1,2,3 Edwin Hat Trick Downs Selsey

Report by Graham Harris
Godalming 3(2) v (0)) 1 Selsey
This was the day that storm Arwen came to Godalming. It was bitterly cold (felt like minus 2deg C I am told by the Met Office) and blowing a gale on a very soft and wet pitch, so hardly the place for a display of pretty football. It was a surprise that those on the bench actually survived without suffering hypothermia.
It was so cold even Dave Fiddler (the infamous “Shorts Man”) did not put in an appearance! Perhaps we should club together to get him some insulated shorts and one of the new GTFC beanie hats. For the G’s supporters amongst those 125 or so in the crowd it was an entertaining affair if you managed to find some shelter.
It was good to see that, despite a penalty miss, Cameron picked up a hat trick of goals (with some assistance from Charlie) in what turned out to be a reasonably comfortable win and three points again for the lads. Interestingly, even though this result did not lift the G’s above 8th place in the League, several of those above dropped points, so who knows what could happen in the coming weeks.
It was a blustery day and the football was bit that way and at times pretty physical in the challenges.
Lucca Scanella was not available, but Kurt Greenaway made it back from a wedding up north, to make the kick-off. That’s dedication for you.
Adrian Giles was in between the sticks, back four Matt Cox, Luke Beale, Ollie Mc Aleese and James Collinese. Rob Parrott in front of the back four with Sam Boultwood and Kurt Greenaway in the boiler room. Charlie Oakley in the number 9 shirt and Connor Blanchard and Cameron Edwin the wide players.
A very strong bench featured Elijah Carter, Jahobi Maher, Connor Young, James Frudd and John Coussens.
Once again from the kick off the G’s seemed to dominate the game as they played towards the road end. Ollie Mc Aleese got in a good header from a corner, but the Selsey keeper was able to deal with it.
However, it did not take long before the pressure from both Connor and Matt making runs down the right resulted in a penalty being awarded for handball in the area. Cameron stepped up as usual, as he has done many times for the G’s, but this time his shot went just wide clipping the upright.
I doubt if after that he thought he would finish with a hat trick. But the G’s kept the pressure on with Cameron and Charlie both going close with chances soon after.
Ollie Mc Aleese was booked for a rash tackle out wide on the G’s right side.
Boults also made a rampaging run through the middle, but could not make his shot count.
In the end however Cameron got a reward for his hard work when as the Selsey keeper came to the edge of his area he hesitated about picking it up and his defender coming towards him was also unsure, meaning that they crashed into each other. Cameron saw the opportunity and nicked the ball poking it towards the centre of the pitch before hitting a good shot into the net. G’s finally 1-0 up.
Shortly after Connor Blanchard hit a powerful free kick that the Selsey keeper struggled to hold but gathered the ball at the second attempt.
There was still time before the end of the first half from a second goal for the home team. The ball came in low from the right from Connor Blanchard, I think, across the front of the visitors goal where Charlie had the presence of mind to back heel the ball neatly towards the far post where Cameron was waiting for a tap in from close range. So 2-0 to the hosts at the break.
As the second half got underway the visitors started to get a bit more possession, perhaps because the tempestuous wind was in their favour.
As has been the case recently Sam Boultwood who was clearly struggling with a long-term injury was replaced by Elijah Carter.
Adrian was called upon to make his first real save of the game as he went to his left to tip the ball round. I always feel sorry for keepers on days when it is so cold and they have little to do, but have to remain 100% focused.
Elijah was looking dangerous playing in quite a wide position on the stand side where he worked his way past some defenders into the centre before being scythed down. This brought a yellow card for the Selsey player.
Connor Blanchard had had a great game, looking back to his best, and was replaced by Jahobi Maher. Jay made a few runs at the defence down the right side.
Selsey then did get a goal back which they probably deserved having created some pressure of their own. The score now 2-1 to the Gs.
Rob Parrott was getting forward at times and made a run to the left of goal before chipping the ball goalward where Charlie got in a great header, but he could not beat the visiting keeper who scrambled to save.
Jahobi made a great run across the edge of the area cutting in from the right getting in a couple of shots. The first was blocked, but the second found its way through the defenders toward Cameron who was able to get a long left leg out to hit the ball home for his third of the game, and presumably claimed the match ball.
Connor Young came on to replace Cameron.
Charlie made another good chance out of nothing when he pinched the ball near the halfway line and advanced towards goal, but to his frustration his shot went just beyond the far post.
Three goals and three points what is there to complain about? Another good result under appalling conditions. A good team performance all round and well directed by Luke Beale as always.
Next up it is 3rd from top of the table Dorking Wanderers Res away next week. 3G pitch and all that so a different sort of game I suspect. Nothing to fear there, although you are never quite sure what sort of team they will put out.
Then on Tuesday 7th back at the Bill Kyte Stadium for the League Cup match against Pagham from the Premier Division. Bring it on.