A hat-trick from in-form Godalming Town striker Jack Mazzone saw the G’s complete a splendid turnaround as they came from 2-1 down to secure all 3 points in a thrilling game away to Aylesbury United.
Both sides had won one and lost one from their opening two fixtures and it was the Ducks who created the first opening in this first-ever meeting between the sides as Steve Hatch fired over from the edge of the box. Will Hutton drilled wide from distance soon after as the G’s began to shade the match and in the 23rd minute they took the lead with a wonderfully-worked goal. Piers Oldland delicately brought down a long ball and passed to Hutton, with the midfielder demonstrating excellent feet before delivering the perfect pass to Mazzone who confidently finished low to Jack Sillitoe’s left.
Richard Ossai had to be alert 10 minutes later as Jake Bewley’s mis-hit cross flew towards goal but the Godalming stopper saved well, and the new G’s number one was again called into action when Paul Edgeworth shot low from distance.
In an open half Godalming nearly doubled their lead in the 34th minute. After great tracking back from Oldland the lively Hutton saw his effort fumbled on to the crossbar by Sillitoe, bouncing just a few centimetres the wrong side of the line.
It was the G’s defending for the rest of the half, however, as the Ducks searched for an equaliser before the break. Ossai produced a fantastic save after Hatch was played in by Joey Acheampong and in the 40th minute Zack Reynolds, scorer of 4 goals already this season, lifted a clever effort just over after an Aylesbury free-kick wasn’t cleared.
Supporters were still making their way to their seats after the interval as the hosts leveled from the penalty spot. Hatch played in Acheampong from a free-kick and the big forward intelligently drew a foul from Chris Musgrove, with Aylesbury stalwart Edgeworth firing confidently home for 1-1.
Godalming were rattled and Jesse Waites tested Ossai before the turnaround was complete in the 53rd minute. After a corner was floated back in Ossai’s punch only went as far as Waites, and with Shane Wood paying the G’s ‘keeper close attantion the midfielder was able to float a fine finish in to the top corner to the delight of the home support.
The game had cranked up a few gears and in the 55th minute a moment of controversy was to occur as Godalming midfielder Steve Brown went in for a tackle with Liam Smyth. A nothing incident, followed by the most minor of afters, saw a red card for the Aylesbury man. The decision was harsh but did not immediately change the flow of the game as the Ducks increased their work rate as they sought to preserve their lead.
In the 64th minute Mazzone skipped past two defneders before firing over as Godalming bagan to dominate the spaces that were becoming available. Aylesbury were still battling across the pitch and it took some fine, intricate attacking play for the G’s to force the equaliser with 15 minutes to play.
Hutton found substitute Marco Micaletto out wide and the diminutive forward showed great feet to beat Bewley and return the ball. Hutton’s shot was saved by Sillitoe but Mazzone was on hand to smash home the rebound.
Aylesbury heads dropped and Godalming completed the comeback just 3 minutes later as Hutton dispossed Jack Wood in the box and moved the ball to Mazzone, who danced past Bill Morgan with ease before another confident finish that sent the away supporters into raptures.
Reynolds fired a free-kick narrowly wide as the Ducks searched for an equaliser but Godalming produced an assured final 10 minutes to make sure of the 3 points which take them up to 6th in the Southern League Central table.
On this showing the G’s will provide plenty of entertainment this season with a number of exciting forward players. They host AFC Hayes at Wey Court on Tuesday night, a 7:45 kick off, before travelling to Chalfont St. Peter next weekend.
Godalming XI: Ossai; Musgrove, Hutchings, Hardy, Lloyd; Simeone, Hutton, Brown (Binns 64′); Oldland (Micaletto 68′), Purdy, Mazzone (Crossley 82’).
Attendance: 142 (21 away)
Report by Ed Stubbs