ast Preston 0 (0) v (1) 2 Godalming Town
Exciting times for the Gs, as following the three points gained midweek, it means they move up to third in the League with another three points achieved on the road. By far one of the best starts to a season for many years.
Mercifully, the weather was more clement than on Wednesday. We, the supporters, swopped stories of our journeys to and from that game at Banstead and particularly in the monsoon rain that followed the game. At least Andrew and I managed to get to the ground well before kick off this time and did not miss any of the action. Thanks again to Alan for doing the report for Banstead due to our late arrival.
We were without Matt Cox, who came off on Wednesday with a knee problem. James Mariner and Ollie McAleese are both still recovering from injury, although Ollie was there on the bench, and of course Luke Beale not yet back to match fitness.
So, Ryan O’Sullivan wore the goalkeeper’s jersey, in his usual shocking pink kit, with, in front of him, Jack Sherwood, Jimmy Norman, Rikkie Letch, and Ben Matthews, Luca Scannella in front of the back four, Cameron Edwin joined Captain Ross Cheek in the middle with Josh Di Palma and Jason Cotton the wide players with Jason Vincent in the number 9 shirt. A strong bench included Rob Parrott, Tom White, Kieran Ferguson, Jamie Kaffo and Ollie McAleese.
The home side managed their first proper shot on target after only five minutes, following some good moves by the Gs out wide featuring Josh using his pace to trouble the home defence.Although the Gs were exerting a fair bit of pressure and dominating possession, it was clear that the home side had a threat in some of their quick players, if they were allowed to get away.
There were a series of free kicks awarded to the Gs. for some physical challenges, and the first yellow card was awarded by the Ref. to the home number 6. Luca received treatment from Steve Snelling on the pitch.
The team of Cheek and Norman lined up as usual for a couple of free kicks and although on target they were not that well struck, giving the home keeper reasonably easy saves.Josh made more runs down the wing and delivered the ball across the face of the goal several times, but the Gs were not able to convert these chances.
After 27 minutes, when the Gs had had a good few corners, the ball went out of play near the home team dug out and the following Gs throw in found, its way to Luca who squared the ball into the path of Jimmy Norman, coming forward just beyond the centre circle and he unleashed a mighty shot that found the top corner leaving the East Preston keeper with no chance.
Even more corners followed for the Gs as they continued to press their hosts. Josh and Jason C swapping wings. The Gs came close to a second when, after a corner by Ross Cheek out on the Gs left was knocked away, the ball came back to Ross who delivered again towards the back post where Ben Matthews headed the ball down, but the home keeper just about managed to block the ball on the line. Ben has been showing what a good young player he is, anywhere in the back line.
Just before the break, Jack Sherwood was shown a yellow and sent to the sin-bin for 10 minutes. Obviously, the referee did not agree with his protests that he had been fouled. Josh then needed to sit back and recover while we were down to ten men.
A good bit of build up play between Jason V and Cameron looked impressive, but unfortunately Cams shot went astray. So, the score was 1-0 to the Gs at half time. Luca was substituted at half time for what we understand was a tweak of his hamstring with Rob Parrott coming on to replace him.
The Gs were awarded another free kick out to the right. Jimmy stepped up and hit another powerful low drive, that a defender managed to get a boot to, taking the sting out of it. Just as well as I don’t think the goalie would have had it covered. As it was, the home defence struggled to clear it and we saw them almost put the ball in their own net.
East Preston had one or two chances themselves on the break and Ryan was called upon to make a good save going down to his right. Jason C was substituted for Tom White coming back from injury. Rob produced some terrific determined ball winning tackles and managed to keep possession on a couple of occasions even when he was on the ground. Kieron came on to replace Josh.
Cameron worked his way forward from the left and hit a great shot from the edge of the area, that brought a superb save from the EP goalie, diving full stretch to his right turning the ball around the near post for yet another Gs corner.
EP made some further substitutions who were lively, but the Gs defence dealt with it apart from a couple of wayward shots.
Then, with around 5 minutes to go, yet another free kick from JN saw his head height delivery into the box met with the slightest of glancing headers from Jason V who steered the ball just inside the far post for the Gs second.
I suppose that it was fitting that the match ended with yet another JN free kick from almost the same place, whistling just past the outside of the near post before the Ref blew for full time.
Another step in the right direction for the Gs who are doing so well that I think we expected a bit more of a comfortable victory. But a clean sheet and three points is always welcome.
Don’t forget to bring your tins and dry goods to the home game next week in support of the Godalming Community Store.