Godalming 1 – 0 Hastings
Tremendous. What else can you say when the lads serve up another three points, against another play-off chasing side who claim to have the biggest budget in the League, and which from the statistics you would never have predicted.
So nine points from the last four games putting the Gs within touching distance of the teams above them in the relegation battle. What a turn around since Dan Turkington and his team off the pitch took control of matters on the pitch after the disastrous early season the Gs suffered.
The lads have been magnificent over the last few games playing as a team with real belief, passion and battling for everything. You only have to read some of the posts on the Hastings Forum to see how disappointed their travelling supporters were at their teams performance.
From Oneal at the back, who kept us in it with as good a save as you will see anywhere on the TV from a rare shot from the visitors struck with power, to Manny up front, they all did us proud.
In fact we could well have put the game to bed with a much bigger margin. True the visitors produced some chances, which they squandered, but the Gs generally had the greater number and by far the best chances throughout the game and could have had three or four goals easily.
With some of the regulars such as the rejuvenated Gs leading goal scorer Graeme Purdy, Steve Brown and Piers Oldland unavailable, Rory Sellick got a well deserved start.
So in front of Oneal Garnes were Sean Mason, Chris Musgrove, Chris Wales and Carl Garstang. The midfield was Rory Sellick, Matt Bunyan and Nick Sowden with Darren Wheeler and William Efambe in the wide positions and Manny Quarshue upfront. On the bench were some more promising youngsters from the Gs development squad Tom Webb (GK), Liam Beswick, Callum Roots and Jamal Johnson.
The game started with Gs going for it, rather than trying to simply defend. Matt Bunyan won the ball by battling the opposition just outside their area and created a half chance. Hastings responded with a half chance of their own and that was the sort of appetiser that we all wanted.
Matt Bunyan then hit a header from a great ball in from Darren Wheeler. Unfortunately it was too close to the Hastings keeper, one Lennie Pidgley who any Chelsea supporters may recall from his days at Stamford Bridge.
A few minutes later the visitors star keeper collected a relatively simple ball into the box and then went down apparently having hurt his back. He received treatment on the pitch before being substituted.
We gave the ball away cheaply at one point and put pressure on ourselves by doing so. Oneal was called on to make a good save to get us out of it.
But generally we were beating them to the ball in midfield with Rory Sellick and Nick Sowden chasing everything down and Matt Bunyan playing another great game.
Matt finally got a little bit of luck when he got his head to a clearance and his looping header bounced in front of and then over the Hastings replacement keeper who seemed unsure of the flight of the ball and could only watch it go over his head and into the net. Gs 1-0 up after 38 minutes.
At this stage the Gs were well on top and the visiting supporters were incredulous. Darren who got in some great crosses saw his curling shot from the right whistle past the far post. Only minutes later Darren had another great shot saved at full stretch by the keeper who more than made up for his earlier mistake.
The visitors made the odd chance but could not convert, while the Gs back four were superb. The two Chris’ putting their bodies on the line as usual making tackles, blocks, clearances and headers despite some towering opposition.
The energetic youngster Rory Sellick got onto the end of another great Wheeler cross to the far post, but could not get his shot on target.
Hastings made changes and ramped up the pressure on the Gs and brought a tremendous save from Oneal from a well struck shot from outside the area, which he saw late but got down to at full stretch brilliantly.
Another great chance for the Gs when the ball came in from the right and William Efambe, who was dangerous with his pace and tricky footwork all through the game, neatly played the ball back for Manny who somehow hit the keepers legs from a few metres out with the goal at his mercy.
Callum Roots then came on for Darren and injected more pace and energy into the Gs midfield just when they might have been flagging.
Gs were still pressing for their second goal and Manny had another great opportunity when in the visitors area and the ball seemed to get stuck in a pile up of the defenders on the floor. His final effort clearing the bar.
Callum Roots made a great break up the left side Which he delivered well into the box but again the Gs could not put it in the net.
Sean Mason was not to be outdone when he made an astonishing run of his own down the right battling his way through the visitors defenders, but could not find the quality final shot needed to beat the keeper that his run deserved.
In the last few minutes Jamal Johnson came on for William Efambe and soon carved out a chance himself, which brought another fine save from the Hastings reserve keeper.
A great result and a relieved cheer from the stands when the final whistle went. It was a good entertaining clean game and for that the referee played his part allowing the match to flow.
G’s Hastings Utd
attempts 13 13
on target 7 3
corners 5 5
fouls 10 15
poss 1 53% 47%
poss 2 49% 51%
cautions 1 0