Redhill 1 v 2 Godalming
Another fine performance from the new Gs squad to earn three points from their first league game of the new season. It was a wholly deserved result and for me the goal difference should have been greater.
This encounter saw them travel to Redhill with a few changes to the squad that played so well against Westfield. Ben Cotton came in for Piers Oldland at No 8 and Darren Wheeler returned. I also got to chat with Kieran Wright about his recent short appearances on the pitch in several games, which he explained as problems with a ham string injury, which he was resting on Saturday in the hope that that it will give it a chance to finally repair.
But for an astonishing decision by the referee and two superb saves from the home goal keeper from Hakim Griffiths, as good as anything you will see on TV, the score line would have been even better for the Gs.
In the opening minutes, with the Gs the quicker starters, the ball was played across from the right to Darren Wheeler, who was blatantly brought down well inside the home penalty area. The only person at the match who did not see it as a penalty was the ref who inexplicably simply waived play on.
The Gs were pressing the home defence from the start, chasing down their defenders at every opportunity and twenty eight minutes into the game Ben cotton, who is always so quick to see a half chance picked the pocket of one of the defenders just outside the home teams box and fired the ball past the keeper with confidence. Gs one nil up.
It was a pretty physical encounter and Joe Smith received a blow to the head, which needed some attention. Meanwhile Hakim Griffiths, who had run and chased everything with great energy, finally latched onto a long diagonal ball out of the Gs defence and hit the ball on the volley with power, but with the ball aiming for just below the crossbar, the home keeper jumping and going backwards got a hand to it and tipped the ball over the bar as we were about to cheer for another Gs goal.
The home team mounted an attack on their right towards the end of the first half and delivered a good cross from the right to the far post, where it was headed home from close range. 1-1 with 6 or 7 minutes to go before half time. But the Gs were not done for and attacked down their right. The ball was delivered low across the pitch to Shawn Lyle cutting in from the left just on the edge of the home penalty area where he hit a good low shot beating the home keeper on his near post. Gs back in front 1-2.
Captain Lewis Taylor was having a good game but also went down with a head injury and needed treatment, both on and off the pitch. It was nearing half time and there was a long delay whilst the referee awaited a substitution. None was forthcoming. Lewis returned to the pitch and put in a great block at the end of the first half.
So the Gs 2- 1 up at half time and both left and right back doubtful for the second half.
The Gs again started well in the second half with captain Lewis Taylor sporting a well bandaged head, in Terry Butcher style, whilst the impressive Izzy Nzelo came on for Joe Smith at right back.
They absolutely pummelled the home defence for a long period, but without being able to convert the pressure into goals. The home side had their keeper to thank when he brought off another fantastic save from Hakim who again seemed sure he would score with another powerful shot.
Danny Elgar brought another fine save from the home keeper again tipping his shot over the bar.
Luke Elgar replaced Danny Elgar with around 10 minutes of normal time left after a good performance where he showed again some very nifty footwork and the ability to battle for the ball in close contact.
Extra time seemed to go on for ever and Mert Varli came on for Darren Wheeler.
Man of the Match for the Gs was Hakim Griffiths who chased everything and but for some inspired saves from the home keeper, would have had a couple of goals to his name.