Godalming 2 – 1 Hailsham Town (FA Vase)
A first win of the season for the Gs and a very well-deserved win at that. The only disappointment would be that the score does not reflect the overall domination that the Gs showed through most of the game.
In front of Jordan Knight were Mo Amghur, Joe Lewis, Ethan Kaiser and Raisan Francis with Darren Wheeler, Rory Sellick and Richie Mbele. Ollie Stevens was upfront in the number 9 shirt while the wide players were Kenny Kassabante and Francis Sey. We also had a very strong bench with Jack Stow, Ryan Villa, Jake Heard, Dom Hardisty and Liam Gadd.
The first half was a pretty one-sided affair, but the question needs to be asked how come the home side, after all that domination, did not get a shot on goal, apart from the header that saw Ollie Stevens put us ahead? Plenty of attempts that went wide.
The game started well for the home side who pressed their opponents well and the two backs got well forward in attack. Darren Wheeler played the ball in well and Ollie headed just wide. Francis Sey did a great job working his way in from the wing, but his shot cleared the bar. In fact, Kenny and Francis were running their defenders ragged, but probably took one too many touches and did not get the ball in to the Gs number nine quickly enough.
On the 39th minute Darren (who had lined up in front of the back four) got forward on the left in attack and lifted the ball gently to the far post and of course Ollie was there to head home from close range.
HT Godalming 1-0 Hailsham Town
After last week’s steaming temperatures, it was good to see the rain starting to fall and enjoying the first half-time Bovril of the season.
We were looking forward to taking control of the game in the second half, but got a bit of a shock, when only minutes after the restart with a substitute introduced on the left wing the visitors attacked down their left and seemed to get through the Gs defence before levelling the score with their first shot on target. Hailsham seemed to be a much better side after the break.
About ten minute later Les changed things around when Darren was replaced by Jake Heard and Kenny was replaced by Ryan Villa. Having suffered an injury again Mo was allowed to be replaced by Jack Stow.
It took only another ten minutes to see Ryan battle his way to getting on the end of a long clearance from Jordan, despite the attentions of a couple of defenders and found a way to poke the ball past the advancing keeper to restore the lead for the Gs.
The home side started to impose themselves again with a number of good chances. Joe Lewis hit a fine free kick that the Hailsham keeper had to go full length to push around for a corner. Ollie had another chance when Ryan delivered another delicate chip from the left Ollie rose well as he always does and made great contact with his head, but the Hailsham keeper was able to tip it over the bar just as we were about to celebrate.
Always good to get a win and that we are told means we need to make a trip to Rusthall near Tunbridge Wells for the next round on 14th September. Meanwhile, we need to get back to clocking up some desperately needed points in the League next week away at British Airways. Lots of entertainment from the low flying planes that seem to be skimming the roof tops, if the action on the pitch doesn’t hold your attention. If we can keep the team together, I am sure the points will come. We have bags of talent in the squad and also some grafters as well to give us some steel in the middle.