Back to Winning Ways at Arundel

Report by Graham Harris

Arundel  (0) 1 v 4 (1) Godalming

Great to report on a good win by the Gs after some very frustrating results in the last few weeks. The first half was a fairly even affair with both sides having a couple of chances. But the Gs made the best of theirs when Rikkie Letch latched onto a great through ball and showed pace and strength to fend off a defender, as he went past him, before putting the ball into the net beyond the advancing keeper, to the relief of the team and the Gs supporters who had made the journey. The second half saw the Gs increase their lead and could have had a few more but for the heroics of the home keeper.

This leaves the Gs at 5th place in the League and an encounter with the league leaders Selsey next week.

It was an enjoyable drive down and fortunately arrived with half an hour or so to go only to find that half of the huge car park next to the pitch was infested with a massive film crew. Where is Hendo when you need him? I am sure if he had been there, with a nod and a wink we would have been ushered into their enclosure. No such luck, despite trying to chat to the security guys, so after a few fruitless circuits of what was left of the car park for Joe Public we set off down the road and managed to park beyond the lake about a mile away. Just made it back for the teams to come onto the pitch.

The line-up was Alfie Mickley in goal, and what looked like a 3-centre back arrangement with Luke Beale partnering James Colinese and Dan Mills and two wing backs in Connor Blanchard and Luca Scannella. Rob Parrot, Ross Cheek and Liam Avery in the middle with and Sam Boultwood in the number 10 shirt and Rikkie Letch the number 9 up front

On the bench were Jason Cotton, Jack Smith. Kurt Greenaway. I understand that Ollie McAleese is away and it appears that Matt Cox is still not fully fit.

The Gs came close to scoring in the opening minutes when Boults, with his back to goal, was able to chip the ball over his head and his marker, before he laid it off for Ross Cheek who delivered the ball across the goal, but unfortunately no one could get a foot to it. But the Gs made their pressure count nearer 20 minutes from kick off when Rikkie got the opening goal to settle the nerves a bit.

The hosts did have a couple of breakaway chances themselves when their number 9 found himself on the charge towards Alfie. But they were foiled by some brave defending by Captain Luke and Alfie.

Luca unfortunately received another injury, having only just returned to the squad. Kurt came on to replace him. Hope he recovers soon.

The Gs continued to attack and Rikkie was on the break again and he tried to slip the ball to Boults on his right, but the pass was just behind Boults and the chance was gone. Only moments later Rob Parrott battled to get the ball back before slipping the ball to Ross Cheek who pulled the ball across the face of the goal where Kurt dipped and only narrowly missed getting the tiniest of required nudges on the ball and the ball went wide.

A good move down the Gs right in the second half saw the ball played in to Boults, but his shot was brilliantly blocked by the home stopper. The ball fell to Rob Parrott, but he could not manage to get the ball in the net, his shot running just wide from a metre or so out.

The Gs finally got their second when Boults received a brilliant pass from Ross Cheek and held off a defender whilst he lifted the ball over the home keeper and into the net from outside the area for the Gs second and a little bit of breathing room it seemed.

Only a great stop from the home keeper stopped the Gs getting a third.

The play then went to the other end of the pitch to where Alfie was called upon to make a good save.

Phil then swapped Liam Avery and Rikkie Letch for Jack Smith and Jason Cotton.

There was then a bit of a mix up in the Gs defence when Alfie came out and flopped on the ball, but it seemed to run free and an Arundel forward pinched the ball and put it into an open net. Score back to 2 -1. That gave a bit of encouragement to the home side.

The Gs saw another attempt pushed around by the home keeper from a Gs corner. Shortly after a good run down the Gs right saw Boults hold the ball up before he played the ball back to Ross Cheek who took a fraction of a second to steady himself before hitting a great low shot into the net from the edge of the area, to make it 3 – 1 to the Gs.

The Gs attacked again and this time the initial shot from Rob Parrott was somehow parried by the Arundel keeper only as far as Boults who also had his shot blocked and turned around for a corner.

From the corner Connor delivered a dipping ball to the far post where Rob was able to chest the ball into the net for a fourth goal for the Gs.

So, a very satisfactory results for the lads all of whom played really well on the day. No more than they deserved and they could easily have had several more goals but for the home keeper.

Great performance again from Captain Luke marshalling his strong back line along with Alfie who looked confident dealing with anything in the air. Connor clocked up the miles as always and delivered some terrific set piece balls.

The Gs midfield, with Parrott such a dynamo both getting forward and breaking up play, Liam Avery with many crucial interceptions with his long legs and also in the air and Ross Cheek, with a good few touches of real class to go along with a terrific work rate, were all crucial.

Both Boults and Rikkie showed energy and importantly composure in front of goal, which has been missing recently.

The Gs squad was just too strong for the hosts.

They need to do it all again and more next week at Selsey.