Guildford City (A)

Guildford City 4   –  4  Godalming Town

After Saturdays goalless thriller against Hanworth the two teams in this local derby served up an 8 goal, nail biting, physical spectacular that was played at a frantic pace. Slightly weird as it was an away game for the Godalming side, but played at Wey Court because City’s ground was not available.

Amongst the City team were Jack Battie and Kieran Wright, both ex Godalming players. Amongst the crowd there were also some very well-known faces who are sadly rare visitors to Wey Court, but could not resist the evenings offerings.

There was little to chose between the teams in the first half, but for me the Godalming side edged it with the tireless running of Tom Biss back at left wing, Bobby Bennett in the No 9 position and Piers Oldland on the right.

Piers and Bobby Bennett both went very close to opening the scoring in the early exchanges. Eventually their pressing of the City defence led to a miss-hit clearance that shot straight up in the air and would have landed inside the 6-yard box, but Tom Biss challenged the City keeper for it in the air and headed home to give Godalming the lead at the break.

The Godalming midfield were battling for everything and Lee Boon and Bobby Webbe showed a good deal of skill and passion, with some great quick passes backheels etc in the build-up moving from defence to attack. But the question was, could they sustain the pace?

HT Guildford City 0-1 Godalming Town

Not long into the second half Piers Oldland popped up in the middle of the pitch and slid a super pass through the City defence for Bobby Bennett to chase down and slot the ball past the City keeper. So, at 2-0 up, all was looking good from the GTFC point of view. But we all know how quickly things can change in football. Guildford had started the second half with a bit more determination and were threatening.

In a matter of minutes, they got two goals back. The first from a corner to the near post that was headed on to the far post for ex Town player Kieran Wright to head in at close range. The other where it seemed they caught out the Town defence for pace, the shot initially hitting the post but the rebound was put in by Jordan Gallagher.

Time for nail biting, which led to despair when the Town defence seemed to be unable to clear a ball that was in the middle of a small group of defenders in the 6 yard box, none of whom could put their boot through it. Dan Stewart however stuck his boot in and poked the ball home for City.

So, from having a two-goal lead to being 3 – 2 down, it was surely all over for the Godalming team. Not so. Clearly the Town had no choice but to go for it.  With the introduction of Jack May up front and Tre Trowers in the midfield for the knackered Bobby Webbe and Lee Boon they started to come back and continued to play some exciting stuff in attack and following a great run down their right the ball was played in quickly for Jack May to hit the equaliser. 3 -3.

City were hitting all sorts of shots from range, but mercifully for Godalming they mostly sailed over the bar.

Having recovered what seemed to be a hopeless situation the Godalming side then were running themselves into the ground and the tireless Bobby Bennett, who chased everything all night somehow got to a through ball that it seemed would beat him to the goal line. But he pulled it back into the middle where Jack May’s back heel flick failed to find the net, but he was close enough to chest it over the line to unbelievably put GTFC back in the lead. 4-3 with only a minute or so of time left. Surely this was the three points that GTFC so desperately needed if they were to improve their position in the League.

All seemed to be under control until a City player hit a great long-range shot/cross from their right that found the far top corner of Aiden Upwards net to level. Aiden had played his part in a thriller, making a couple of first class saves when called upon to do so. One from a free kick on the edge of the box, which he did really well to tip over the bar.

An absolute thriller that left all those watching experiencing a mixture of emotions. Funny old game football.

Michael (Stato) Stats: (On a school night? – Ed.)

Teams                  Guildford City                Godalming

attempts                           15                                  11

on target                             8                                    7

corners                                7                                    3

fouls                                  13                                  12

Yellows                                0                                    0

poss%  1st                       50                                   50

poss% 2nd                      52                                   48

Bovril status:  Seemed strangely familiar… mmmmmm