Largest Crowd of the Season See G’s Edged Out by Shoreham

Report by Graham Harris
Godalming Town 1 (1) v (1) 2 Shoreham
This was a tough fixture against the outright winners of the League. If I am right, they cannot now be overtaken for the top spot and automatic promotion. The Gs great recent form, together with a healthy sprinkling of visiting fans, drew a good crowd to Wey Court (193). There was a pitch inspection following the persistent rain overnight and the pitch was boggy in places, but playable.
Having beaten Shoreham in the Cup, only a week or so ago, there was no reason why we could not have beaten them again, but in the end, despite having most of the possession and territory, we just could not turn that into goals against the meanest defence in the League. A late goal allowed the visitors to take all the points when it had looked certain to end level pegging. But, the Gs gave them a good game and on another day, with a bit more luck, could well have taken all the points.
The Gs seemed to be a bit thin on the ground with no Matt Cox, Sam Boultwood, Rikkie Letch. Although Luca Scannella was named on the squad sheet, he was clearly not expecting to play. On the plus side, James Colinese was back in harness alongside Luke Beale, Ollie Mc Aleese and Connor Blanchard in an opening back four, in front of Alfie Mickley in goal. James Mariner was in front of them with Rob Parrott, Ross Cheek and Liam Avery in the middle and Kurt Greenaway and another guest appearance from James Frudd upfront.
Apart from Luca, Tom White and Jason Cotton were on the bench along with Conor Harlowe and Will Ab–Lowerth.
After a pretty good opening fifteen minutes of play for the home side, from a long clearance, down their left, Shoreham, playing towards the training ground end, chased the ball towards the edge of the Gs area, where it appeared the Gs would deal with it. But perhaps there was some hesitation or indecision amongst the defence, because as Alfie came out to gather the ball, a Shoreham forward was able to get a foot in and lift the ball over his head and into the net.
So, 0-1 down somewhat against the run of play.
But their lead only lasted around 5 minutes as Rob Parrott linked well with his team mates and worked his way at some pace across the edge of the area, past some defenders, before he was taken down and the referee pointed to the spot. It was James Mariner who stepped up and blasted the ball into the back of the net.
All square again and it was all to play for.
Another comment on the fashion front. Alfie was wearing his favourite red strip and it almost exactly matched the visitor’s strip. Having seen referees, in the past, insist that any short expanse of under sock or undershorts exposed in other than the correct colour, was deemed unacceptable under the Laws, and had to be remedied. Things aren’t what they used to be. Or, perhaps common sense is prevailing.
There was a bit of handbags on the ground as Kurt and a large Shoreham defender wriggled on the ground, which brought them a yellow card each.
There were some good attacking moves from the Gs, where they were trying to play the ball on the ground and it worked well, but in each case the final shot was not that well struck and allowed the visiting keeper to deal with them quite easily.
Fruddy got down the right side in front of the stand and beat his defender before delivering a good ball in, but again the Shoreham stopper was able to take it above his head.
The Gs kept pressing and won a corner on their left, well delivered in by Ross Cheek and James Mariner was there to head it down strongly, but the Shoreham keeper was able to stick out a leg in desperation and deflected the ball away for another corner. On another day that would have found its way in.
The first half finished at 1 -1. No personnel changes at half time.
Shoreham had a long-range attempt that went wide as Alfie dived to his left to cover it.
For much of the second half there was little to trouble either goalkeeper.
As the clock was running down, Shoreham made a couple of substitutions and they enlivened their attack. With about 10 minutes or so to go they were fortunate in my opinion to be awarded a corner on their right in front of the stand and it was delivered to the rear post where there was no home defender able to get airborne, which left a Shoreham player with a straight-forward header in from close range.
The Gs now threw everything into attack for the last few minutes.
Ross Cheek came off, looks like he may have a groin strain, or similar. Tom White coming on to replace him. Within minutes Tom produced a good-looking shot from the left, but it hit the side netting.
Connor Harlowe came on to give Fruddy a break from his exertions.
Tom again made a break down the left and delivered another great ball to the far post where Connor Blanchard had put in a great run and although he got his head to it, he could not get it on target.
The Gs were going all out for an equaliser throwing players forward, when Tom found his way down the left and delivered the ball again. This time it was Kurt who threw himself forward, but although he got his head to it, he could not quite get enough contact, as the ball ran just wide of the far post. Again, the narrowest of margins.
Anyway, despite the disappointment it was a good performance that on another day could have brought us all three points. Clearly Shoreham are a very good side, with a strong and well drilled defence and will probably make a good impression at the next level. The footballing Gods were smiling upon them on the day. But that is the way it goes sometimes.
We have only four games left in the League. Let’s hope that the walking wounded make a return to fitness soon, as we travel to Wick this coming weekend. We are only in front of them by goal difference and they have a game in hand. Then two days later we travel again to Dorking.
Not to mention a Cup Final and a Semi Final to be played along with the playoffs. Exciting times at the bill Kyte Stadium.