Report by Graham Harris
Shoreham 1 (0) v (0) 1 Godalming
The Gs were on their travels again on a cold and windy afternoon on the south coast, which saw the sides finally share the points after the Gs looked for a while to be set for all three, in their quest to make the playoff places.
Shoreham were one of the teams already in the mix for the playoffs, but after the win against Roffey, that target was back on the agenda.
The Gs started the better of the two sides and had a couple of clear-cut chances, but unfortunately could not convert them. Only 8 minutes in Charlie Oakley got on the end of a through ball on the left side, before pulling it into the middle. Cameron’s shot however was blocked by the home keeper. The ball ran free and Connor Blanchard came in to hit a second shot which the keeper also stopped.
We then saw another strange incident where the referee waved a yellow card at someone behind the railings, off the pitch, near the dugouts and appeared to ask him to go. The guy just ended up in the home team dugout. Not sure what that could have been about.
Charlie was looking dangerous and beat the keeper to a ball wide on the right of the goal, but his pass inside to Cameron went behind him and so the impetus was lost.
This opening passage of play was going very well for the Gs and they were putting their hosts under pressure in defence every time they were in possession by some energetic pressing particularly from Charlie and Cameron.
First yellow card of the game went to the home number 7 for a poor tackle on Cameron. Later Ollie McAleese was yellow carded for kicking the ball away.
Just before half time the Gs had a good shout for a penalty, but the ref was not having it, so they ended up with just a corner. 0 – 0 at half time but the home side had not had a shot on target at all but the Gs had 3.
After 15 minutes of the second half James Mariner needed treatment on the pitch before being substituted. James Frudd coming on. Connor Blanchard moving to right back, while Matt Cox moved to the left side and Ollie moved to partner Luke Beale.
Shoreham got in their first shot on target with an attempt from range, which Lewis Balifent had to tip over the bar.
Then there was another strange incident where the home keeper seemed to completely lose the plot when Cam nipped in front of him and almost scored at the near post. The referee called the Shoreham captain to talk to his keeper, presumably asking him to calm down.
Shortly after as the Gs continued to press James Frudd, used his pace to get onto a through ball, but was brought down in the area. Cameron stepped up to take the penalty but was asked to wait while again the goalie had a bit of a strop. Cameron was calm and hit the ball home confidently to put the Gs 1-0 up with around 20 minutes left to play.
The Gs defence had looked great throughout the game and the outfield defence had been superb, but clearly they had done a lot of running and battling. So, would they fade? Clearly Shoreham now needed to throw everything at their guests.
Charlie had to struggle upfront and received some close attention. He was called offside when he clearly was not and was taken down, only to receive a yellow card. Perhaps for dissent? That’s all I can think of.
Lewis standing in for Adrian who was suspended had a good game, but was brought down from the attentions of the Shoreham No5 while he had the ball in both hands.
Then, with only minutes of normal time left after a few corners had been well defended by the Gs the home side equalised when a shot that was partially blocked somehow rolled over the line just inside the far post.
Ross Cheek came on for Boults in the dying minutes of the game to make his debut for the Gs.
A performance that the guys can all be proud of. The Gs having the best of the first half while the home side piled on the pressure for the last quarter.
A terrific performance from all of the lads. If they can keep up that sort of performance, they have more than a fighting chance to make the playoffs in my book. Strong organised back line. Energetic and mobile midfield and strikers who also put in a shift to defend from the front.
I reckon that to take a point from the game would have been not too bad a result before the game. However, it always plays on your mind when you get that close to taking all three.
Still all to play for in the coming League fixtures.
Lewis Balifent in goal (Adrian Giles suspended), Matt Cox, James Mariner, Luke Beale and Ollie McAleese, Kurt Greenaway. Sam Boultwood and Rob Parrott in the middle. Connor Blanchard and Cameron Edwin as the wide players and Charlie Oakley as the number nine. On the bench Elijah Carter, James Frudd, Jahobi Maher and new signing Ross Cheek.