Godalming Town came from a goal behind to claim a point in their Boxing Day clash against Egham Town at Wey Court with the draw meaning the visitors stay above the Gs in the league table.
Former Godalming player Dan Read had given the visitors the lead with his 8th goal of the season towards the end of the first half but George Frith struck 10 minutes after the break with his first Gs strike to earn the hosts a share of the spoils.
Captain Antonio Simeone was named on the bench with George Short selected in midfield, and Adam Cornell was started in attack.
The visitors ran out 2-1 winners in the last meeting between the clubs in the Red Insure Cup last month and they created the first chance in the 3rd minute when leading scorer Reis Stanislaus saw his shot well blocked by Chris Wales.
The Gs replied with an opportunity of their own 2 minutes later as Jack Mazzone’s quick free-kick found Cornell in the box but the striker’s effort was well saved by the feet of Jamie Norris, one of 5 former Godalming players in the Egham starting eleven.
Will Hutton shot over from distance before the Sarnies missed a great opportunity to open the scoring. Joshua Andrew crossed from the right but Read headed wide at the near post when he should have at least hit the target.
Tom Willment was offering his usual threat from set-pieces and he headed into the arms of Norris in the 33rd minute before, shortly after, Richard Ossai denied Duane Antonio with a good save to his left hand side.
The game was in the balance and when Egham took the lead in the 38th minute it came somewhat out of the blue. Joe Chandiram ran at the Godalming defence who stood off him and the ball somehow rolled through to Read, who then lifted an opportunistic finish over Ossai at the near post for his second goal against his former club this season.
The hosts almost equalised immediately with Willment again involved, this time the captain for the day crashing a header from a Darren Wheeler corner off the bar with the rebound bouncing against him and behind.
Andrew had two long-range efforts after the break, one sailing over and the other being comfortably dealt with by Ossai, but Godalming levelled the game in the 55th minute. Wheeler burst down the left channel and his cross just missed Mazzone before Cornell miskicked the ball at the back post. Thankfully it fell kindly to Frith who, charging into the box, calmly tucked the opportunity home.
Suddenly the wind was in Godalming’s sails and they began to look for second goal. Wheeler’s cross fell to Wales who drew a save from Norris before, in the 69th minute, Hutton’s long-range effort again forced the Egham stopper into action.
An excellent through ball from Ashley Lloyd allowed substitute Graeme Purdy to pick out Wales on the right and his cross found Cornell who turned Louis Chandler-Joseph before shooting into the side-netting. The Gs again came close with 12 minutes to play as Wheeler’s pin-point cross was headed narrowly over by Purdy.
Despite the chances it was the visitors who ended the game on top and Lloyd had to produce a superb block to prevent Stanislaus from breaking through on goal. In the 84th minute Egham should have won it, Andrew’s cross eventually falling to Sebastian Castello at the far post but the man on dual-registration with Slough somehow sliced the ball over from close range. In miserable conditions the game eventually petered out though Stanislaus came close in stoppage time, his free kick sailing over Ossai’s bar.
Godalming are in action next on New Year’s Day when they travel to Honeycroft, home of an Uxbridge side that overtook the Gs with a 2-0 win at AFC Hayes. Andy Hunt’s men then have just two days before they visit North Greenford United on January 3rd.
Scorers: Frith 55’; Read 38’
Godalming Town XI: Ossai; Wales (Hutton 74’), Hutchings, Lloyd, Willment; Short; Frith, W. Hutton; Mazzone (Purdy 62’), Cornell, Wheeler.
Substitutes not used: Roberts, Simeone, Brown.