Report by Graham Harris
Dorking Wanderers 0 – 0 Godalming
Despite the score line, this was anything but dull. It was a thrilling match with both sides going for it from the start. I guess that Phil would probably have been happy to take a point from Dorking before the game started, as they are riding high in the League, but, after seeing his side reduced to 8 players he is probably delighted to have done so. Unfortunately, the game will be remembered for some astonishing scenes when 3 of the G’s players were given their marching orders under the most extraordinary circumstances in the last 15 minutes, or so of the game.
Phil had announced that Lucca Scanella, Rob Parrott, Matt Cox, Connor Blanchard and John Coussens where all either unavailable, or injured. But, Myles Davidson-Townsend is fit again and in the starting line-up, while Josh Witter, Tobias Simms and Ollie Balllam were back on the bench along with Jahobi Maher and Connor Young.
Most importantly “Shorts man” Dave Fiddler was back in the crowd, so that must have given us an edge.
For the G’s Adrian Giles was in goal, Myles Davidson-Townsend, Luke Beale, Ollie Mc Aleese and James Colinese made up the back four. Kurt Greenaway, Sam Boultwood and Elijah Carter in the midfield. Charlie Oakley up front with Cameron Edwin and James Frudd as wide players.
In the splendour of the Meadow Bank Stadium with its 3G pitch and excellent facilities the G’s sustained a fair bit of pressure in the first half, rode their luck a bit at times, but the home side were profligate with their shooting chances. Add to this the excellent defending by the G’s back four, putting their bodies on the line, making last ditch tackles and some excellent reflex saves by Adrian Giles. The team did well.
But, the G’s also had their own chances. In fact, the lads had the closest chance of the first half when Boults delivered a corner from the right to just beyond the far post for James Colinese to head back across the face of goal to where Ollie Mc Aleese headed powerfully towards the net and to me it looked like it may have been over the line, but with no VAR we will never know. It was cleared and the ref waived play on.
Dorking are a very good side and they attacked with pace using their wings well and getting behind the G’s defence on occasions, but Adrian was on top form and dealt confidently with anything that got past the back four in front of him.
The first yellow card of the game went to the Dorking number 11, about 20 minutes into the game. He was to be a major influence in the game. I know it is Panto season, but he was taking acting to a new level. Every time he was challenged, he went down writhing clutching his head or leg. Only to get up straight away once they got awarded the free kick. They are a good side Dorking and they do not need to do that sort of thing.
After half time the G’s seemed to be playing further up the pitch forcing Dorking deeper and getting more possession in midfield. Boults hit a great shot from midway between the halfway line and the Dorking area, but too close to their keeper, who had a very good game throughout.
Only minutes later Elijah also hit a great shot from range, but it zipped just past the upright.
Adrian then strangely got yellow carded when he came out of his area a short way to kick the ball clear. It was Dorking’s number 11 again. About the fourth or fifth time he was rolling around.
The G’s were pressing the hosts defence whenever possible and Charlie, wide on the right side made an opportunity for Cameron to win the ball. He managed to get towards the goal-line before pulling the ball back inside for Charlie, but he hit his shot just over.
Phil made a double change bringing on Jahobi and Connor for Elijah and Fruddy. Both of them had played really well for me, but the final shot was often not quite on target.
Connor Young made a couple of strong runs down the left. On one bringing another great save from the home keeper at his near post when he got done really well and held the ball when you would have expected the shot across the keeper.
Adrian was asked to make another fine stop after the home side attacked down the right. But this was exciting stuff. Play going from one end of the pitch to the other. G’s now getting the better of the game. Dorking number 11 was sent to the sin bin, for dissent – presumably.
Charlie got on the end of a good ball through the middle and advanced toward the Dorking goal at pace with a defender in close proximity. He got in a good shot, but again the home keeper was up to it.
For a moment it seemed that the G’s had broken the deadlock when Jahobi headed home well from a free kick on the G’s left. But, although the ball was in the net this time the lino’s flag went up for offside.
Another powerful run from Boults beating a couple of players before launching another powerful drive that again went just wide.
Lots of yellow cards now being shown to both sides. Strangely after being awarded a free kick to the G’s for a foul on Kurt, he (Kurt) was sent off. He had picked up a yellow card earlier in the game for a rash tackle and I am told it could have been for retaliation. I have no idea, but a strange one. G’s now down to 10 men.
Then another strange one, as Ollie McAleese was given a straight red (I presume) while covering back, flat out, facing his own goal and trying to clear the ball off the pitch to his right. I believe it may have been the Dorking number 11 again, now back on the pitch, claiming to have caught a boot. G’s now down to 9.
Cameron was on the ball and breaking through the middle, just beyond the halfway line, when he appeared to be taken down by a tap on his boot. But the ref showed him a yellow card (his second) so he was sent off as well. G’s now down to 8 players.
The spectators next to us, who I have never seen before, turned and said that the ref had completely lost it and that GTFC should appeal all three dismissals and that the Dorking number 11 was doing the same thing when they saw him playing for their first team recently, going down at every opportunity. I doubt that they will appeal, as it rarely brings any change to the decisions and I accept that the referee is the only guy on the pitch who is paid to be neutral.
Before that final 15 minutes or so I thought the ref had had a reasonable game, other than being duped several times by the antics of the Dorking number 11. I don’t blame the ref for that. But the strangest thing I have seen for a while.
But the G’s defence held up well and despite the disparity of numbers on the pitch Dorking failed to get a further serious shot on target.
It is a League Cup game on Tuesday at the Bill Kyte Stadium against Pagham from the Premier League, so could be another thriller, before we take on Arundel again at home on Saturday 11th Dec in the league.