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.