A scintillating first-half performance from Egham Town saw them run out comfortable winners at Wey Court, with striker Ryan Debattista ruthless in notching up a hat-trick in the opening 45 minutes.
The impressive Sarnies took just 3 minutes to take the lead, and despite Ashley Lloyd equalising with his second goal for Godalming the dynamic visitors scored twice before the break, and could relax in a second half during which the Gs never looked close to getting back in the game.
With the Hutton trio absent due to family commitments, and Chris Wales on the injury list, a somewhat threadbare Gs squad was named, with Darren Wheeler starting despite not being fully fit.
The appointment of Gary Meakin in September has seemingly turned Egham into surprise playoff contenders, with just 2 defeats and a 7 game winning run since the 31-year old took over the reins at The Runneymede Stadium, and it was clear from the kick off they’d come to Wey Court to take all 3 points.
Indeed, with only 3 minutes on the clock, a quick ball forward created confusion between Richard Ossai and Tom Willment, and the latter had his pocket picked by Brendan Matthew who squared to a completely unmarked Debattista, the young striker tucking home from close range.
The Sarnies continued to dominate the opening stages, their high press and quick movement of the ball making the Gs look ponderous, with Matthew, Debattista and Bajram Pashaj seeming like a particularly dangerous front three. The latter was denied by a well-timed tackle from Nick Hutchings in the 14th minute, but to their credit the hosts began to claw their way back into the match.
Wheeler sent a free kick narrowly over before former Egham striker Danny Bassett was in on goal but, from an angle, blazed his effort over the bar despite Graeme Purdy lurking inside the box. On 33 minutes Godalming levelled, and on the balance of play it was deserved. A lack of communication saw Hassan Sulaman head out for a corner unnecessarily, and from the resulting set-piece Lloyd had all the space in the world to thump home a header past ex-G Jamie Norris.
Despite the leveller, Egham swiftly reasserted their authority and re-took the lead just 5 minutes later with perhaps one of the best moves seen at Wey Court this season. Matthew hared down the right flank, drifting past Hutchings before exchanging a quick one-two with Pashaj. In the blink of an eye he moved the ball on to Debattista who dummied before curling a left-footed finish low into the far corner.
It was an elegant goal, and Egham looked like they could score every time they moved forward. Wes Daly and Kurtney Brooks were dominating the midfield with relentless energy, and the latter was involved in the third goal, Debattista’s hat-trick and another fine move, in first-half stoppage time. After the Gs failed to clear a free kick Brooks played in Debattista who could have shot, but he instead found Pashaj with a perfectly weighted pass. The 21-year old calmly pulled the ball back to the striker who slammed home is 5th goal in 5 games since joining the Sarnies.
The half-time departure of Wheeler was inevitable, and seemingly ended any hopes Godalming had of trying to get back into the game. Heads dropped, and Egham sensed that they could take their foot of the gas as the second half fizzled into a rather tame affair. More nice football from the visitors, this time involving Brooks and Pashaj, saw the latter rattle the cross bar with a fine placed shot on the hour, and Debattista shot wide after a swift counter attack shortly after.
The last chance of note again fell to Egham, Matthew flying past Willment and Lloyd before firing wildly over, with an outclassed Godalming ultimately happy to leave the pitch just 3-1 losers. The Gs travel to Potters Bar on Saturday before they host fellow strugglers Hanwell Town, who’ve recently reappointed manager Ray Duffy, on Tuesday 22nd.
Scorers: Lloyd 33’; Debattista 3’, 38’, 45’
XI: Ossai, Musgrove, Hutchings, Lloyd, Willment, Gray, Laidler, Roberts (Sellick 68’), Wheeler (Masembe 46’), Bassett (Beswick 74’).