North Greenford (A)

North Greenford Utd  8  – 4  Godalming Town

On paper this looked like a game that neither side had much interest in but it was a rip-roaring goal fest and a fiercely contested encounter that was really exciting. NGU were on a bit of a high having had some good results recently and scoring quite frequently.

Hats off to the whole Gees squad with tired limbs, injuries and niggles who turned out on the night for their third game in five days. They did themselves the Gees supporters and the club proud.

We arrived minutes before kick off and Dom Hardisty was behind us in the car park. We wondered who would feature in the squad. Once inside, the lads were already lined up to come onto the pitch and it was clear that things were tight as Gav Smith was kitted up and ready to go. To his relief he did not need to start as Dom somehow made the transition onto the pitch. Gav was the only option on the bench.

The squad was the same as for the Knaphill game on Monday other than Lewis Lodge and Tom Biss were not available, but Jack May returned up front and Tre Trower was on from the start.

Things did not go too well at the start as there seemed to be some slack marking in the Gees defence, who were appealing for offside when an NGU forward gently headed the ball over Aidan’s head from close range.

However, within minutes the lively looking Jack May latched on to good through ball and bearing down on the advancing keeper saw his shot blocked by the keeper, only for it to rebound back onto his leg and bounce in from the edge of the area. Relief to be back to 1-1.

The tireless Bobby Bennett made a great run forward and won the ball, when it seemed lost, and played it back to Bobby Webbe, who hit the junction of the upright and the crossbar with a long-range drive.

Then on 18 minutes in Piers Oldland delivered another great through ball for Jack May to use his strength and pace as he had done a few minutes earlier and this time he slotted the ball home cleanly and the Gees were now 1-2 up.

More was to come when the energetic Bobby Bennett chased down a ball beating the home keeper to it and neatly lobbing the ball from wide on the left straight into the net. So now the Gees were 1-3 up, to the disappointment of the home team dugout.

NGU replied with a good move down their right, which ended with a ball into the middle on the edge of the box which was curled into Aidan’s net, just inside the far post. 2-3.

A third from the home side came from what looked a bit like a poorly hit shot on their right at an angle. But it stayed at 3-3 for half time.

HT: North Greenford 3-3 Godalming Town

Bobby Bennett went close coming in from the right wing when he found himself one on one with the home keeper again, but this time his shot went just wide of the far post.

The question was, could the Gees squad keep up the pace with no options on the bench? Bobby Webbe received treatment, to the end of the first half and again early in the second.

NGU have a very dangerous winger of their own in Sandro Costa who, from a clever run from the left cut inside and put the home side back into the lead. This was disappointing as the move started with a blatant handball by a NGU player in their own half, right in front of us and you would have thought the linesman.  It seemed it would all be over for the Gees.

But, Bobby Webbe was subbed off and on came the new young forward sporting the number 18 on his back. Gav made an impression within minutes and headed a corner home to bring the Gees back to 4-4 and make a game of it. It was crazy. Just wait until Palms hears about that.

The home side then added another goal with 18 minutes to go and it was clear that the Gees were running on empty. But they kept on digging in against a side that had plenty of pace wide and used it well. Aiden made several crucial blocks in the dying minutes.

Just to prove that Gav hasn’t lost “it” (although if he’s anything like me he often forgets where he has put “it”) he nearly added another when he found himself in front of goal but could only pull his shot wide on this occasion.

The last ten minutes saw the NGU side capitalise on the situation and put the result beyond doubt, but well done to all the lads who battled through the game. It was really exciting and they made a proper match of it.

Hope to see a good few of these players back at Wey Court next season, in whatever league we might end up in.

The GTFC Ladies are in League Cup Final action on 20th May at Bedfont Sports against Ashford. I am sure they would appreciate as much support as possible.