Spelthorne Sports 2-3 Godalming Town
Visiting other grounds is all part of the fun of following the Gees. Sometimes you are blown away by 3 G pitches, plush corporate buildings, towering stands… and come away thinking “if only…” Other times you visit grounds and realise just how lucky we are at Wey Court to have what we have. Such was the case at Spelthorne. There were two short sections of seating two rows deep housed in a wooden bus shelter, the hospitality room was a garden shed and the covered terrace (of sorts) was little more than a timber frame with plywood roof – no sides. First impressions were not helped by the miserable afternoon – even Dave was wearing his thermal shorts in the driving rain. On the positive side the local fans were friendly, the Bovril flowed freely (see note below) and the game was ON unlike many others in the league.
So out came the Gees dressed in pristine white to face the might of Spelthorne who had started the season briskly but were struggling with form since New Year. Piers and Isy made a welcome return to the starting line up alongside Pat Kinsella in goal and Chad Goulter at no.8. The game started brightly enough for Godalming with several good passing moves switching side and releasing Isy and Hakim to create half chances in front of goal. However Spelthorne had pace and 4 times in the first half hour turned the Godalming defence on the break and created clear chances. The second of these, after 19 minutes, saw John Roberts through on the left wing and release a cracking shot to put the home side deservedly 1-0 up.
It is at this point that seasoned Gees watchers start to hunker down and fear the worst but what followed was 15 minutes of sheer Godalming magic. It started with Piers floating a beautifully struck shot into the top right hand corner of the Spellthorne net. The ball seemed to curve into the wind and left the keeper stunned – “ragoaliesastookie” I said to young Michael. 1-1 and cheered on by rejuvenated fans the Gees went one better – this time a deliciously flighted ball from Piers headed home by Lee Boon. 2-1 and more cheering. On the 40th minute Piers did it again and we were 3-1 up…
Capitulation is not a word widely used in Sunbury and Spelthrorne started the second half intent on clawing back a point at least. Godalming held firm through the dangerous first ten minutes then made it to 20 on what was rapidly becoming a mud-bath of a pitch. Jack Howard was ferocious as ever, Isy ran miles and we were gripped by the battle. On the 71st minute the inevitable happened and Lewis Flatman- their noted danger man- scored. 3-2 with time a plenty. The remaining 19 minutes of normal time saw Spelthorne pile it on – one header into an open goal went wide, keeper Kinsella stopped another clear chance and several times the ball bounced dangerously around the box with players sliding in the mud around it. But no goal and no daft penalty… Ross predicted at least 5 minutes extra time would be added but Spelthorne were spent and Godalming had weathered the storm. 3-2 and a deserved 3 points!
The fans cheered the team off the pitch. Keeper Kinsella, realising that there was no cash bonus for a win, decided to take his reward for sterling service in the form of topsoil leaving the pitch with 36 kilos of grade A Sunbury loam attached to every part of his strip and body. And next time you look at Wey Court and criticise the brutalist stand seating or the Dharavi chic inspired covered terraces behind goal spare a thought for Spelthorne. Not every club is as lucky as we are!
Teams Spellthorne Godalming
Attempts 15 14
On target 9 6
Corners 4 5
Fouls 12 10
Yellow Cards 2 2
Poss% 1st 50 50
Poss% 2nd 68 32
Bovril status: Bovril cubes! Yes- small cubes of beefy magic all served with a wooden twizzle stick to make sure you got the cube fully dissolved. Who would have thought you could get Bovril in a cube. Proof indeed that travel does broaden your horizons.