Godalming Town 1 – 3 Walton and Hersham
The Gees welcomed W&H to Wey Court knowing that their visitors were in second place in the league and on very good form in recent games. So, in truth many observers would have expected a bit of a hammering for the luckless Gees.
Recent additions to the home teams squad Bobby Bennett at centre forward with both Shawn Lyle and Hakim Griffiths suspended and Robert Webbe had made a good impression on their debut last week. They were joined on Saturday by Estoban Salgado on the wing and Hailu Theodros in the central midfield. Isy Nzelo was back at left back whilst Tom Webb took over in goal. Eugene Bongo was at right back again where he seems to be making a name for himself. Lewis Taylor and Kieran Wright were the centre back pairing with Steve Betancourt also suspended. Piers Oldland playing in a slightly more forward position in midfield alongside Ben Cotton. On the bench were Tre Trowers, Mert Varli and Callum Rootes.
During the first twenty minutes play you would not have been able to tell which team was at the top or the bottom of the league and saw the Gees with plenty of possession and some shots, but they did not really trouble the visiting keeper.
W&H went ahead when a long seemingly innocuous diagonal ball from their left flank was played into the space behind the Gees defence and there appeared to be no one around to receive it, but their right wing appeared at some pace and took it very well, tempting Tom Webb off his line and then hit a low shot inside the Gees near post.
The home side were showing some good footballing skills and some good passing moves through the midfield while Hailu Theodros was looking very effective in the defensive midfield. But the wind was knocked out of their sails a bit when the visitors got their second goal. The Gees seemed to have cleared an attack when the ball fell to the visiting left wing on the edge of the box who advanced and hit a shot that went in off the far upright.
A great run from Kieran Wright all the way from the back to the edge of the area where he moved the ball on to Bobby Bennett and on to Ben Cotton but they could not capitalise on the opportunity.
HT Godalming 0-1 Walton and Hersham
At the early part of the second half then Gees produced another great run with Ben Cotton exchanging passes with Bobby Bennett and into the visitor’s penalty area where he was brought down in front of the ref. who pointed to the spot.
Lewis Taylor again stepped up and did the business for the Gees from the spot to bring the score back to 1 -2.
This rejuvenated the home side who continued to play some really good passing moves. Piers Oldland getting in on the act with a good shot from his left foot that curled and hit the same upright that W&H did for their second, but in this case the ball bounced off the post and wide with the W&H keeper stranded. When things are not going your way you just do not seem to get the breaks. If that had gone in and levelled the score…… who knows.
Ben Cotton looked dangerous in attack, but this was not to be the Gees night. It was however a much better performance than we have seen for a long time and possibly the best of the season against a well organised and skilful team.
Onwards to Tuesday night when we should be seeing a good few familiar faces from last year’s squad playing for the opposition together with Dan Turkington and his crew.
If the lads can reproduce performances like that again they will surely start to turn the corner. A great performance, even if the result did not go our way.
Teams G’s Walton & Hersham
Attempts 9 11
On Target 4 7
corners 2 5
fouls 10 14
Poss% 1st 47 53
Poss% 2nd 55 45
yellows 1 1
Michael’s tasting note: Michael’s uncle confirms what connoisseurs already know: Gees Bovril tastes better than the corporate dishwashing water served at the big grounds: Stirred by artisans and peppered with panache (and a quid a cup to boot!)