The first game of the FITB was a high-scoring, but ultimately very one-sided game. Walton Casuals of the Ryman Division One South took on Spelthorne Sports, who play in the division below. With Spelthorne finishing strongly in the Combined Counties Premier Division last season and Casuals being in the bottom half of the league above you could be forgiven for expecting a close game. The reality was somewhat different.
The game started slowly with neither keeper being really tested in the first 20 minutes. Both sides did have chances however; Walton seeing a corner cleared off the line and Spelthorne’s centre forward just unable to reach a through ball. Walton then had a goal disallowed for offside. It wasn’t until the 30th minute that the first of the 8 goals was scored - Gabriel Odunaike timing his run to perfection and calmly finishing past the helpless Spelthorne keeper. Odunaike should really have made it 2-0 minutes later but the second goal did eventually arrive courtesy of former Sutton United man Billy Dunn, who capitalised after Spelthorne were caught in possession inside their own half. Just 12 seconds after Spelthorne kicked off again they pulled a goal back, a powerful volley just inside the box leaving the Walton keeper with no chance. There was more to come in the first half though, with a Walton Casuals trialist remaining calm under pressure to score a third goal in stoppage time
The first chance of the second half fell to Spelthorne, but the effort from the edge of the box was well wide. Walton continued to pepper the Spelthorne goal but were frustrated by several saves by the Spelthorne keeper and one shot striking the foot of the post. The game appeared to be petering out but a spectacular Spelthorne collapse in the final 10 minutes saw Walton Casuals add 4 goals in the space of 5 minutes. Gabriel Odunaike got the first in the 83rd minute, in similar style to his first goal. A Spelthorne player then handled on the line, allowing Luke Medley to score a penalty just 1 minute later. Odunaike’s movement off the ball had been excellent throughout and he completed his hattrick in the 86th minute after an inch perfect through ball put him through. There was still time for another trialist to score a screamer from the edge of the box, bringing the score to an emphatic 7-1
It is of course hard to make judgements on a season based on the first pre-season game, but Walton were brutal and looked a very strong side. Spelthorne offered glimpses going forward but were caught way too often at the back and you couldn’t help but feel sorry for the goalkeeper, who had little chance with any of the 7 goals. With Walton Casuals playing in Merstham this season we are unlikely to see them until the new stadium in built, so wish them all the best for the future! We are sure to catch Spelthorne Sports again soon, hopefully on better form, and again wish them all the best in their 15-16 Combined Counties season!