Godalming Town’s long wait for a victory finally ended after a stunning and fully merited 3-1 win at league leaders Aylesbury saw the Gs claim their first 3 points since November.
A brace from Darren Wheeler put Godalming into a 2-0 lead and a clinical Adam Cornell finish made it 3 with 9 minutes to go. Adam Logie’s goal shortly after proved mere consolation for the hosts with the Gs unbeaten in the 3 games since Mark Anderson joined the coaching staff.
The visitors lined up in a 4-4-2 formation with Wheeler playing a more central role alongside Cornell. It was a system that proved effective as the Gs looked solid throughout the team, which had 3 changes from the one that drew with Beaconsfield. With Nick Hutchings carrying a knock and Charlie Hutton unavailable the defence was reshuffled and Chris Wales returned at right back, with Chris Musgrove starting for the first time since the 3-3 draw with Bedford. Cornell got the nod in attack.
When the sides last met in September the Gs were undone by the directness of the Moles and a cut up pitch looked likely to suit the hosts. However Liam Roberts was first to have a shot at goal with his 2nd minute volley easily held by James Weatherill. At the other end Wales did well to block a Jeanmal Prosper header from a Danny Murphy corner.
With Wheeler’s pace Godalming had a dangerous outlet with their balls over the top and only a tremendous save by Weatherill kept the scores level in the 13th minute. Roberts’ neat ball put the winger in but his left-footed strike was tipped over by the former Slough stopper.
Godalming were more than matching the hosts in the early stages and 5 minutes after Wheeler was denied he gave the visitors the lead. The Gs broke quickly from an Aylesbury corner and Wheeler ran onto a long ball before cutting inside Aston Goss and unleashing a shot that flew in the near post, stunning a Moles side who’d lost once in their last 10 games.
The rattled hosts were on the back foot and soon after scoring Wheeler sent in a dangerous ball which Weatherill smothered before, in the 21st minute, Cornell shot straight at the Aylesbury ‘keeper. The physical side to the hosts was rarely on display during the 90 minutes but their threat in the air was evident twice in the space of a minute as first Roberts cleared a Propser header off the line, before Kyle Anthony nodded straight at Richard Ossai just before the half-hour mark.
It was, however, Godalming who ended the half clearly on top as the Moles defenders argued amongst themselves. Weatherhill parried a Wheeler effort before, in the 42nd minute, George Frith skinned Anthony before forcing the goalkeeper into another good save. The rebound fell to Cornell but his shot was well blocked.
Steve Bateman made changes at half-time and his team almost responded straightaway with an equaliser as Murphy curled a free kick narrowly over Ossai’s bar 2 minutes after the break. Ossai was called into action on a couple of occasions as the table toppers began to exert pressure. Despite this the Moles were struggling to break down the resolute Gs backline and create clear cut chances, and in the 71st minute Godalming doubled their lead.
Substitute Jack Mazzone released Wheeler with an excellent ball and though the winger’s effort almost certainly started life as a cross it left Weatherhill helpless, flying over him and into the top corner for his 12th goal of the season. Soon after his race was run, with Jack Howard coming on for his debut following his move from Daventry.
Aylesbury sent on veteran Brian Haule as they looked desperately for a way back but it got worse for the hosts as Godalming extended the shock scoreline in the 81st minute. Having been chased down into the corner Prosper’s clearance was nodded straight back by Frith to Mazzone. The striker sent a great pass through to Cornell who produced a composed and clinical finish, high into the top corner, much to the delight of the travelling fans.
Propser made up for his botched clearance just 3 minutes later as he crossed for substitute Logie to rifle home from inside the box but any hopes the hosts had of forcing a comeback were ended by the continued sturdiness of the Gs defence. Antonio , part of an impressive midfield performance, shot at Weatherhill before the hosts rattled the woodwork in stoppage time after a thunderous 25-yard effort from Sonny French.
The much needed win sees the Gs remain in 11th after Northwood climbed above them on goals scored following a 5-1 thrashing of Egham. Andy Hunt’s side travel to Marlow, 1 place and 1 point behind them in 12th, next Saturday before Royston Town visit Wey Court on February 7th.
Scorers: Logie 84’; Wheeler 18’, 71’, Cornell 81’
Godalming Town XI: Ossai; Wales, Musgrove (Mazzone 59’), Willment, Lloyd; Frith, Roberts, Brown, Simeone; Wheeler (Howard 72’), Cornell (Hutchings 85’).