Report by Alan Burgess
Seaford (2) 2 v 2 (1) Godalming (2-3 on penalties) – Southern Combination Division One League Cup
Who remembers that TV programme ‘Fantasy Football’? Couldn’t we just do with our own ‘Statto’ who could recall facts and figures about Godalming Town at the drop of a hat rather than most of us who struggle to remember in which town in Sussex and in which part of that town we have left the car on away days. ‘Statto’ would know how many penalties Alfie Mickley has saved since joining us, but stop, I am getting ahead of myself.
Let’s go back a few hours, quite a few if you were stuck trying to get around the A27 on the way back, to a 1.00pm kick off at a chilly Seaford in the Southern Combination Division One League Cup. 1.00pm not because of the cost of electricity but because of the World Cup and an original invitation to watch England at 3.00pm in the Seaford Clubhouse. However, that depended on them finishing 2nd in the group, Southgate doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in Seaford obviously. We were here last only 5 weeks ago, a fine 2-0 win after which Seaford’s manager departed. What drama could we conjure up this time around?
The line-up, Alfie Mickley in goal, a starting back three of Luke Beale, James Colinese and Ollie McAleese. James Mariner in front of them with Connor Blanchard, Liam Avery, Rob Parrott, and Rikkie Letch. Jason Cotton and Kurt Greenaway taking their places up front. On the bench were Ross Cheek, Sam Boultwood and Luke Taylor.
It was another positive start from the Gees despite an early break from Seaford which Alfie dealt with well. Connor Blanchard was foraging down the right and presented chances to Jason. Rob and Kurt. With 10 minutes gone Connor was taken out outside the box while putting over a cross, play was waved on and Kurt turned the ball in, 1-0 Gees. James Colinese picked up our only outfield booking on 15 minutes but 5 minutes later we conceded another softish penalty which Seaford converted to level the scores, 1-1. I guess the answer must be not to give these Refs the chance to make that kind of decision, easy for me to say on the touchline.
Seaford started the game with a lad wearing the No.18 shirt, a tricky little forward, the spitting image of Marcus Radford, who won their first corner on 25 minutes and who 10 minutes later pumped over a cross which was headed home pretty much unopposed, and we were 2-1 down. Prior to their 2nd goal Jason had had a penalty appeal turned down, I’ve seen them given but hardly ever to a yellow shirt. We appeared to go to a flat back four for the last 15 minutes probably for all good reason with the marauding No.18 on the prowl. We were still in the game and the final act of the 1st half was to see both Bealer and Rikkie unlucky not to send us in level from a corner.
At 2-1 one of those incidents happened which I am never sure how or if to report. There was a ‘kerfuffle’ with the Ref at our bench and a very animated Mo Sher was shown a yellow card. This continued at half time with Mo having a long discussion with the officials on the pitch while their tea was getting cold. I understand that the bench was aggrieved, quite rightly, at a suggestion by the Ref that we go easy on No.18 as he was only 17 years old. I’ll only say that the talking to he got from the Ref after facing up to Ross Cheek toward the end of the 2nd half was proof enough, he could look after himself and on other days should have had a yellow card.
No changes at half time and Godalming came out on the front foot. Earlier in my book than the 52nd minute officially recorded Gees won a corner on the right which Ollie McAleese rose to plant firmly in the just under the bar. 2-2. The Seaford keeper injured himself in attempting to take the corner and was unable to continue, we wish him well. With no keeper on the bench the No.9 donned the gloves, the spare goalkeeper’s jersey and then, as he was cold, took the poor departing keeper’s shirt from his back. For one moment just in front of us it looked like he was eyeing up the keeper’s green shorts too, thankfully we were spared that sight.
We created several good chances throughout the 2nd half, maybe not as dominant as we have been in some games lately and disappointment that we didn’t really test the new Goalie enough. Gradually on the terraces we realised it could be penalties, gradually, being Godalming Fans, we realised a shoot-out against a Centre Forward goalie could turn out good……or bad. Three substitutions were made, Cheeky for Liam on 55 minutes, Sam for Jason 5 minutes later and Luke Taylor on for Rikkie for the last 20 minutes. The goals, one would have done, didn’t come and so, penalties it was.
In the excitement I didn’t ask who won the toss and chose to do what, but the first kick went to the Gees.
It went something like this:
1. 0-0 Sam Boultwood – Saved
2. 0-1 Seaford – Scored
3. 1-1 Connor Blanchard – Scores
4. 1-1 Seaford – Alfie Saves (1)
5. 2-1 Luke Taylor – Scores
6. 2-2 Seaford – Scored
7. 2-2 Ross Cheek – Saved
8. 2-2 Seaford – Hits the post
9. 2-2 Ollie McAleese – Over the bar
10. 2-2 Seaford – Alfie Saves (2)
11. 3-2 James Mariner – Scores
12. 3-2 Seaford – Alfie Saves (3)
We go through to the next round.
As to Alfie’s penalty prowess I believe the answer is now 5. We are liking what we see from him.
Next up, polish those medals, shine those shoes, it’s another chance against the whole of The British Army no less, Aldershot Senior Cup, Weycourt, Tuesday 7.45pm.
Finally, apologies that I can’t put names to the Seaford guys mentioned above, their Social Media presence just isn’t a patch on ours.