Tuesday 14 March 2023

Godalming Town - Wey Court

Godalming Town FC
Wey Court

01487 417520
Official Website

Ground Number: 168
Saturday 30th July 2011
Godalming Town 2-1 AFC Wimbledon XI


The club has its origins as Godalming United FC, formed in 1950 by ex-pupils of Godalming Grammar School. Between 1950-71 the club played at the Recreation Ground. However, in 1970 Surrey Senior League side Farncombe collapsed, leaving their ground in Meadrow vacant. Godalming took over the debts and tenancy, changing their name to Godalming and Farncombe FC, and the ground to Wey Court in the process. After playing in the Surrey Senior County League, they joined the Combined Counties League in 1979, changing their name to Godalming Town the following year. By 1984 they were Combined Counties League champions but in the latter half of the 80s, the results tailed off. In 1992 the club was changed again to Godalming & Guildford after the Guildford Football Appeal (formed in an attempt to return the town's name to senior football, following the collapse of Guildford City in 1977) donated a sum of money towards floodlights.

They remained in the Combined Counties League for the entirety of this spell, before changing their name back to Godalming Town in 2005. This bought about a change of fortunes and in 2006, they were CCL champions for the second time. This time they were promoted to the Isthmian D1 South. Though they finished bottom in their first season, they were not relegated. In 2010, they finished 4th, the best finish in their history. They also reached the playoff final, losing at Folkestone Invicta. Another playoff adventure was had in 2012 when they reached the semi-final, only to lose at Bognor on penalties. The epic 4-4 draw was the best game I have ever seen. 
Some of their time at step 4 was spent in the Southern League but in 2017 they were relegated back to the Combined Counties League before going down again the following year to the Combined Counties Division 1. They've remained at step 6 ever since, transferring to the Southern Combination D1 in 2021. Last season's finish of 7th was their best since relegation.

The club had its best FA Cup run in 2011. They beat Wimborne Town, Moneyfields, Worcester City and Bodmin Town prior to a 5-0 defeat to Maidenhead United in the 4th Qualifying Round. The season before saw their best run in the FA Trophy as they lost 3-0 to Arlesey Town in the 3rd Qualifying Round. In the FA Vase, their best run is to 2nd Round. Local cup wins include the CCL Premier Challenge Cup in 2006, the CCL Concours Challenge Trophy in 1983, the Axtell Cup in 2017 and the Surrey Senior Cup in 2010 & 2013. Their record attendance of 1,305 came against AFC Wimbledon in 2002. Former Wycombe Wanderers keeper Chuck Martini managed Godalming Town from 2007 to 2010, including the club's best season in their history. The town of Godalming is in southwest Surrey and has a population of just under 22,000. Famous people with links to Godalming include comedian Ben Elton who went to Godalming Grammar School which closed in 1978.


My first match of my "double" on Saturday 30th July 2011 was the friendly between Godalming Town and AFC Wimbledon. I had already picked Havant and Waterlooville v Real Betis as an opportunity not to be missed, but that kicked off at 18:30 and so I could get a 3pm kick-off game done as well. The start to the day could have been better. I left home just before 11 and had planned to go to town. But the rain was pelting down, so I gave it a miss and just went to Morrisons instead to get some stuff for the journey. The day didn't get much better, a massive hour delay on the M25 meant I missed out on having a meal in Wetherspoons, though I did get to Godalming with just under an hour before kick-off, and so had time for a lovely bottle of Mont St Michel cider which was featured in their cider festival. With little time to spare, I bought some chicken and fruit at a local shop and returned to the ground.


As AFC Wimbledon had been playing the previous night - against Crawley Town in the league cup - they fielded a reserve team, much like the one earlier at Bedfont, a few Thursday's ago. Notable players were keeper Jack Turner and former Wycombe youth teamer Duane Campbell. Godalming also had a former Wycombe youth player in Jamie McClurg. It wasn't a brilliant game but Godalming's 2-1 win provided enough entertainment to justify the £5 entrance fee. The archives tell me that Godalming's goals were scored by Adam Foulser and Jamie Harris.
Godalming Town 2-2 Shoreham - S Comb Cup QF - 14/03/23
Godalming Town win 5-4 on penalties

This game was decided on Sunday evening. I'd have really liked to have done a new ground, probably around Leicester. However, the weather was set to be around 3 degrees at the time of kickoff, so I decided not to risk it. That area had borne the brunt of the bad weather at the weekend as well. Godalming was fairly close and I'd wanted to revisit for a while, having not been since 2011. The fact that it was a cup game was also an attraction. I was thinking of a revisit to Penn & Tylers Green on Monday but was verging on staying in. In the end, the decision was made for me as the game was cancelled. The day of the game came and it was my usual Tuesday walk to town and back. The afternoon was spent at home preparing my blogs for the upcoming Scottish Hop which I received details for yesterday. For once, I'd not be driving. Colin's mate Martin had agreed to drive after their game against Berkhamsted had fallen victim to the weather. In fact, it was one of many to be postponed, including some of the games that I'd given the swerve to. I left at 6 and met Martin and Colin at a local bus stop at 6.15. We were there by 7.30, paying £8 to get in and I also got some chips for £2.50.

In terms of league position, it was 5th v 1st. The two sides had met on 19th November in Shoreham, the game ended 1-1. In fact, all four previous meetings between the sides had ended in draws. To get this far in the cup, Godalming had triumphed on penalties at Seaford Town following a 2-2 draw. Shoreham had defeated Selsey 2-0 in the previous round. Godalming had the first chance of the game but didn't test the keeper. Shoreham took the lead on 8 minutes, a close-range finish from Marcus Richmond. Godalming staged a fightback, equalising with a powerful header on 19 minutes by Ollie McAleese. A few minutes later it was a brilliant shot from 25 yards by Ross Cheek that put them in the lead. Godalming suffered a setback, their keeper Ryan O'Sullivan sent off just before halftime for a foul just outside the area. Midfielder Rob Parrott had to take over between the sticks. The resulting free-kick came to nothing though.  Godalming were the brighter side at the start of the second half but it was Shoreham that equalised on 65 minutes, a header by Harry Heath. For a while after that, it was Shoreham who had the upper hand. It was really end to end in the last ten minutes, Godalming broke but narrowly avoided making contact with the cross. Then Shoreham smashed the inside of the post. The ball rebounded out but somehow a player managed to miss when it looked easier to score. It had been quite a feisty game with plenty of strong tackles. However, despite substantial time added on, it went to penalties. Godalming triumphed 5-4, thanks to stand-in keeper Parrott making a great save on the deciding kick.

It had turned out to be a brilliant game and well worth the visit. The Godalming people were really friendly too. During the second half it was nice to be able to sit in the press box and type my blog as I watched the game. It was nice to shelter from the torrential rain too. We left at 10 and made good progress home. I'd have uploaded my blog but with a penalty video to edit, I decided to do it when I got home. We were all in a decent mood, me and Colin as Wycombe had won, as had Watford for Martin. Looking at the games I could have attended, I made a decent decision to avoid Leicestershire as both Friar Lane and Epworth and Lutterworth Athletic at North Kilworth were off. By all accounts, the 0-0 at Stapenhill was a dreadful game according to a fellow hopper who went. Other choices could have been to watch Brislington win 4-0 at Nailsea and Tickenham or Woodthorpe win 2-0 at Ravenshead. It was a late finish, but I was back by 11.10, it taking a good hour to sort pictures and edit video.


Since 2018, the ground has been known as the Bill Kyte Stadium in memory of a former director. It is good enough for a few levels higher having been used a couple of steps higher on my first visit. A seated area, approx 200 capacity is supplemented by a covered area behind the goal, holding around 150. The rest is uncovered hard standing. Food and drink is available at the ground or the town, including a Wetherspoons, is just over a mile away.

The 2023 update saw prices rise considerably. £8 is quite steep for step 6. At least the portion of chips was good for £2.50 and they were doing a roaring trade. The car park was full on this occasion. Overall it was a good revisit though and good to get some nighttime pictures. There was also additional cover behind one goal , though I might not have noticed it the first time.

2023 PICS

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