Despite taking the lead in this match, a very strong and impressive Whyteleafe team came back to win even with some good performances from the G’s.
Last time that the G’s visited the 3G pitch at Whyteleafe in last year’s SSC it produced probably their best overall team performance and a 3-0 win, which sent us all home very happy indeed. – This was a different day and two quite different sides.
For the G’s, knowing that Graeme Purdy had come off injured during Saturday’s match there was a question over who would feature in attack. It was a very pleasant surprise to see that Matt Anton was back in a Godalming strip after his very short appearance last season. Also new to the G’s was Jordace Holder-Spooner.
The first twenty minutes went well and with Oneal Garnes back between the posts and the impressive newcomer George Spiers partnering Chris Musgrove in the heart of the defence alongside Chris Wales and the always impressive Nick Hutchings. Ashley Llloyd took over the captain’s armband and as usual was looking comfortable in front of the back four.
The midfield was made up of Jordace Holder-Spooner, Piers Oldland, Tristan Campbell and Darren Wheeler, with Matt Anton upfront.
Tristan Campbell played a lovely chip over the defence after about 12 minutes, which gave Matt Anton the chance to turn and outpace the defenders and slot the ball in the net beyond the advancing keeper. G’s one-up.
Whytleafe came back strongly and had a header, from a good cross, hit the upright and then travelled across the goal, straight to Oneal Garnes. The game was competitive and the G’s supporters were pleased to see that there was a big improvement going forward. Clearly it will take a while to get the new players to gel, but there was a lot of promise and some good passing build up play.
Whytleafe were concentrating their efforts down the right wing. After one attack at around 26 minutes a shot came in from the edge of the box, which was not cleared allowing the Whyteleafe new signing No 10 Moses Ashikodi to score from close range.
1-1 at half time.
There were no changes to personnel at half time, but about 10 minutes in to the second half Whyteleafe went ahead from a corner out on their left, which was hit beyond the far post and their captain Vernon Francis got a very powerful header in to put them in front.
Jordace Holder-Spooner was injured in a tackle requiring attention from the G’s Physio and was replaced by Rory Sellick. Soon after Tristan Campbell was also subbed off for Nick Medcraft to come on and try to use his pace.
Whyteleafe were very strong on the ball and were showing some good passing and moving in attack. One such good build up led to their third goal, which was another super shot from wide on the right hand edge of the box, which flew into the far corner giving Oneal no chance.
The G’s rallied a few times and had chances of their own including a header from Matt Anton which went just wide having got onto the end of a good cross and a pile driver shot from Chris Wales, which unfortunately was hit too close to the home keeper.
Congratulations to Whyteleafe who on that performance look likely to be a very strong side indeed.
The G’s should feel pleased that they showed an improvement on Saturday as:-
– There are now midfield options taking shape and building on a good strong defensive heart of the squad in which George Spiers has fitted in well alongside the established players.
– Matt Anton scoring on his debut is all good news.
– Hopefully Graeme Purdy and Jake Kempton (both with the squad last night) will come back from injury soon