Godalming 0 – 2 Epsom & Ewell
Once again, we welcomed ex Gs manager Simon Funnel and Gs favourite player a couple of seasons back Bobby Bennett, with the hope that this time we would go home with a point or three.
We also welcomed a new centre back in Andrew Tarrent. Darren was back on the team sheet following his calf injury and the impressive Raisan Francis also returned. But the team sheet looked a bit sparse with no George Peterkin, Ryan Villa or stalwart Reegan Scotcher, which meant that we only had one outfield sub available in Charlie Chennel, who started on the bench with Ollie Ballam. When Bakes and Unders were in charge we used to wing it with the subs, but both of them used to be registered and kitted up in case of emergencies.
But, all looked pretty good in the opening minutes when Matt Brown seized on an opportunity in the visitors penalty area but, instead of hitting a shot, he unselfishly slid the ball across to Reece Weekes in front of goal, but, unfortunately the ball was behind Reece and he could only scoop the ball over the bar. Darren was on the end of a pretty unfriendly tackle from the E&E number 8 who received a talking to from the referee.
Darren was getting forward in the middle and hit a cracking shot that was going inside the visitors left hand post (I was behind the goal), but a defender got a deflection on it that went straight to his keeper, fortunately for them.
Dom Hardisty then was penalised for a tackle where he clearly played the ball and hit it wide, but it brought down the opposition forward and the ref, who was back in the centre circle, awarded a penalty. Bobby Bennett stepped up to take it and Adrian Giles made a great save to his left knocking the ball wide. Unfortunately, Dom who rarely goes down if he doesn’t have to, was then forced to limp off the pitch. Charlie Chennel came on to partner Andrew Tarrent while Rory moved to right back.
Adrian made another great stop from close range after a mistake in the Gs defence on what was pretty good pitch, but it was still slippery in places with both sides struggling to keep their footing at times. Epsom number 4 sent to the sin bin.
Another fine shot from Darren that again takes a deflection straight into the Epsom keeper’s hands. Ben Bauchop gets a shot in that bounces off a defender and again to their keeper.
Darren then works his way into the area then finds himself one on one with the Epsom keeper and for once he cannot beat the keeper and find the net. The game seems to be opening up with both sides going for the win. Reece again trying repeatedly to get behind the defence, but the visitors work the offside well. Andrew Tarrent then got his marching orders for something I did not see, but presumably a second yellow. So Gs down to ten men at a time when Darren normally takes a breather.
Worse than that from the free kick on the edge of the area Epsom went 1- 0 up with a shot that curled low around the wall and inside Adrian’s far post. Raisan puts in a great run from deep going past countless defenders, but his final shot just goes over as defenders force him wide of the goal. Gs keep attacking and from a Mat Brown corner Rory Sellick gets a great header in that looks like it will sneak inside the far post, but spins just wide with the visiting keeper beaten.
Raisan then gets taken out on the wing by a poor tackle that leaves him needing treatment off the pitch and he can take no further part in the game. The ref who has taken the trouble to issue plenty of cards to the Gs does not seem interested in showing a card. As we are already down to ten, we are now down to 9 with only Ollie our reserve keeper on the bench. He goes to the changing room to find a shirt.
Even down to 9 men Rory Sellick finds the energy to get forward with a great run, tries to chip the keeper and the ball drops just wide of the goal. Ollie comes on having found a shirt, cleaned his teeth, brushed his hair, said Happy Birthday to his Mum, and rubbed linament into all the chaffing parts and joins in with the defensive effort that has been tremendous. But just before the final whistle Epsom get their second goal with a close-range header, which settles the result. Reece has chased everything as always, but it was just not our day. Again, Matt Brown has to drop back to bolster the defence and we miss a target man upfront that Reece can play off.
Yet again a tremendous effort from all of the guys left on the pitch. They did us proud. Ben and Richie in the middle worked so hard as did all the lads and when you are down to 9 it is a problem. If only we could have taken the chances that arose.
Michael (Stato) Stats
Teams G’s Salts
attempts 12 13
on target 8 10
corners 3 5
fouls 14 5
yellows 4 2
SB (sin bin) 1
poss% 1st 40 60
poss% 2nd 39 61
Boril status: Staff at the Oven Door have returned from two weeks intensive training at Bovrilia- the high tech Bovril product and staff development centre in Altrincham. The result- perfectly mixed Bovril with no salty sludge and 100 % uniformity from first sip to last gulp. In the bar later, Kevin revealed that a two way clockwise stir followed by a half turn anti clockwise whilst gyrating your elbow sea – shanty style was part of the secret. The rest I can only imagine.