Direct goals again proved Godalming Town’s undoing as the Gs crashed out of the FA Cup at the 1st qualifying stage after a 2-1 defeat at Beaconsfield SYCOB on Monday night.
Having been the better side at Wey Court on Saturday, and with the prospect of a home tie with step 5 Greenwich Borough after the 2nd qualifying round draw was made earlier in the day, Andy Hunt and his side will be bitterly disappointed to have exited the competition in the way they did.
Piers Oldland returned to the starting XI having been rested on Saturday and he joined Jack Mazzone and Darren Wheeler in a three-pronged attack. Having served his suspension Steve Brown was also back in midfield with Jordan Binns at right-back.
There was a controversial moment early on when Oldland, having got the better of Zak Martin, saw his cross blocked by the full-back’s left-hand. Referee Nick McKenzie, and the well-sighted linesman Ed Henderson, ignored Godalming’s pleas and signalled for a corner instead.
The draw on Saturday was a cagey affair and it was a similar story again although Aaron Berry headed an Omari Patrick cross not too far wide in the 17th minute.
Godalming were shading the game and in the 32nd minute forced a tremendous reflex save from Rams goalkeeper Sam Bunting. Having been pulled to the ground by George Berkes Wheeler whipped in an inch-perfect free kick which Mazzone got on the end of only to see his header tipped majestically round the post.
The former St. Johnstone under-20 stopper was at it again from the resulting corner as he clawed away Ashley Lloyd’s header and, given the luck they’d rode at Wey Court, perhaps the hosts were beginning to feel this was to be their tie.
After those two great chances Beaconsfield came into the match somewhat and Lee Thompson volleyed wide before, in the 37th minute, captain Lee Togwell’s 25-yard effort was deflected behind by Antonio Simeone.
The game was lacking any real class and 6 minutes after half-time the Gs were given a great opportunity to seize the tie when they were awarded a penalty kick.
Marco Micaletto sent Oldland through with a well-weighted pass and the teenager, who was initially being beaten for pace by Alex Murray, eventually overtook the centre-back before going down under the former Holmer Green mans challenge.
Mazzone stepped up to send Bunting the wrong way, his 8th goal of the season, to the delight of the of travelling fans.
Andy Hurley acted swiftly to his side going behind making a double substitution, one of which would prove to be a stroke of genius.
Just four minutes after coming on for Elliot Carey 19-year old Ashley Kelynack rose highest to head home Togwell’s free kick and level the tie as the Gs conceeded from a long ball into the box again.
Godalming were struggling to piece together their fluid style from earlier in the campaign and too often they’d go long, attempting to find Wheeler, instead of retaining possession which the hosts were doing a good job of.
Will Hutton was sent on with 25 minutes to play after Micaletto limped off with a nasty looking injury and the midfielder shot straight at Bunting in the 71st minute before, having skipped past several challenges, dragging a shot wide shortly after.
However, in the 81st minute the Rams took the lead with another direct goal. A long-throw from the left was flicked on by Jon Munday and Ollie Jones struck a fantastic first-time volley high into the roof of the net.
The goal was of high quality and Andy Hunt responded by sending on Graeme Purdy but despite the added attacking threat Godalming were still struggling to get any meaningful passes together.
Indeed, in the 89th minute, Berry wasted a great chance to seal the tie as he scooped a close-range effort over. There was however one last, agonising chance for the Gs deep into stoppage time.
Wheeler fired in another excellent ball and Purdy did well to bring down and keep possession in the box. After the ball eventually broke Hutton hit a first-time effort from 20 yards which dropped less than an inch wide of the far post with Bunting stranded.
The moment perhaps symbolised the tie with Godalming just not getting the right luck. Moments before the final whistle Richard Ossai made a fantastic one-on-one save from Patrick but Beaconsfield’s young team would get through with the two goals, and the Gs left Holloways Park dejected.
On Saturday Godalming make the 260-mile round journey to Cambridgeshire as they return to league action against St Ives Town. The following Saturday, depending on Rugby Town’s FA Cup replay result, they will again make a long journey north in the league.
Scorers: Kelynack 59′, Jones 81′; Mazzone 52′ (p)
Godalming XI: Ossai; Binns, Hutchings, Simeone, Lloyd; Brown (Purdy 82′), Roberts (Wales 74′); Micaletto (Hutton 65′); Oldland, Mazzone, Wheeler.
Subs not used: Pearson, C.Hutton, Crossley,Palladino.
Attendance: 107 (33 away)