Dragons suffer plague of goals from Godmanchester
Godmanchester Rovers 5 Wivenhoe Town 0
Godmanchester Rovers: 1) Richard Stainsby 2) Scott Betts 3) Jonny Hall 4) Nicky Hurst 5) Charlie Bowen 18!) Jack Watson (Lewis Trimmer 55 (Stephen K Hurst 78) 7) Tom Sparkes (Carl Foreman 63) 8) Chris Hyem © 9) James Hall 10) Niks Savineius 11) Joe Furness Unused Subs: 12) Tom Moran 17) Matt Haniver
Wivenhoe Town: 1) Louis Hawes 2) Andy Schofield 3) Miguel Nydam 4) Callum Rogers (Ollie O’Hare 78) 5) Tim Dennis 6) Ryan Brown (Ben Fowler 71) 7) Peter Maina 8) Daniel Homewood 9) Ben Parkin 10)Joe Heron 11) Tyler Rogers (Ray Catchpole 55). Unused Subs: None
Referee: Mr Marin
Wivenhoe lost out to the stronger team at Bearscroft Lane, but they played their part in an entertaining and good quality match and did not deserve to lose by five goals.
It was a bright and blustery afternoon and the Dragons kicked off the match towards the car park end of the ground. The Dragons wore their customary all blue kit whilst Godmanchester gave a passable impression of Felixstowe and Walton United in their Adidas red and white striped shorts and red shorts. Way-off in the distance behind the dug outs a wind turbine rotated silently…
The Dragons began brightly and after just two minutes an overhead kick from Ben Parkin released Peter Maina on the right; Pete sent in a cross which was put out for the first corner of the game. The corner kick was met at the near post by Ryan Brown and a defender and whilst it looked like it should have been another corner, a goal kick was given. Having had the first corner of the game, the Dragons duly had the first shot of the match too when on nine minutes Joe Heron struck from 25 yards after a good passing move down the right, but sadly his shot was weak and easily gathered by Stainsby in the Goddy goal.
On 17 minutes a free-kick near the halfway line was lofted into the box by Callum Rogers and was met at the far post by Ben Parkin with a dipping, stooping, almost diving header which nevertheless went past the post. Goddy’s first proper sight of goal arrived a minute later as Hall(James) found space on the right hand corner of the box and hit a shot high over the bar. Within 60 seconds Ben Parkin had won a free-kick wide on the right about 35 yards from goal. Tyler Rogers whipped in the cross and after a bout of head tennis the ball rebounded out for a third corner to Wivenhoe. Ryan Brown met the corner kick with a glancing header across the face of the goal, which was touched back to keeper Stainsby.
Halfway through the half, the Dragons won their fourth corner of the match as the towering Bowen was possibly dazzled by his own day-glo boots and headed the ball out for a corner when under no pressure. Ben Parkin got on a new ball were the end of the corner kick and his firm downward header was blocked on the goal-line. On 25 minutes a punt forward from Tim Dennis saw Ben Parkin jump with the goalkeeper and win the ball, but unfortunately no other Wivenhoe player was on hand to kick the ball into the unguarded net.
It had been a good opening 25 minutes for Wivenhoe and it came as no surprise therefore, when after a long throw was headed out by Peter Maina to the edge of the box, Hall(James) hit a well-controlled volley through the crowded penalty area and beyond the diving Louis Hawes to give Goddy the lead. Peter Maina had a chance to equalise on the half-hour after Ben Parkin won a header near the corner flag and Tyler Rogers put in a low cross which Pete ran on too but hit over the crossbar.
Ten minutes before half-time a back header from Bowen was well claimed by Louis Hawes and then the Dragons threatened again as Stainsby fluffed a clearance from the edge of his penalty area; Peter Maina was the beneficiary, but his attempted lob from 35 yards didn’t reach the goal and the passage of play ended with Joe Heron sizing up for a shot, but losing the ball before he could hit it. The final five minutes of the half saw Goddy threaten the Dragons’ goal as they won their first corner when a shot from Savineius deflected off Tim Dennis. Callum Rogers headed the corner kick away, but off only as far as Furness, who volleyed the ball past the far post. Goddy then made shouts for a penalty as they felt that a Savineius’ cross hit Callum Rogers’ hand, but referee Mr Marin clearly thought these claims were the product of a collectively fevered imagination and ignored them. In the final minute of the half, a low cross from the right found Furness at the near post; he turned and hit a shot which deflected off Tim Dennis for a corner. The corner kick was played low to the near post where Savineius got in a shot, which was going wide until Betts diverted it onto Louis Hawes’ right hand post.
Although Wivenhoe had created some half chances, played some enterprising football and defended well in the first half, Godmanchester always looked physically stronger and capable of upping their game when required. So it proved, as the home team attacked Wivenhoe from the start of the second half. With two minutes gone a long throw resulted in a bout of head tennis before Furness lashed the ball high over the bar from 18 yards. A minute later, Hall(James) put Sparks through with a beautifully weighted ball and he drew a brilliant diving save from Louis Hawes at the expense of a corner. Then, in the 50th minute Ryan Brown lost possession between the goal and the corner flag; the resultant low cross found Hall free at the far post and he smacked a rising drive towards goal from 10 yards; although Louis Hawes got his hands to the ball he could not prevent it from going into the net.
Hall (James) came close again seven minutes later as he met a free-kick to the near post, but sent the ball the ‘wrong’ side of the upright. An increasingly rare Wivenhoe attack arrived a minute later as Joe Heron got forward well with a neat dribble before squaring the ball to Ray Catchpole, whose shot from 18 yards was too weak to trouble Stainsby. Godmanchester then won another corner before Trimmer put Hall(James) through on goal with a well weighted pass; Louis Hawes came off his line and forced Hall wide and his eventual low cross was cleared. Ben Parkin then launched a brief one man assault on the Goddy goal before the ball quickly returned to the Wivenhoe half and Andy Schofield conceded a corner. From the corner kick Bowen rose unchallenged to head the ball in off a post and give Goddy an unassailable three nil lead with 26 minutes still to play. It may have been Easter weekend but the Dragons weren't going to rise again.
With 67 minutes gone, Hall(James) hit a half volley very, very wide of the goal, but more importantly a section of the home crowd had by now taken a number of Wivenhoe players to their hearts. Callum and Tyler Rogers both established a fan club in the first half as a spin-off from their mum’s shouts of encouragement, and now Louis Hawes was inspiring chants of “Let’s go Louis, Let’s go”.
The 73rd minute saw Wivenhoe’s best goal attempt of the half; Andy Schofield strode forward and hit a low shot from 25 yards which forced a diving save from Stainsby to give Wivenhoe another corner, although that was sadly over hit. Back at the other end two minutes later and Tim Dennis was forced to hit the ball over his own crossbar, giving Godmanchester a corner of their own. The Dragons had clearly not learned a lesson from the third goal and once again Bowen met the ball without a challenge, but fortunately headed the ball wide. A minute later Bowen again met a corner kick unchallenged, and this time headed over the bar.
As the game approached the final 10 minutes there was a lengthy hold-up when Trimmer went down having appeared to twist his knee and he had to be stretchered off. To a man our sporting Wivenhoe team applauded him from the field. With six minutes left Louis Hawes then made a brilliant double save to keep out Furness’s half volley and a follow up shot. Peter Maina then instigated a breakaway move for the Dragons from which he earned a corner. With the game now into injury time Savineius, who it was rumoured amongst the Goddy fans had once played in the Champions League for a Latvian club, headed a deep free-kick past the post and Ollie O’Hare did likewise with a Tim Dennis cross. A good three minutes into time added on Hall (James) hit a shot off Peter Maina to earn another Goddy corner; the ball was delivered to the near post where full-back Hall (Jonny) headed it firmly through the despairing reach of Louis Hawes. The goal prompted an delightful song about the goal scorer from that section of the Goddy crowd who with the aid of some cold drinks were clearly enjoying the afternoon the most. The words were a little hard to understand but it was to the tune of the Birdy Song and the last line told us that the full-back apparently had a very big bottom.
Now deep into time added-on Pete Maina committed a foul some 30 yards from goal. Godmanchester substitute Foreman visibly wound himself up before setting off towards the ball and striking a low shot which must’ve gone through the defensive wall and then went through luckless Louis Hawes’ hands to add a gloss to the score for Godmanchester, which to Wivenhoe eyes was more of a harsh glare. That was that.
At least The Dragons had improved on last year’s score when they lost 9-0 and indeed this was not a bad performance, but Godmanchester were simply too strong for Wivenhoe. Given that Wivenhoe had two sixteen year olds in their starting line-up, it really was men against boys, but despite the score-line Wivenhoe can be proud of their performance in a game that was played in a good spirit throughout.