Report by Graham Harris
Godalming 2 (2) v (0) 1 Dorking Wanderers “B”
A tremendous first half performance from the home side saw them deservedly go two goals up before being awarded a penalty, which they failed to convert. The second half produced plenty of drama with two home team players being shown red cards meaning they finished with only nine players on the pitch. The two-goal buffer proved to be enough to take all three points, which was the best Christmas present they could have come up with, much to the delight of the supporters and whole Gs squad who celebrated in style after the final whistle.
There was a very respectable turnout (163 through the gate I am told) on this bright and sunny, although chilly, Boxing Day morning. 11 am starts like this are always a bit of a challenge in the festive season. Families in abundance, including my own.
Having had no games for some time, due to the weather, it was good to be back at Wey Court. There had been more rain the previous night so at best the pitch was always going to be slippery and soft in places.
On arrival, from a quick look at the squad sheet, it was apparent that the Gs would be without stalwarts Kurt Greenaway, Luca Scannella, Sam Boultwood, Rikki Letch and Ross Cheek, all unavailable.
Alfie Mickley was in goal, Connor Blanchard, James Colinese, Captain Luke Beale, Ollie McAleese and Matt Cox, James Mariner in front with Liam Avery and Rob Parrott in the middle and Jason Cotton and new signing Tom White up front.
On the bench were, George Broad, Dan Mills, Theo White, Ollie Ballam and James Frudd. Great to see the legend that is Fruddy back in the shirt.
From the start the Gs were on top and won several corners from which headers went just wide as they attacked the goal at the training pitch end.
After just over twenty minutes the Gs were pressuring their opposition and were awarded another corner out on their left, which was beautifully curled in by Connor Blanchard to the far corner of the 6-yard box where Rob Parrott rose to head home confidently and make it 1 -0 to the home side.
The Gs continued to dominate the play and Tom White got to the goal-line on the left and played the ball in, over the Dorking keeper and the ball hit the crossbar and came out. Connor was on hand and stooped to head the ball home, but a defender’s leg frustratingly cleared it off the line.
With about ten minutes of the first half remaining the Gs after another corner, saw the ball cleared only as far as Jason Cotton, who was around the edge of the penalty area. He hit a great low shot, which was finally touched in by Liam Avery to make it 2 – 0 to the Gs.
Dorking have some very good players there is no doubt, but at this stage they were no match for the pace and power of the home side and were getting no joy at all, out of the home defence, where James Mariner was running around like a young gazelle and Luke Beale as always was leading his team by example and encouragement. Up front Jason Cotton was proving hard to deal with as he ran at the visiting defence and Tom White looked like he had been part of the squad for ages.
Jason took the ball down the left side and was brought down on the edge of the area and Mr Ali pointed to the spot. Jason offered to take the kick and despite sending the keeper the wrong way his low shot came back off the foot of the post to the keepers left. What a gift that was in the season for giving.
2 – 0 at half time without Alfie having to save a serious shot on his goal, from my memory, such was the home team’s performance.
Liam Avery was subbed off at half time as he had picked up a yellow and had a little chat with the ref. Probably a wise move. He was replaced by Theo White who is a new face to me. He looked very confident and effective alongside Rob Parrott. Rob who was having a tremendous game picked up a yellow card.
Dorking were upping their game in the second half and won a corner on their right. It was driven in and arrived in the 6-yard box about waist height and was hit home from close range to make it 2- 1. Some would say the most dangerous score in football (JB).
To add to the problem, Theo then was shown a straight red for a tackle that the ref was not happy with and so the Gs were down to 10 men with around 25 minutes to go.
Soon after Jason Cotton was taken off for Fruddy to come on and add his pace and energy to the squad in defending their lead. Jason got my grandson’s vote for Gs player of the match.
There were numerous yellow cards being shown as the game progressed. Unfortunately, Mr Ali gave Rob Parrott a second yellow card and with it his marching orders, so the Gs were now down to nine players now.
The Gs continued to attack when they could. The best means of defence being attack and all the squad did their bit when we were not in possession.
Fortunately, the Gs nine men hung on and to be honest, other than their goal, Dorking still did not manage a direct shot on target to trouble Alfie. So, the Gs now back to 5th place in the League and with games in hand on Dorking who are now one place above us. If anyone had any doubt there is the ability in this Gs squad to be in amongst the playoff places, they should believe it now. With the addition of Tom White to the squad alongside Jason it looks like we have the fire power up front to get the results we have deserved, but not always achieved this season.
There is not a team in this League that we need to fear, if we continue to perform at this level.