3 Points at Leaders Selsey

Selsey (1) 1 v 2 (1) Godalming
The Gs toppled Selsey from the top of the table in a demonstration of a complete team performance, that for me was probably their best of the season, so far. A totally dominant demonstration of football skills from the lads and but for a terrific game from the Selsey goalkeeper and a good deal of good fortune, with two shots hitting the upright, the score would have better reflected the Gs superiority. If we continue to play like this there is not a team in this League that we cannot beat.
There was a last-minute change from the published line up as Dan Mills experienced what looked like a groin strain during the warm up and so Ollie McAleese was in the line up at the kick off alongside James Colinese and Luke Beale as the centre backs in front of Alfie Mickley in goal. Connor Blanchard and Luca Scannella as the wing backs. James Mariner in front with Rob Parrott and Ross Cheek in the boiler room. Sam Boultwood and Rikkie Letch up front.
The Gs were without Kurt Greenaway, due to a family bereavement and Liam Avery was unavailable. Great to see Matt Cox was on the bench, but unfortunately still feeling the injury he sustained a couple of weeks back against Chessington and Hook. With him were Jason Cotton and Jack Smith.
In the opening minutes the Gs were pressing their hosts when the home keeper left his area, in an attempt to clear the ball from an onrushing Rikkie. The ball squirted out between the two of them and gave an opportunity to Rikkie to shoot at the open goal, from some way out and to the right of centre. His shot went narrowly wide of the far post.
Having had the majority of the possession in the first 20 minutes the Gs then went behind, against the run of play, to a penalty, awarded for a tackle on their pacey no 7. Not that much in it from where I was, but I was at the other of the pitch end, so not best placed.
What was pleasing to me was to see that the Gs were playing some very classy one touch passes on what was a very good-looking pitch.  All credit to the grounds staff at Selsey. The Boults/ Rikkie partnership linking well with Ross Cheek and Rob Parrott. Connor and Luca getting forward.
Boults held the ball up well and turned, going through 2 to 3 defenders before slipping the ball through for Ross to run on to, but just a touch heavy and the home keeper came out bravely and quickly to dive and collect the ball at Ross’ feet.
Moments later Boults was through on his own with a defender in tow, but his shot hit the bottom of one of the uprights before coming back into play.
As half time approached the Gs were battering their host’s goal and from a super Connor Blanchard corner we watched Luke Beale meet the ball and head powerfully home to draw the score level. No more than the lads deserved.
So, 1 – 1 at half time.
It was rather unnerving to hear comments about how well “Hendo” was playing. No, not our own special “Hendo” but a Selsey player. How dare they.
The second half was much of the same with the Gs commanding the possession and territory.
The home number 3 was given a red card for a nasty foul on Boults after the ref was dealing with a previous incident. Fortunately, the lino was able to advise the ref. It was right in front of him.
Ross put in a run on the left and delivered a great shot that went narrowly wide.
Matt Cox came on for Luca who I am pleased to say was saying his ankle was holding up well.
Coxey got himself forward and caused some panic in the home defence during which Rikkie was brought down by the home keeper. This time it was given as a penalty to the Gs. Several other good-looking shouts had been dismissed. Boults took the penalty after a long delay, hitting the ball hard and low to put the Gs in front for the first time in the game.
Then after Jason Cotton had come on for Boults he picked up the ball on the half way line and made a strong run into the box on the right of the goal before hitting a powerful shot that cannoned back off the upright.
Jack Smith also came on for Connor as we went to four at the back and he made a great run cutting in from the left wing and hit a great shot that the home keeper pulled off a great save with one hand at full stretch. Worthy of a mention on Match of the Day.
A great all-round performance from the whole squad. Rikkie and Boults worked well upfront and Ross and Rob were unbelievable in the middle. The defence was solid giving great cover for Alfie who also made a couple of quick decisions, when needed, to play sweeper keeper. Phil and his team should be extremely proud of this performance. I know the supporters were.
 Great to hear “Sweet Caroline” being sung at considerable volume from the away dressing room as we left the ground. Wish I had taken a photo of the smiles on Phil and Tony’s faces at the final whistle.
 COYGs

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