East Preston

Godalming Town 0 (0) v (0) 1 East Preston

The Gs came down to earth with a bump with their second defeat in a row in the League.

Anyone looking at the table and seeing that East Preston were in last place could have been forgiven for expecting that the Gs would have a comfortable afternoon. But this is a different East Preston side that the Gs beat 2 – 0 a few weeks back. Even then I felt they were better than their position in the League would indicate. With changes in their management and new players they look a whole lot stronger, and deserved the win.

Ryan O’Sullivan was in goal, with, in front of him Jack Sherwood, Jimmy Norman, Ben Matthews, and Will Ab-Iorwerth (coming in for the injured Matt Cox). In the middle Luca Scannella, Rikkie Letch and Ross Cheek and up-front Jason Vincent, Jason Cotton and Cameron Edwin.

On the bench were Dan Mills, Enrique Belope, Kierran Ferguson, James Mariner who we have not seen for a while, and Ollie Mc Aleese, who said he is now recovered sufficiently from injury to make at least a short appearance on the pitch. The Gs still without supporter’s player of last year Rob Parrott and of course our inspirational captain Luke Beale.

The Gs started ok, with Jack Sherwood looking dangerous down the right flank, but several players went down under some strong tackles from the visitors getting Steve Snelling into the game as well. In fact, on only15minutes Will Ab-Iorwerth was using his pace chasing down a 50/50 ball when he got caught and received attention from Steve on the pitch before calling for a replacement. Hope Will is back soon, as he has a lot to offer. Dan Mills came on to partner Jimmy Norman while Ben Matthews moved to left back.

There was the first yellow card of the game for a visiting player and some protests that perhaps it should have been more. But, on 34 minutes we saw an East Preston player work his way into the penalty area before going down and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Ryan did a great job in getting a strong hand to it and pushing the ball wide of his left-hand post. (A photo on the Facebook page). Ben Matthews, another young player who has really made a name for himself, also picked up a yellow card for not returning the ball after it went out of play.

The best chance for the Gs so far in the game came about from some great battling by Cam down the left which saw him get towards the line before pulling the ball in to the area where Ross Cheek got in a shot that was blocked by the East Preston defence.

A frustrating first half for the Gs finished 0 – 0. The visitors having more of the territory and possession.

Early in the second half the visitors put the ball into the net from a header from a cross from the left, only to see the linesman’s flag up for offside. Jason Cotton made one of his trade-mark bullocking runs, cutting in from the left, but the visiting defence managed to scramble the ball clear. .When the ball went down the other end of the pitch Ryan was called upon to make another super stop by sticking his right leg out to keep out a low attempt and turn the ball around for a corner.

The Gs tried to wrestle control back and from a free kick, out on the left,delivered by Ross Cheek, the visitors cleared the ball, but only to where Rikkie Letch was poised to get a thunderbolt shot in, but a brave defender got his head to the ball to turn it round for a Gs corner.

Another chance for the Gs came when Cam stretched his legs to get behind the opposition defenders and attempted a lob. It was well directed over the keeper, but unfortunately it was also just over the bar.

Jason Cotton was subbed off for Kierran Ferguson to join the fray. Ollie McAleese came on at left back and Ben Matthews went back into partnership with Jimmy Norman as Dan Mills came off. The visitors won a couple of corners and then from one on their right they bundled the ball in, from close range to take the lead with not much of the game left. Rikkie and Luca both came off for James Mariner and Enrique to make an appearance. But, despite some more late pressure the Gs could not level the score.

A fair result at the end of the day. For me if East Preston can perform like that again they will soon be notching up some more wins and climbing the table. I am sure that Tony and Luke will get the team back to winning ways soon.