G’s Thump Forest Row

Report by Graham Harris
Godalming 4 (3) V (0) 1 Forest Row
This was another good strong performance from the Gs with the game being pretty well tied up in the opening 20 minutes by two unbelievable thunderbo(u)lt shots from “Boults” (Sam Boultwood) and emphasised by a classy header from Captain Luke Beale at the end of the first half.
Last season we got a thumping from F R at their place, so we needed to redress the balance
The line-up featured in the absence of several regular left backs Matt Cox moved to left back with Connor Blanchard dropping back to right back along with James Colinese, and Luke Beale in front of Alfie Mickley. James Mariner in front of the back four, Rob Parrott, Sam Boultwood in the middle, with Kurt Greenaway and Rikkie Letch the wide players and Jason Cotton in the number 9 shirt.
On the bench were Dan Mills, Liam Avery, Jack Smith and Ross Cheek making his first appearance. Luca Scannella and Ollie McAleese were both at the game and I hope they recover full fitness soon.
The Gs started well and developed a few good attacks without bothering the visiting keeper too much. Then with the home side attacking the goal at the road end, the ball was played into the middle from the left flank and Sam Boultwood took it on the volley and blasted the ball into the back of the net just below the crossbar from some way outside of the penalty area. Some wag in the crowd (who shall remain nameless) suggested it was poor goal keeping. In truth I doubt two goal keepers would have stopped it.
If that was not enough, only a few minutes later, Boults (who seems to be enjoying wearing the number 10 shirt) found himself in space in a similar position and hit another one this time in the bottom far corner. Gs now 2 -0 up inside 20 minutes.
There was an exchange between a Forest Row player and James Colinese, which after deliberation with the linesman drew a yellow card to each player at around the half hour mark.
Jason Cotton having caused problems for the visiting defence came in for some attention from them and after being treated on the pitch was substituted by Jack Smith playing wide and Kurt moving into the centre forward position.
Then, just before half time, a free kick was awarded for a tackle on Kurt out to the left side of the pitch and Connor Blanchard delivered the ball beautifully to just beyond the far post where Captain Luke Beale had crept in unnoticed and headed home powerfully and low past the visiting keeper.
3 – 0 to the Gs at half time and not too much from the visitors at all to worry Alfie between the sticks.
One of the best halves of football from the Gs I can remember for quite a while. The defence was excellent James Mariner protecting the back four, who were all so well organised.
Shortly after the restart Boults was replaced by Ross Cheek after having given one of the best performances of this young man’s football career. Certainly, in the seasons he has been with the Gs. He was winning the ball and breaking up the play like a man possessed. He was deservedly applauded off by the home fans.
Forest Row also made some changes bringing on their number 11, Ollie I think he is called. We have seen how good he is in the past and he did not disappoint his team this time. He pulled back one goal for his team from a free kick slightly to the right side of the Gs goal.
Rob Parrott had played another blinder in the boiler room alongside Boults and was replaced by the impressive Liam Avery whose long levers and quick thinking have impressed me.
Although the visitors had upped their pace and tried to press the Gs, their hopes were then deflated when Kurt bravely battled with a defender as he was marshalled towards the goal line, but Kurt managed to pull the ball back across the goal to where Rikkie Letch was waiting to pounce and fired the ball home, inside the far post with the help of a deflection to make it 4 -1 to the home side.
Dan Mills came on to replace James Colinese who, alongside Bealer looked like a really strong pairing.
It could have been 5-1-but for a desperate glancing header from a FR defender who jumped and slightly deflected a great curling powerful shot from Jack Smith up onto the bar and over for another Gs corner, just before the final whistle.
A fine result with both full backs getting themselves well up the pitch and Connor delivering some great set pieces.
A great result, but they have it all to do again on a 4 G pitch against Montpellier Villa next week.