|Scarves for sale at Godalming Town (and mugs, programmes and pin badges!).|
It had looked like the most straightforward of wins for Brock. Wingers Will Tickle and Mark Barker had spent the first half tormenting Godalming's full-backs. They had been jinking and jetting past their unfortunate opponents, crossing and shooting at will. Aaron Dunne had scored the Badgers' overdue first after 20 minutes, heading in from Barker's free-kick. Matt Sheedy added the second ten minutes later after Tickle's cross had been blocked and rebounded to him ten yards out. And then there was a third in stoppage time from Mitchell-Carlton Speechley-Price.
Brock were absolutely cruising in to the next round. No problem at all.
|The main stand at Godalming Town FC.|
Godalming Town FC (1) 3 v 5 (3) Brockenhurst FC
Buildbase FA Vase 2nd Qualifying Round
Saturday 23rd September 2017
Programme: £2 (the best I've seen at this level for quite some time)
Colours: Yellow / green / yellow v All blue
National Grid reference: SU9844
|Tiny homemade shelter at Wey Court.|
It was 45+4 - the "plus 4" being time added on due to a double sending off after 34 minutes. I didn't see the incident, but according to my source in the stand, there had been a "coming together of heads", "handbags" and "nothing much to it". However, the end result was that Godalming's Hakim Griffiths and Brock's Tommy Barnes both took the walk of shame back to the dressing rooms.
During the Plus 4, Godalming's debutant Robert Webbe scored via the back of his head. It was 3-1 at half-time and Brock should still have been comfortable.
|Mark Barker attempts to round Aaron Bufton in Godalming's penalty area.|
Shortly after this, Ben Cotton weaved his way through Brock's defence, rounded goalkeeper Matty Taylor and side-footed home to make it 2-3. Time for the home side to pick the ball out of the net and run with urgency up to the centre-spot, slam it down and keep believing they could complete an unlikely comeback.
Brockenhurst were visibly nervous at this point with Godalming's tails well and truly up. They couldn't get a third. Could they?
The answer to this question was "yes", but in an unexpected manner. With 15 minutes remaining, Webbe floated in a corner...and the ball seemed to cross the line without anyone touching it. There may have been a slight deflection, but I didn't see one from the far end where I was stood. 3-3 with a goal straight from a corner. Now, would there be extra-time and a possible replay, or could one of the combatants snatch a late victory?
|Goalmouth scramble but no goal on this occasion.|
You'd have thought that you'd be able to leave your valuables in the changing rooms at Charterhouse with impunity, what with the public school ethos of fair play and honesty and so on and so forth. I mean, compared to some of the rough, tough schools I played at in both the hockey and football teams, none of whom ever caused us any bother...
But come full-time and a creditable 2-2 draw against the future captains of industry and grandees of the Tory party, we returned to the dressing rooms and we'd been ransacked! My bus fare home, all 15p of it, gone! But worst of all, I'd bought a 7 inch vinyl record on my way to school that morning - Turning Japanese by the Vapors - and the thief had broken it. Not stolen it, but worse, broken it!
Henceforth, from that moment, I became a Communist.
|The inevitable arty pic.|
People sometimes ask me if I have any favourites from the 50 or 60 clubs that I cover on here, and I usually go all coy and say "no comment" or words to that effect, but I found myself punching the air when that fourth goal went in, so yeah, I'll admit it, Brock are one of my favourite teams.
Unlike my children, I don't love everyone equally.
With Godalming chasing another equaliser, Speechley-Price was played through the middle again with two minutes remaining. This time he shot earlier, arcing the ball way over Bufton's outstretched arms to make it 5-3 for what was, in the end, a deserved victory for the club from the New Forest.
|Mitchell-Carlton Speechley-Price celebrates scoring his second and Brock's fourth of the afternoon, as well as having the longest name in the Wessex League.|
AFC Portchester v Cullompton Rangers
Highworth Town v Sholing
Westbury United v United Services Portsmouth
Romsey Town v Hamble Club
Portland United v Horndean
Fareham Town v Ivybridge Town
Baffins Milton Rovers v Radstock Town
Hengrove Athletic v Alton
Farnham Town v Lymington Town
Frimley Green v Blackfield & Langley
Bashley v Bridgwater Town
I hope to file a report from one of these matches on HAH in four weeks time. But which one?
|Down the steps to the dressing rooms for the returning heroes.|
Obviously, the incident that scarred my childhood at Charterhouse had nothing to do with the good people of Godalming Town FC. Just being there amongst the friendly home crowd in the sunshine will always be a good memory. And their ground is lovely, with an old stand with wooden bench seats, an engaging announcer, a superb programme packed with info and colour photos, an area for children to play, a rusty roller in one corner, a top-notch tea hut...I could go on. They're a good bunch. If you're up that way, please pay them a visit.
The next HAH will be from a match being played on October 7th. I do love a cup game, so I'm considering delving deep - really deep - down inside the pyramid and visiting an insect-themed club from the badlands between Southampton and Portsmouth for a Hampshire Intermediate Cup tie next. See you in a fortnight.