Report by Graham Harris
Epsom & Ewell 1 (1) – (0) 2 Godalming Town
A great second half comeback from the G’s saw them take all three points from this game against mid-table opposition in Epsom and Ewell who in past years have been a bit of a bogey team for the G’s in the past couple of seasons.
It was a pretty even encounter during the first half, but then, about 30 minutes in, the home side went ahead after an excellent move down their right wing. The resulting cross saw the ball played low into the near post where an E&E forward was coming in at pace and was able to put the ball in the back of the net from close range.
However, the G’s produced a great second half performance to come back, first levelling after sustained pressure and a series of corners, then, captain Luke Beale produced a good shot to level the score. Then Connor Blanchard produced a tremendous powerful shot from way out, which cleared the home keeper and nestled beautifully under the crossbar. The most spectacular goal this season.
A tremendous result for the lads and one which sent the G’s supporters’ home with a smile on their faces and a feeling that we have a competitive squad now.
E&E now play at Leatherhead, which is a super playing surface and a good all round set up. Far better than some of the fields we have had to play in so far this season. Noticed Steve Copell chatting in the crowd before kick-off.
It was great to see Connor Blanchard back in the starting line-up and Matt Cox, (both coming back after injury) listed in the squad, but on the bench, which also contained a very strong line up.
The G’s got the first serious shot in through Sam Boultwood but it was well covered by the home keeper.
The first yellow card of the game also went to the G’s Jay Maher apparently for a high kick, but the E&E player was clasping his shin, so I am not sure what that was about.
Then the home side went 1 – 0 up as described earlier, but the game was pretty evenly poised and the G’s had shots that were going just wide.
Early in the second half the G’s were putting on more pressure on their hosts and came close to levelling with a finely struck free kick taken by Connor Young that was heading just inside the near post before the home keeper went full length to push it around the post.
The G’s started a string of corners, as they turned the screw on their opponents. This finally resulted in a punched clearance from the home keeper being picked up by Luke Beale inside the goal area, where he took the ball on his chest and then hit a good shot on the volley to level the score. Luke Beale has been superb for the G’s and so it was great to see him getting a bit of the limelight. He thoroughly deserved it. With James Colinese and now Sam Taylor at the back alongside Luke we have a formidable line of centre backs.
This added a bit of a spring to the step of the G’s players and showed they were in contention.
Adrian was called upon to make a couple of good reaction saves as E&E broke quickly.
Sam Taylor was replaced by Matt Cox to add a bit of extra pace at the back I assume and with an eye to the other games coming up in the next few days.
6 -7 minutes later Connor Young was also replaced by James Frudd. Connor has been red hot in the last couple of games and has been a major threat. We are fortunate to have players of the quality of James Frudd to replace him. Not something we have been blessed with in past seasons.
There were a number of tasty tackles throughout the game and indeed the E&E No 10 gave out one too many for the ref and was given his marching orders for a second yellow. The game seemed to be moving in the G’s favour.
Cameron was playing higher up the pitch now and Kurt sitting a bit deeper. Cameron seemed to have got through the home defence chasing down a long ball, like he did so effectively against Roffey, but was inexplicably called as offside by the ref when he had clearly come from well behind and the other G’s forwards were retreating. As far as I could see the assistant ref did not give it. But you sometimes don’t get the decisions you expect.
Then came Connor Blanchard’s strike. Pretty well out of nothing. This was not a speculative long ball that crept in somehow. He just put his head down and his laces through the ball making it dip under the bar. A spectacular strike in anyone’s book. It left the keeper stunned and beaten on his line.
A tremendous result for the lads, which moves us to 8th in the league and now they face another harsh test against Worthing at home on Saturday and then Oakwood on Bank Holiday Monday at 11 am. Should be worth getting up for.
G’s Line up:- Adrian Giles; Connor Blanchard; Lucca Scanella; Sam Taylor (Matt Cox) ; Luke Beale; James Colinese; Sam Boultwood ; Cameron Edwin; Jahobi Maher ( George Masella); Kurt Greenaway; Connor Young (James Frudd).
Sub unused:- ;; Josh Witter; Ethan Fishpool.
Matthew Clay, Mo Saqib Sher and 1 other