Godalming Town ended their 6 game run without a victory as an accomplished performance saw the Gs run out 3-1 winners over Daventry Town.
After a lacklustre first period that the visitors dominated, two goals in six second half minutes from Graeme Purdy and Tom Willment put Godalming in control. Despite Willment putting through his own net shortly after Will Hutton wrapped up the points for Andy Hunt’s men with 7 minutes remaining.
With Ashley Lloyd failing to pass a fitness test on his hamstring Chris Musgrove started at centre-back and changes were also made in attack as Marco Micaletto and Liam Roberts came into the side with Graeme Purdy Godalming’s attacking forefront.
On an uneven surface the hosts were the first to forge any openings but Josh Blake’s and Jack Howard’s efforts in the first ten minutes didn’t trouble Richard Ossai. The Gs were trying to impose their sharp, final-third passing game on Daventry but their first chance, the best of the first half, came from a direct run as oppose to any careful unlocking of the defence.
Micaletto, willing to take on defenders all game, went on a surging run past 3 Daventry players down the centre of the pitch and threaded a fine pass through to Roberts on the left hand side. His first-time cross deflected off Ash Deeney and was tumbling towards goal but Ricky Hill got back in time to hack the ball off the line.
Godalming were beginning to dominate and Simeone saw a shot from the edge of the box blocked before, in the 35th minute, Musgrove was flagged offside when he lobbed an effort narrowly over after Willment had flicked on Will Hutton’s free kick.
The hosts, who suffered an exodus of players following budget cuts that lead to the departure of manager Darran Foster earlier this month, were struggling to keep the ball for long spells or indeed carve out any opportunities. Indeed, a Hill throw-in that bounced before being tipped over by Ossai was their best moment before the break.
The Gs continued to be on top after half time and Ben Heath held a Simeone effort before, after 56 minutes, the visitors took a deserved lead. Willment’s long ball sent Micaletto running down the right channel and the youngster easily outpaced Blake before hooking a perfect cross to Purdy who slid home from close range.
The goal clearly settled Godalming and Roberts and Hutton combined just a minute later with the latter shooting wide from distance. Soon after it was 2-0 with Hutton the provider as his corner was met by Willment with a thundering header, leaving Heath with no chance, for the defenders first goal since joining the Gs a fortnight ago.
Godalming were spending most of their time in the Daventry half but a quick break from the hosts resulted in them halving the deficit, much against the run of play, as Tom Berwick’s cross came off Willment and diverted past Ossai.
The visitors, who had seemed home and dry, continued with the notion that attack was the best form of defence but Daventry almost took advantage of this after another counter attack but Berwick lobbed over the bar.
However, despite the alarm bells Godalming continued to be in control of the game and substitute Piers Oldland could have made it 3 when he mishit a Chris Wales cross in the 77th minute.
With 7 minutes remaining the points were eventually secured. Nick Hutchings did well down the left and beat Deeney with ease before crossing low to Hutton who, just inside the box, hit a first-time shot into the far corner for his fourth goal of the season.
Despite Berwick forcing Ossai into a late save Godalming saw out the rest of the match with ease and the long-awaited victory sees them move up to 8th in the table, just 1 point off the playoffs.
With Bedford Town drawing 0-0 with Weston-super-Mare in the FA Trophy 3rd qualifying round a replay will take place on Tuesday, thus postponing Godalming’s league match with them.
The Gs travel to 6th placed Royston Town on Saturday in a game that marks the start of a run that could have a bearing on Godalming’s season, with matches against playoff chasing Barton Rovers, Hanwell Town and Egham Town all before the end of the year.
Scorers: Willment (o.g) 67; Purdy 56’, Willment 62’, Hutton 83’.
Godalming Town XI: Ossai; Wales, Hutchings, Musgrove, Willment; Simeone, Brown; Hutton; Micaletto (Frith 81’); Purdy (Cornell 78’), Roberts (Oldland 76’).
Substitutes not used: Lunn, Mazzone.
Attendance: 121 (21 away).