Report by Graham Harris
Godalming 6 (1) v (0) 3 Forest Row League Cup
This was an incredibly dramatic game, which swung in favour of both teams at different times and featured no less that 8 goals in the second half and extends the G’s record to 6 games unbeaten. It was in fact “a game of 3 halves”.
The first “half” lasted about 60minutes of play and saw the G’s go in at the break looking quite good value for their 1-0 lead, but the visitors were always carrying a threat in attack. Bear in mind that the G’s were thumped a few weeks ago 5-1 when playing Forest Row at Oakwood on a night that we needed to forget. So, there was a clear need for us to get some sort of retribution for that result. But could we do it? Early on in the second half of normal play we went 3-0 up and at that stage you would normally say we should be ok.
Forest Row made some changes and the whole shape of the game changed and we saw the visitors gain momentum and confidence. They attacked with good moves using their wings and showed some good passes in bringing the score back to 3-3. Nerves were certainly jangling now and all that swagger had disappeared for 20 minutes, or so, when Forest Row gained the upper hand. That was the second “half” of the game.
The third “half” was as we saw the replacements in the G’s midfield start to get a bit of control back and the whole side dug in deep. Cameron got his hat trick and the game swung again towards the G’s.
Having had to throw everything at their hosts to get back on terms, FR now looked to be wobbling themselves. For once the G’s were able to counter effectively and added another two goals.
When did we last see 6 goals from the G’s? A great result.
Also, a great result today was the news that captain Luke Beale’s daughter has arrived. Congratulations to Luke and his better half. He is such a cool customer on the pitch. I hope he was equally cool at the delivery.
We still had some other big names and influential players missing from the line-up. Both James Colinese and Kurt Grenaway still out with injuries. But Matt Cox and Josh Witter were both back and in the starting line up as was Connor Young who was starting from the bench having not been around for a few weeks.
The G’s did well from the start and Jahobi Maher had a good shot come back off the upright only about 5 minutes after the kick off. Cameron then outpaced the visiting defence before hitting a great low shot on the run to open the scoring for the G’s.
Captain for the day Boults picked up a yellow card for a tackle around the centre circle area.
1-0 at the break and all seemed well.
After the break the G’s started as they had been going in the first 45 minutes and some more good pressure from them forced a couple of corners at the training pitch end. Cameron got his second when he tapped home from close range after Connor Blanchard had got in the initial attempt.
Jay Maher took a free kick out on the G’s left, which swung into the box where Boults got a glancing header in, to beat the visiting keeper to make the score 3-0 to the G’s. Surely that was it, we were pretty well there surely? Connor Blanchard came off, as did Sam Boultwood, presumably to rest them. They were replaced by Connor Young and Elijah Carter respectively.
The changes made to each midfield changed the game. Forest Row got one back and were looking dangerous throwing everything at the G’s.
The pressure told as the G’s conceded a second after they appeared to have stifled an attempt from a free kick, but the ball was hit home after a bit of a scramble in the 6-yard box. 3-2 now.
Adrian pulled off another cracking stop getting down quickly to save. So, reassuring to see him between the posts. He has made a great impact since he joined the G’s a couple of seasons back.
Then while the G’s were still under pressure, it seemed that we had headed a ball clear off the line and the referee seemed happy that his assistant gave no indication, at the time, that it had crossed the line. So play continued for a while. That was a relief. But it was only short lived, as eventually he decided to stop the game and walked over to chat with his assistant and the result of that was that he awarded the goal. Now 3-3 and all seemed to be going wrong.
Then it was that man Cameron Edwin who got his hat trick with a close-range header from a nice chip into the box. He still had the desire to chase everything whether up front or helping out in defence. This set a great example and for me we started to wear the opposition down.
What a relief to be back in front!
It almost looked like Elijah might get on the score sheet as well, when he burst through, showing pace that I did not know he had in him.
Our nerves were settled when Jay picked up a ball out on the left where the visiting keeper got himself stranded well out of his goal and Jay hit it home to take the score to 5-3 for the G’s.
James Frudd came on for Byron Watt to add his pace and energy to the squad and got his reward when he had the presence of mind to calmly beat a defender and then the keeper with another low shot. 6-3.
What a roller coaster of emotions. Not good for the blood pressure I am sure, but a darned good game to watch as a G’s supporter. Credit to Forest Row for the part that they played in such an entertaining game. A good side and no drama’s or rolling around on the pitch trying to influence the game.
A great team performance from all the G’s lads. Terrific spirit shown by all of them to have the character to come back and win emphatically, having seen the lead slip away.
Adrian Giles; Matt Cox; Myles Davidson; Sam Taylor; Josh Witter; Lucca Scanella; Byron Watt; Sam Boultwood, Jahobi Maher; Connor Blanchard; and Cameron Edwin.
Subs:- Connor Young; Elijah Carter; James Frudd; George Masella; Ollie Ballam.
Next up it is a league cup game at home against Dorking Wanderers Res on Saturday. Never quite sure what sort of team they are going put out.