Godalming 1 – 2 Sittingbourne
Godalming entertained 11th place Sittingbourne on a very wet and overcast day at Wey Court. Having conceded early on the home squad pulled level in the second half and looked the more likely to take all three points, battering the visitors in the second half only to concede a goal in injury time that left the home team and their supporters gutted.
Oneal Garnes was in goal, Cameron Karembo and Nick Hutchings the full backs, Graeme Purdy and Kyle Bailey as the centre backs with Chris Wales in front of the back four, Ryan Zidyana and Darren Wheeler in central midfield with Josh Andrew and Hicham Adbellah as the wide players and Jack Mazzone in the number 9 spot.
On the bench were: – Jack Battie, Jack Warburton, Matt Males and Mclean Cherron.
Continuous rain from around 6 am in the morning left the Wey Court pitch extremely greasy and looked more like an ice rink in the opening stages as both sides struggled to keep their footing.
In fact the state of the pitch had a part to play in the first goal where Sittingbourne’s Tom Carlse saw his marker loose his footing as he got onto the end of a long clearance. He was easily able to cross the ball in to Conrad Lee inside the box who simply squared the ball to Steven Isa who hit a curling shot into the top corner leaving Oneal with no chance.
So after only 17 minutes the visitors were 1-0 up.
However the Gs did not let their heads drop and within moments of the opening goal Nick Hutchings made a good run into the box and brought a save from Overland in the Sittingbourne goal.
At the other end on 31 minutes Oneal had to save a shot that skidded off the dangerous surface.
A few moments later with the Gs defence all calling for an offside decision the visiting number 11 Tom Carlse was allowed to advance on Oneal Garnes one on one, but to the Gs relief he shot well wide.
The game was being played at break-neck pace with the visitors trying to get long balls played in behind the home defence, with some success, but towards the end of the first half the Gs applied more pressure as they attacked the goal at the road end when Chris Wales and Jack Mazzone both had shots blocked in the area amongst several shouts of “handball” – but nothing was given.
0-1 down at half time.
At the start of the 2nd half Matt Males and Jack Warburton (returning from injury) were introduced replacing Ryan Zidyana and Hichem Adbellah.
On 52 minutes the Gs won a corner on their left wing, which was taken by captain Darren Wheeler who delivered the ball comparatively low into the area and it was met well by Chris Wales who headed the equaliser, his second goal in as many games.
On now 65 minutes Gs number 2 Cameron Karembo was replaced by Jack Battie due to injury.
The Gs almost conceded shortly after when the greasy pitch again featured catching out Kyle Bailey requiring another excellent save from Oneal Garnes to keep the Gs in it. But from that point on the Gs dominated possession.
Sittingbourne number two got a yellow card for a poor tackle on Nick Hutchings
Another fine shot from Chris Wales just whistled over the bar.
With Gs mounting pressure in the final 20 minutes the visiting supporters were becoming edgy as they saw their side struggle to break out of defence. Wheeler played in Jack Mazzone who got his shot in, but again the ball went over the bar.
Then Darren Wheeler, having moved to a wide position in the second half, latched onto the ball and took on the opposing defence at great pace weaving his way through and into the box. Just as the home supporters expected him to hammer the ball into the net he chose to pass the ball wide and the move eventually broke down.
Then in injury time with the whole of the Gs midfield committed in attack trying to get the final goal that would bring them all three points, Jordan Gallacher for Sittingbourne beat Jack Battie and went on to deliver a great cross into the box, which was met by Jake Embery at full stretch, heading past Oneal Garnes from close range.
So once again after a good team performance the Gs were just edged out of the points in the cruelest way. But that is football. The squad we have now have proved how competitive they can be and will surely start to notch up a few more wins.
Once again Jack Mazzone battled away upfront well, holding up the ball and got a couple of shots in. Josh Andrew always looked threatening, while in defence Oneal Garnes, Nick Hutchings and Graeme Purdy stood out. It was great to see Jack Warburton back after injury.
Saturday brings another test when the Gs visit second in the league Tooting and Mitcham where we should see a few familiar faces. I think this is a 3G pitch where there will be more opportunity to play the ball on the ground.
Michael’s Stats below:-
Attempts 13 10
On target 7 6
Corners 5 1
Fouls 11 17
Bookings 1 1
Poss 1st Half 48 52
Poss 1st Half 65 35