Godalming Town started their new season at Wey Court on another very hot, sunny day and welcomed Hythe Town in yet another new league the G’s fourth in the last few years. The visitors were one of the form teams in this league last season and had made the play-offs finishing fourth.
It was always going to be difficult for the G’s who lost from last year the best midfield team that they have had for years. However they showed that the backbone of the squad together with the replacement youngsters could give a good account of themselves.
A very new look Godalming had Ben Zatwardniki in goal as both Richard Ossai and Oneal Garnes were unavailable. The back four were Nick Hutchings, Chris Musgrove, George Speirs and Chris Wale, with Ashley Lloyd in front. Tristian Campbell, Rory Sellick, Nick Medcraft and Darren Wheeler made up the midfield with Graeme Purdy up front.
The first clear shot of the game came from Hythe after 26 minutes bringing a good save from Ben in the Godalming goal with the rebound hit high over the bar. Shortly after that the G’s had a reasonable chance from a Darren Wheeler cross from the left, but they were unable to capitalise.
Hythe were attacking mainly down the left with their number 6 and on 33 minutes managed a good shot, which flew past the far post.
Despite a couple of decent crosses in from the left the G’s could not get players on the end of them.
40 minutes in a Hythe shot rattled the woodwork when it hit the junction of the upright. The first booking of the game came when Chris Wales was taken out after the ball had been played by the Hythe number 9 who was given a yellow card. G’s would have felt fortunate when a very long floated cross bounced off the top of their crossbar just before half-time.
0-0- at half time.
Graeme Purdy was replaced by Romaine Reynolds at half time. Hythe also made a substitution bringing on their big number 14 Kenny Pogue as centre forward for Charlie Webster soon on in the second half. There was very little to trouble either goalie during the second spell. Nick Medcroft substituted for Piers Oldland 28minutes in to the half. Hythe produced a couple of half chances in the box but couldn’t get a shot in, the home team defending well and out manoeuvring the Hythe attack. Second yellow card went to Hythe number 2 after a poor tackle on Piers Oldland after he had played ball. Godalming’s biggest threat towards the end of the game again coming down the left with Darren Wheeler and Piers Oldland earning a couple of corners that the G’s got on to but could not find the net.
Hythe finally got their goal, a bit out of the blue, but probably deserved from their first half performance from a cross from the right in blustery wind to the far corner being bundled in from close range. Goal awarded to their Number 10 Alfie May although there was much debate from their supporters as to how it was scored.
So Hythe will be pleased that they got the three points that they must have worried they might not get, while the G’s would be disappointed that the could not hold on for the 90 minutes, but will be able to take comfort from the fact that they defended well.
Man of the match – Chris Wales for the G’s