Godalming Town returned to winning ways with an excellent victory at 2nd-placed Bedworth United that was secured by Adam Cornell’s first-half strike, his 8th goal since signing for the Gs in November.
The hosts, looking to keep the pressure on Kettering at the top of the table, failed to trouble Andy Hunt’s men until too late in the game and visitors will be pleased to keep a clean sheet after the disappointment at North Greenford United midweek.
With Charlie Hutton unavailable Chris Musgrove started at right-back as Ashley Lloyd returned to the squad. Lee Wigley partnered Tom Willment in central defence and Liam Roberts returned to the starting XI after suspension.
Godalming almost took the lead in bizarre circumstances when, 9 minutes in, the wind assisted Richard Ossai’s long kick and the ball was fumbled over the bar by Denham Hinds. From the corner Willment headed onto the roof of the net.
The hosts then created chances of their own and David Blenkinsopp shot straight at Ossai before the Gs stopper parried a Jamie Ashmore effort over. Liam Roberts half-volleyed over the bar before, in the 26th minute, Chris Wales nodded a Daniel Creaney header off the line.
In glorious sunshine Godalming were beginning to press and in the 34th minute Jack Mazzone played in Cornell but Hinds was quick off his line and blocked the ball. However, just 1 minute later, the striker gave his side the lead with a cool finish. After Andrew Westwood lost the ball Geroge Frith produced a quality pass and Cornell took his time before finishing confidently to Hinds’ left.
In the 42nd minute Willment sent another header from a corner onto the roof of the net and the visitors continued their dominance after half-time, coming close to adding another goal just seconds after the break. After Roberts crossed Mazzone saw his shot saved before Frith’s rebound was cleared by Ashmore on the line.
Chris Wales blocked an effort from the lively Dan Dubidat before Wigley got his body in front of a Blenkinsopp strike. In the 57th minute the Gs had another glorious chance to double their lead. Frith’s cross found Wilment and his headed was turned away by Hinds. Cornell sent the ball back in and Musgrove had a shot blocked before Cornell sent the final rebound over.
Dubidat, scorer of 28 goals this season in all competitions, was beginning to carve out chances and he shot across goal and only a few inches wide in the 63rd minute before firing over 2 minutes after. At the other end Cornell was close to connecting with a Roberts free kick but couldn’t quite reach the ball.
As the game entered the final 5 minutes Bedworth began to exert some serious pressure and, as they have many times this season, the Gs were thankful to Ossai for keeping them ahead. With 4 minutes to go the ‘keeper parried Chris Tullin’s cross before Musgrove headed the loose ball over the bar. From Ashmore’s resulting corner Ossai produced a fantastic save from Creaney’s header before Ben Steane’s effort was blocked by a mass of bodies behind.
Ossai then saved from Dubidat before Westwood shot wide from distance. Substitute Ashley Robinson sent an acrobatic volley off target before, in their final attack, Alex Naughton headed Tullin’s cross over the bar.
Godalming travel to Marlow on Tuesday night before playoff chasing Rugby Town visit Wey Court on Saturday 14th. The following Tuesday the Gs are on the road again, this time visiting AFC Hayes.
Scorers: Cornell 35’
Godalming Town XI: Ossai; Musgrove, Hutchings, Wigley, Willment; Frith, Roberts (Howard 89’), Brown, Wales (Simeone 74’); Mazzone (Purdy 67’), Cornell.
Substititues not used: Lloyd, Lunn.