday and a well-deserved point against Frimley on both occasions with a much better second half performance after poor first halves I am afraid they started this game in a similar style.

After 3 minutes they gave away a penalty to allow the home side to go in front and from that point onwards were hustled off the ball, were unable to hold on to the ball, were pressured into mistakes at times and on other occasions the Gs just could not string any passes together and came off looking second best. So well done to Kensington who appeared to want it more.

The Gs were without Donte Lodge-Francis, Richie Mbele, Darren Wheeler and Jordan Clements.  So, Ryan Villa started on one wing and Samba Betts on the other. Ollie Stevens was in the number 9 shirt and Jack Cleevey as No 10. Jake Heard and Jack Howard were in the middle with Curtis retuning to the captaincy after a few weeks away partnering Joe Lewis as the centre backs and Oghale Ogbuadu at right back and Reegan Scotcher at left back. Jordan Knight in goal as usual. On the bench were Dom Hardisty, Charlie Chenelle, Liam Gadd and Matt Kerbey.

In fact Dom was not on the bench for long as Reegan Scotcher had to be helped off the pitch early on.

The Gs did apply a fair bit of pressure and indeed won an indirect free kick on the edge of the 6 yard box but could not convert the chance. See the Twitter feed. Ollie came close with a chance when he hit a shot from the right that went across the face of the goal.

Dom Hardisty delivered a good free kick into the box which Ollie got his head to, but the ball went just wide of the post. Early in the second half Curtis got on to the end of a good free kick into the box from Jack Howard that just hit the top of the crossbar.

Ollie worked his way into the box from the left and somehow pulled the ball into the 6 yard box where Ryan went for a header but was taken out by the keeper as the ball went over again.

Disappointing result for the travelling fans. We will need to be a lot better on Saturday at Bedfont and I am sure that Les will do all he can to get the lads up for that game.

COYG’s