Report by Graham Harris
Godalming 1 (2) v (1) 2 Badshot Lea (FA Vase) Badshot Lee go through on penalties (5 -4)
Wow – what a game!!. I don’t believe anyone saw that coming.
Badshot Lea from the Premier level came to The Bill Kyte Stadium after despatching Devises in the previous round 10 – 0 and the last time I looked they were top of their league without having dropped a point. So, this was to be the biggest challenge that the G’s have faced for a while.
The visitor’s manager Gavin Smith was a former G and in fact was a joint manager for a while at the end of the 2017/2018 season I think, alongside another Gs legend John Palmer. So, good to see him again back at Wey Court.
Unfortunately, James Colinese was out injured again, having limped off at the Billingshurst game and also Sam Taylor is of course is suspended, so we needed James Mariner to return to the back four alongside Luke Beale, Matt Cox and Myles Davidson in front of Adrian Giles in goal. Lucca Scanella, Connor Blanchard, Sam Boultwood, Kurt Greenaway and James Frudd made up a midfield five that left Cameron Edwin as the lone striker. On the G’s bench were Elijah Carter, Jahobi Maher, Connor Young, Byron Watt and Ethan Fishpool. A very strong bench, which gave some confidence.
It was only 8 minutes into the action when the visitors first tested the G’s defence and only a full stretch save from Adrian pushed the ball onto the far post before it obligingly bounced back into his hands to save the home side from going behind.
At the other end the Gs were applying some pressure of their own and a shot from Boults was not held by the Badshot keeper.
Cameron broke into the visitor’s area after about 14 minutes and was brought down clumsily by a defender and the ref blew for a penalty. Cameron calmly took the spot kick and put the Gs ahead with a good low shot to the keepers left. Just what we wanted.
This seemed to give the lads the spirit to take the game to the visitors and certainly playing the five in the middle seemed to frustrate Badshot.
The home side were having their opportunities with James Frudd and Cameron always threatening.
It seemed that the G’s advantage was going to be wiped out when the ref gave a penalty for a foul by Matt Cox in clearing the ball. It looked a soft decision to me as there was clearly no intent, but Adrian once again rescued the situation with a save.
Badshot did get the ball in the net only for it to be flagged offside by the linesman.
However, just as it seemed we might be going into the half time break with a 1-0 lead, Cameron won another battle upfront and a resulting corner. The G’s came up, to try to increase their lead, but as the danger to Badshot was cleared they broke quickly and put together a couple of good passes to level the score right before the half time whistle. 1-1 at the break.
The G’s started the second half well and the ever-alert Cameron nicked the ball from a defender between the half way line and the penalty area and got in a shot from range, but it was saved by the visiting keeper.
Lucca was apparently suffering with a hamstring problem before the game and was replaced after another strong challenge. Jahobi came on to replace him.
About twenty minutes in to the second half as a high ball came in to Adrians box he called for it and as he went up he got the enormous visiting centre back as well who headed home to put the visitors ahead.
I suppose there was a feeling that maybe that would see the G’s heads drop. But that is not what happened.
Connor Young came on for Boults who was also suffering from a long-term foot injury that has plagued him for a year or so. The G’s were putting on some pressure of their own
The G’s won a corner on their left and as the ball was played in about chest height the Badshot keeper was under pressure from Cameron and in attempting to punch the ball clear appeared to punch the ball into his own net.
Jahobi was getting involved and had a chance on the break, but the ball did not sit up for him as he wanted and nothing came of it.
James Mariner who had had a fine game came of suffering and Elijah came on in the midfield as the G’s went to three at the back and all out to get the result.
The home side started to come under more pressure towards the end, but again Adrian produced a great diving save with one hand to push the ball wide.
In fact, all of the guys gave absolutely every ounce of effort that they could muster and with a bit of luck we might have nicked it at the end. Cameron was absolutely everywhere. Having battled away up front he was in the thick of it in defence as well.
It was a tremendous effort all round and it is hard to see how we have been so frustrated in a few recent games when there is this sort of ability and energy in the squad.
A terrific performance of which all the lads should be so proud. They ran themselves into the ground in chasing everything and fighting for every ball. Wonderful stuff.
Let’s see the Gs return to winning ways in the League as they travel to Storrington next week