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.