Wick Inflict Last Minute Disappointment

Report by Graham Harris Godalming (0) 0 v 1 (0) Wick

Football is “a funny old game” as we have heard many times. It can also be very frustrating. Today was such a game. Losing in the last few minutes from a serious deflection, when the game seemed destined to be at least a draw, if the Gs did not score and get an outright win. I felt the visitors would have been happy to accept a point as they were openly rattled towards the end and arguing with each other, as the Gs pressed for the winner. Wick came to The Bill Kyte Stadium in third place in the League, only two points above the Gs, so it was always going to be another tough encounter. It was a strong Gs squad of 15 players that stepped out onto the Wey Court pitch, in the late summer sunshine, to be officially photographed by Giles. Missing only James Colinese, Kurt Greenaway and Jamie Kaffo. However, Dan Mills is still not fully fit following his groin strain before the game last week, but was on the bench alongside Jason Cotton, Jack Smith and Liam Avery. The starting line up showed Alfie Mickley in goal, a centre back pairing of Luke Beale and Ollie McAleese, Matt Cox and Luca Scannella with James Mariner in front. Rob Parrott and Ross Cheek in the midfield with Connor Blanchard and Rikkie Letch as the wide players and Sam Boultwood in the number 9 position. Good to see Matt Cox in the starting line up again. There was even more good news in that “Godalming -Shorts Man” was also in attendance. Good to see you again Dave. It was a bit of a game of two defences in the first half with the visitors being thwarted by a goal line clearance by Luke Beale after a rare error in the Gs defence allowed a close-range effort for the visitors. But, after that I do not recall anything much to worry Alfie, such was the efficiency of the whole Gs squad in defending, when they were without the ball. The Gs went close off a couple of corners in close succession as they attacked at the road end. Then the Wick keeper started a discussion with the referee, who was telling him to take a free kick further back. In the end he got a yellow card. Only moments later Matt Cox was on the end of a rather late tackle from the Wick number 10 and he also went into the ref’s book. The Gs had a couple of other near misses, but at half time it was all square at 0 -0. The wise Jeff Brooks and Hendo agreed it had been 50/50 during the first half. So, who am I to argue with that? It was a tough physical game with quite a few stoppages and free-kicks awarded. During the break there was a brief heavy squall that made the pitch a bit more slippery. During the second half the Gs seemed to increase their pressure on the visitor’s goal with both Connor and Rikkie getting down their wings. The Wick defence was well organised and they got lots of blocks in, on shots and crosses. Boults also had a chance from some way out, but could not hit the target. Connor made one of his lung-busting runs and put in a great low hard cross from the right across the face of the goal and the Wick defenders came desperately close to putting the ball in their own net, but their keeper eventually cleared. Rob Parrott was scythed down just inside the Wick half, after he had played the ball through for Luca to run on to and was advancing on goal. But the referee blew his whistle and brought play back for a free kick. Luca was subbed off, for Jack Smith to replace him as a sort of left wing back it seemed. Liam Avery came on for James Mariner in virtual like for like, although Liam is a bit more of an attacking threat in open play and of course is a couple of years younger. A dangerous looking ball bounced in front of the Wick keeper and he almost failed to gather it above his head, but somehow did so as he stumbled backwards towards the goal line. Boults was subbed off for Jason Cotton to make another appearance. He showed his strength holding up the ball and driving forward with the ball. Rikkie chased several through balls down the left side. He also got chopped down on the edge of the area, but the ref only awarded a free kick. After all the Gs pressure, I was thinking how well the Gs were dealing with any breaks from the visitors, when Wick were awarded what looked like a bit of a soft free kick on their left side between the half way line and the penalty area. Nothing too much to worry about. The defensive wall was set as Alfie asked, but the shot that came in took a wicked deflection off that wall and curled into the far side of Alfie’s net with only a few minutes of time left. Just one of those things that happens. But very frustrating none the less. In the end it is only “ball in net” that counts. Several of the Wick defenders collapsed in their penalty area as the referee blew for full time. Pretty relieved that they had held out. Back at home next week against Montpellier Villa. COYGs