The ground is down a small lane (Mead Lane) off the main road through Farnham. There's not too much on-site parking available, which I knew beforehand, so it's probably best to park either in the town or at the Millennium Centre (Crosby Way), which is on the far side of the ground from the main entrance. I chose the town option and made the short walk down West Street and Mead Lane to the stadium.
Although the stadium has been around for a while, the players & officials facilities and the turnstile entrance look to have been renewed quite recently. Note that the clubhouse is separate to the ground and there isn't a snack bar inside the stadium. You can. however, easily go back to the club house after entry so long as you retain your entrance ticket. Programmes were also on sale in the club house.
Once inside the first thing you notice is the bank and stand behind the town end goal. This is a great example of the quirkiness of non-league stadia. As the ground is significantly lower than the High Street that runs above it, the buildings on West Street tower above the town end of the ground. There is a large bank upon which is perched a covered seating area, some six or seven feet above the pitch level. There is also a raised walkway around that end of the ground that gives access to the opposite side of the pitch. On that side there are the dugouts and another covered area, this time covered standing. There is only spectator access to three sides of the stadium. The goal opposite the West Street end does not have access at all and is, in fact, very tightly hemmed in by houses (at least one stray shot ended in a garden). There is a public pathway that runs directly behind this goal, so passers-by get a good view of the game.
The game itself was a massive six-pointer with the bottom of the Combined Counties Premier looking like this before kick-off:
Taking up a position on the far side of the ground, in the covered standing area, I encountered another non-league quirk. Much like pink polo shirt man at the Ashford Town game in early January, there was a Godalming supporter, complete with scarf but wearing shorts, who at very regular intervals shouted 'Come on G's'. It's one of the less complicated football chants that I have heard but, effective nonetheless. To be fair there were quite a few Godalming supporters scattered around the ground but none were as vocal as Shorts Man. A proper non-league character. Whoever you are sir, I salute you, and I am sure your club is grateful for your support.
Four minutes into the game Shorts Man would have had a birds-eye view of the opening goal and what a superb goal it was. Farnham attacked down their right flank and, when the ball was played in towards the edge of the Godalming 18-yard area, Max Meaton met it on the volley, lofting it over the keeper and into the net. A sweet strike worthy of breaking the deadlock in any game. 1-0.
Godalming responded well to going behind and, just eight minutes later, they thought they had found an equaliser when captain Steve Betancourt was on hand to fire home after a scramble in the home six yard area. However, the assistant's flag was up before the ball even hit the net and the referee, much to the annoyance of the Godalming players, ruled it out for offside.
At this stage the game was quite open with both sides struggling to get on top. Shorts Man urged his side on with plenty more 'Come On G's'.
After 22 minutes, and with Farnham pressing, Godalming won the ball back and launched a long punt forward for Luke Haskell to chase. The more direct play seemed to catch out the home defenders and goalkeeper Adrian Giles started to come off his line. He was left in no-mans land as Haskell managed to gain possession of the ball, allowing him to loft a good finish over the stranded keeper. 1-1. 'Come on G's' was heard to be shouted at this point, several times.
HT Farnham Town 1 Godalming Town 1. An even first half. Farnham probably just about edged it on number of chances but all-square is just about right.
Farnham keeper Adrian Giles was called into action about midway through the half, tipping over a long range effort that moved around in the wind. Apart from that, the half was quite even although, whereas in the first half Farnham maybe edged possession, in the second it was Godalming who weer seeing a little bit more of the ball.
With just under twenty minutes to go I tweeted that one more goal, either way, would win the game and, on 82 minutes, I was proved right when Robert Webbe was allowed too much time. He let fly from 25 yards or so and saw his effort scream past Giles into the top corner. 1-2.
'Come on G's' was now ringing out behind the Godalming goalkeeper as Shorts Man urged his side to defend their lead and secure the vital three points. There were several short stoppages for 'injured' Godalming players to receive treatment. A ploy employed by many teams when trying to run down the clock. Annoying for the losing team and neutral spectators alike, but understandable in the circumstances.
Farnham didn't give up the ghost and, in the last minute, a driven cross from the right flashed across the Godalming six-yard box with several home players just failing to get a touch. A heart in mouth moment for Shorts Man, but a few moments later he was celebrating as the referee blew for full-time.
FT Farnham Town 1 Godalming Town 2. A tight and mostly scrappy game that was lit up by three very well taken goals. A disappointing result for the home side that sees them in a real relegation battle now. No lack of effort from the players but, as the Farnham Twitter feed pointed out, they have lost confidence in themselves. A little bit of luck and a win of any kind, could just turn it around for them but it's going to be a nervous end to the season.
Godalming are by no means out of danger, but the these three points could prove to be very important. At least Shorts Man went home happy, presumably to iron his Speedos in preparation for warmer weather.
Farnham Town: Giles, Flynn, Smith, Spiers, Jordan Stepney, Marker, Correia, Meaton, Lancashire, Morton, Medcraft, Cardona. Subs: Dillon, Bath, Staines
Godalming Town: Upward, Lodge, Hardisty, Betancourt (c), Goulter, Howard, Bennett, Hart, Haskell, Webbe, Oldland. Subs: Ogunseye, Trowers, Nzelo, Cotton, Palmer
Ground Number: 148