Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Smarting Casuals

Buckle (Walton Casuals) waits for the 79th minute whistle before scoring from the spot 
Hopperational details
Tuesday 21 September 2010 at Wey Court, Godalming Town 4  Walton Casuals 3 in the Step 4 Isthmian League Division One (South).  A roll of 3 on one d6 brought me here instead of Stocksbridge, Folkestone, Stourport, Tilbury or Sun Postal Sports on this occasion.
This match in one sentence
1-0, 1-1, 2-1, half-time, 3-1, 3-2, 4-2, 4-3.
So what?
Last season’s beaten play-off finalists Godalming Town climb from 5th to 3rd and Walton Casuals drop to 8th.
Who caught the eye on the pitch?
No stand-out individuals this time, but Dan Morris (Godalming) took the opening goal well, Kristan Webb (Walton C) and his mum (standing next to me at the time) were delighted that he scored against his old team, Danny Buckle (Walton C) scored a calm penalty and one other goal, Richard Taylor (Godalming) scored direct from a freekick, and Roberto Gagliardi (Godalming) is probably the calmest and quietest ‘keeper I have seen for a while.
This match had the same effect on my pulse rate as …
… being prodded in the ribs with stale baguettes by Thierry Henry (from the left) and David Ginola (from the right) while trying to discuss the use of physical theatre in Tango advertisements with Eric Cantona.
A snippet from the programme
There is a page devoted to a groundhopping tale from an unnamed correspondent but credited to, concerning a July visit to Ireland.  “Dublin is becoming one of my favourite cities for a football trip but be warned it is very expensive.”
What I learned today
The deadline for applications to be Godalming Town’s new manager (after the surprising departure of Chuck Martini) is 30 September.  The website announcement was not there earlier in the day when I checked the fixture, and this illustrates one of the disadvantages for the neutral hopper – one does not always know all the significant names and faces, and therefore to be brutally honest I have learned that I have no idea whether he left before or after this victory.  Chuck has been Town’s manager since 2007 and has overseen the highest level of performance in the club’s history.  I am therefore wondering whether he will end up filling one of several higher-level vacancies that exist at the moment.

Postscript - reports the next morning announce that he is going to league rivals Walton and Hersham, explaining that he feels that he has taken Godalming as far as he can.  Apparently he tearfully announced the news to his players after the victory over Casuals.

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