Report by Graham Harris
Godalming 7 (5) – (0) 0 Arundel
There were plenty of Santa hats on show at The Bill Kyte Stadium for this game and it seems that Santa and his little helpers brought the best possible Christmas gift he could for the G’s and their supporters, in the way of a resounding victory.
When I arrived at the ground today I wrote the following introduction.
“This afternoon sees the G’s take on Arundel who, earlier on in the season, seemed to be struggling a bit. But, in recent weeks have put together some very much better results, which has seen them start to climb the table. A draw against League leaders Midhurst and Easebourne amongst others. So,it looks like it should be a tight game particularly as the G’s would be without top goal scorer Cameron Edwin and Charlie Oakley, which raises questions as to who will be the leader of the Gang upfront.” The G’s would also be without Kurt Greenaway and Ollie Mc Aleese as a result of the mass sending off last week.
That question was answered as Connor Young was wearing the number 9 shirt. With James Frudd and Connor Blanchard the wide players. Sam Boultwood and Lucca Scanella were in the middle with Rob Parrott in front of the back four which saw Matt Cox return to the right side and Myles Davidson slot in on the left and John Coussens partnering Luke Beale as the centre backs. Last weeks hero Adrian Giles was in goal looking for a slightly quieter game, I am sure. On the bench were Elijah Carter, James Colinese, Tobias Sims, Jahobi Maher and James Mariner.
It all started well for the G’s as, after only 6 minutes of play, Connor Young worked his way down the right side before delivering a low ball in across the goal. Fruddy got on the end of it under pressure from a couple of defenders, but his shot went just wide.
Only minutes later the G’s won a corner on their left as they attacked the goal at the road end. Connor Blanchard delivered and Sam Boultwood leapt majestically, like a salmon, to put a header past the Arundel keeper. G’s 1 -0 up.
Only 5 minutes later the G’s scored again when (I am told) Connor Blanchard took a free kick on the left and Rob Parrott appeared to get a touch on it before it hit the net. I will leave them to discuss the details of who gets the credit.
After 30 minutes the first yellow shown to the visiting number 10 for a rash tackle on Myles Davidson.
The G’s then were awarded a penalty for a shove on Connor Young in the penalty area, which he calmly despatched putting the G’s now 3 -0 up. There was still time for more.
The Arundel defence did themselves no favours when they then played a poor ball back towards their keeper and Connor Young was quickly in to nick the ball and make it 4 – 0 to the home side. Much to the displeasure of their manager.
Even worse was to follow for him as they did a similar thing only minutes later, with the same result, giving Connor his hat trick and a virtual match ball. It was great to see Connor back to the form he showed at the beginning of the season.
Astonishingly, that left the G’s 5 -0 up at half time. Even the great wise Hendo had never witnessed a score like that for the G’s in all his 30 plus years of supporting.
Complimentary mince pies were delivered to supporters to add to the seasonal feeling.
Adrian had not had a serious shot to deal with in the first half.
It only took a few minutes of the second half for the G’s to get another when a good cross from the right was met by James Frudd who headed home confidently from beyond the far post to bring the tally to 6.
Phil then introduced super-sub, Elijah Carter, much to the delight of the G army who were again in good voice and delivered the “Elijah anthem” with gusto. Also, Jahobi Maher joined the fun. Hat trick hero Connor Young came off, as did Lucca Scanella who had missed the last few games. Good to see him back.
The G’s won a corner on their right and ended up battering the visiting defence with shots from Boults, Matt Cox and Elijah all being blocked and the visiting keeper desperately beating the ball away before James Frudd found himself some space to hit the ball home for his second of the game. Good to see Fruddy getting a start. His pace was causing problems throughout the game.
The G’s continued to dominate with only a high shot/cross that bothered Adrian in the G’s goal as to their credit the visitors did not give up trying to get at least one goal.
John Coussens was replaced by James Mariner for the last 20 minutes, or so.
The G’s were awarded a free kick on the right side of the Arundel penalty area and the low delivery in from Connor Blanchard was met by James Frudd, who netted, only to see the assistant referee raise his flag for offside.
Only a minute or so later another ball came in from the right and Fruddy again got the ball in the net, but yet again was frustrated to see the flag go up to deny him his hat trick.
A very comprehensive win by any measure made all the more impressive for the lack of some established players. A terrific performance by all the team. Great to see Connor Blanchard back to top form working really hard and making great runs and getting assists.
No more first team games this side of Christmas, but a big game to come on the 27th against Midhurst and Easebourne on 27th Dec, which will be an 11o’clock early kick off. Bring all the family and get a bit of fresh air into your lungs after the excesses of Christmas.
Happy Christmas to all those involved in GTFC supporters, players, management team and all those who make things happen week on week. There is a really positive feel at the ground these days. Long may it continue into 2022.