Report by Alan Burgess
Godalming (2) 2 v 2 (1) Shoreham (5-4 on penalties) – Southern Combination Division One League Cup Quarter Final
A League Cup game, 2-2 at full time, one team ending with an outfielder in goal, a Gees win on penalties, and a man of the match performance from a Gees keeper. I just had to look back at the match report for the Seaford away game in the last round as there were way too many similarities between Tuesday nights great win and that one. That day Alfie Mickley saved 3 spot kicks; Tuesday we needed just the one from …. take a bow …. Rob ‘Polly’ Parrott.
How did that come to pass then? Shoreham, the league leaders, brought a strong team to Weycourt, looking little changed from the side that put 6 past Hailsham on Saturday, and all credit to them brought some fans as well. In Alfie Mickley’s absence Godalming lined up with Ryan O’Sullivan in goal and with top scorer Sam Boultwood in at right back as he was on Saturday. Ollie McAleese, Matt Cox and Luca Scanella completed the back four. James Mariner in front of them, with Ross Cheek, Rob Parrott and Liam Avery. Tom White and Rikkie Letch started up front. Good to see Kurt Greenaway at the game but he is still a week or so away from a return. Luke Beale although named in the original starting line-up joined James Colinese on the bench with a ‘for use in emergency’ notice on them both, Jason Cotton, Connor Blanchard and George Broad filled the other 3 spots. In Luke’s hopefully short absence the armband was passed to Captain Boulty.
Godalming started brightly and were soon awarded a free kick for a foul on Matt Cox. Nothing in the game until on 7 minutes Shoreham were given a penalty for challenge disliked by the referee, Ollie McAleese I think picking up a card for his trouble. 1-0 to the visitors. The Gees hit back, Tom played in Liam who’s shot lacked pace to beat the keeper and a Mazza cross deserved someone on the end of it. Around 15 minutes gone and Rob Parrott played in Rikkie from our half, Matt Cox picked it up and his cross was deflected for Godalming’s 1st corner. Taken by Ross Cheek on the right it was headed home by Ollie, just as he did in that Seaford game, 1-1. Barely a minute later Mazza fed Tom, the ball fell to Cheeky who smacked it home from 25 yards plus, cracking effort and not the first he’s scored from distance. 2-1 and Gees deservedly in front. That didn’t stop Rob Parrott trying to out do Cheeky with an effort from even further out which went narrowly past the post.
30 minutes in and unfortunately Tom White was forced off with a pulled hamstring to be replaced by Jason Cotton. Ollie was unlucky to see another header from a free kick picked out by the keeper who also had fortune with a Jason shot that hit him rather than was saved. Godalming were bossing the game, finding plenty of space in the midfield. Not much was seen of the visitors until they won two long throw ins in succession. Despite the balance of play and with no time left in the half a rare Shoreham breakout saw Ryan ‘intercept’ their forward on the edge of the box. Lots of debate from the Man in Black and his No.2 who decided on a red card and a direct free kick. The call went out ‘Come in Number 8, your time is up’ and Rob Parrott took up the gloves. We know in another life he’s a cricketer, those among us who know the scene well confirmed although he’s not a wicket keeper he’s a good fielder. Shoreham blasted the free kick over the bar and the whistle blew to end the half.
Much bemoaning of luck during the interval and writing off the Cup as ‘it’s the League that matters’ until we had to remind ourselves that we were actually still winning this game. Godalming came out unchanged and the 10 men set about their task. Ross picked up a pass from Luca who’d won it in our half, advanced, was brought down, no free kick. Their keeper punched out at a Luca freekick and was fortunate to be able to fall on the return shot. On 60 minutes Shoreham won a very hotly disputed corner from which they headed the equaliser, 2-2. Picking the ball out of the net was almost the 1st thing in the half that Rob had been called on to do. 65 minutes and Connor replaced Cheeky. Rob has a rare hairy moment picking up a spinning ball from Coxy which looked ominously like a back pass. At no time did it look like 11 against 10. Rob picked up a high ball and went down low to his left-hand post to stop another Shoreham long range attempt. Connor was played in on goal by Jason but couldn’t put it past the keeper. Straight back to the other end and a looping cross come shot from our left sailed over Rob’s head and hit the far post to be cleared away. Did it go in? it didn’t look so and another chat between the officials confirmed a goal kick.
Jason took a painful twack in the ribs from the ball which required treatment and then was booked while still on the touchline as an opponent insisted on taking a throw in next to him but even that barely seemed to account for the amount of injury time played. As the game continued on Rob punched away 2 corners and cynics might say that when Shoreham wasted a free kick after an additional 9 minutes had been played our Ref decided they weren’t going to score so it was Penalties. The Penalties were taken at the far end just to annoy the punters in the Main Stand of course.
It went something like this: Shoreham up first:
1. 1-0 Shoreham – Scored.
2. 1-1 Jason Cotton – short run up, little stutter – Scored.
3. 1-1 Shoreham – Hits the bar.
4. 1-2 Sam Boultwood – Scored.
5. 2-2 Shoreham – Scored.
6. 2-3 Connor Blanchard – Roof of the net – Scored.
7. 3-3 Shoreham – Scored.
8. 3-4 James Mariner – Roof of the net – Scored.
9. 4-4 Shoreham – Scored, Rob Parrott not far away, getting closer.
10. 4-4 Liam Avery to win – Oh Liam! Past the post!
11. 4-4 Rob Parrott down to his right – Saves!
12. 4-5 Luca Scanella – Scored!
Dorking or Arundel away in the Semi Final.
A real gutsy performance from every one of the team. We might have heard Church Bells at Leatherhead last week, but this week we had ‘Sweet Caroline’ from the home dressing room to serenade us as we left the ground.
No game Saturday but back for even more Cup action at Weycourt next Tuesday.