Cooper-Smith is just foursome
By Gary Brigden
Sutton Common Rovers bounced back from their Bedfont Sports defeat when they picked up a 6-3 win away at Godalming Town in a difficult encounter.
Rovers came out of the blocks with a point to prove, and had Godalming penned back in the opening exchanges, but the only real effort on goal saw Daryl Cooper-Smith drag a shot wide of the right hand post.
Godalming responded positively and a low cross by Chad Goulter was well defended by Jeff Addo-Dankwa, and almost immediately we were split open but Jon Bennett saw his shot go straight at Michael Eacott.
Rovers then set Michael Campbell away but rather than shoot the lively striker opted to pass to Cooper-Smith and Godalming cleared, and on five minutes Joe Mead found Cooper-Smith but he pushed his effort wide of the post again.
Rovers didn't have to wait long to take the lead, as on eight minutes Cooper-Smith forced a corner, and from the delivery by Craig Nelson the big forward was on hand to thump home a header.
Godalming went close on 11 minutes when a free kick by Steve Bettencourt found J.Bennett but he put his header wide of the left hand post, and almost immediately Rovers increased their lead, Addo-Dankwa did well to bring the ball out of defence, found Cooper-Smith and he in turn released Campbell and he curled beyond Aidan Upward for 2-0.
Godalming tried to get back into the game and after good work on the left, the final ball was just out of the reach of Goulter. Back at the other end and Campbell flicked on for Andrew White, but although he lobbed the keeper the flag was up for offside.
Midway through the half, and Rovers went close to increasing their lead following a barrage of corners. First Cooper-Smith latched onto a Nelson corner but saw his shot deflected behind, from the next corner Davies saw his header well tipped over by Upward, and from the third delivery the ball dropped to White but he poked wide of the right hand post.
Godalming went close on 31 minutes when neat play split open the Rovers backline and Goulter fired over the bar. It was 3-0 on 33 minutes, Mead found Cooper-Smith and the big forward showed delightful touch to lift the ball over Upward for his second of the game.
The hosts were back into the game on 37 minutes when a free kick into the Rovers area by Goulter was met by Bobby Bennett who planted his free header beyond Eacott for 3-1.
Five minutes before the break and after we overplayed in the middle of the park, it took a brave save by Eacott to stop J.Bennett from bringing the deficit back to one, Bennett was booked, but to be fair it just looked like two committed players challenging for the ball.
On the stroke of half time, J.Bennett who was clearly struggling with injury following the collision, made way for the Jack May, and in the last play of the half Lee Boon put a free header wide of the right hand post.
Addo-Dankwa and Nelson almost set up Campbell in the first minute of the second half, but his spectacular effort was comfortably saved by Upward.
It was game on again on 53 minutes when B.Bennett was on hand to fire home after Rovers had failed to clear their lines, and for a few minutes Godalming had Rovers on the backfoot.
Rovers went close on 58 minutes when a foul on White on the left saw a quick free kick between Nelson and Kinsaba, from Kinsaba's deep cross Davies went close, and Cooper-Smith was booked for kicking the ball. Darren Salmon also made his first change removing the tiring Addo-Dankwa with Zach Powell.
Rovers were back in control on 63 minutes. A long clearance from Eacott was flicked on by Rixon-Nicholls into the path of Campbell, he rounded Upward but was hauled down by the keeper. Cooper-Smith converted the spot kick for 4-2 and his hat-trick.
The game which was generally played in a good spirit took a backseat for a few minutes, as outside influences took over. A Godalming fan was ejected for a racist comment, and a minute later another fan was removed for striking Campbell as he checked on the health of a Godalming player he had clattered into. Campbell was subsequently booked for the foul.
With just over fifteen minutes remaining Godalming reduced the arrears once again. The ball pinballed around the Rovers area before finding May, and he curled a delightful strike over Eacott for 4-3.
Rovers were rocking, but dug deep and with fifteen minutes remaining almost increased their lead but Campbell fired wide of the right hand post, having outpaced the defence. Upward was then out smartly to sweep up as Campbell looked to race clear.
On 82 minutes Cooper-Smith got to the byeline, tried to find Campbell but the ball was put behind by Bettancourt. From Nelson's corner, Upward only half cleared, and Rixon-Nicholls was on hand to restore the two goal cushion at 5-3.
Darren Salmon then made a double change replacing Rixon-Nicolls and White with Anson Cousins and Matt Auletta.
Upward saved well from Campbell on 90 minutes after a good run by Auletta. Cooper-Smith was denied by a good Upward save when through one-on-one.
Scoring was completed deep into stoppage time, Auletta found Campbell, he played in Cooper-Smith and he calmly fired under the advancing Upward for 6-3.