Jack Mazzone scored his 7th goal of the season as Godalming Town got back to winning ways with an efficient victory at Egham Town on Bank Holiday Monday. Having picked up a knock in the defeat at Chalfont St Peter on Saturday Graeme Purdy started on the bench with Andy Crossley replacing him in attack, and Liam Roberts started ahead of Marco Micaletto in midfield.
A pitch inspection had to be arranged a few hours before kick off and with the rain coming down the two teams, who both suffered away defeats at the weekend, struggled to gain an upper hand in the early stages of the match. After 12 minutes the hosts had a great opportunity to take the lead when captain Scott Weight found himself unmarked following a Mo Harkin corner but his header whistled over the bar. At the other end a deep Steve Brown free kick fell to Will Hutton who half-volleyed an effort wide of former Godalming goalkeeper Gary Aulsberry’s post.
In the 19th minute the Gs were denied what seemed a clear penalty. After a sloppy Egham free-kick Godalming broke and Crossley played in Piers Oldland with a fine pass. With the teenager haring towards goal Jake Gailbrath grappled and pulled his shirt until he was on the floor, but the referee waved away the appeals. Godalming were in the ascendancy and created a great opportunity on the half-hour mark. Mazzone’s reverse pass released Crossley on the right and his pin-point cross was steered narrowly over by an off-balance Oldland. The pressure told moments later when Nick Hutchings played Mazzone in and the striker used his body well to get ahead of Ricky Farnden before tucking the ball past Aulsberry to give the Gs the lead, to the delight of the numerous travelling fans. After the goal Godalming continued to dominate and Roberts low shot from distance went wide in the 36th minute. Joe Chandiram, one of four former Gs in the Egham starting lineup, fired wide but the visitors went in at half time looking the superior side.
Egham began to exert more pressure after the break and having made some changes. One of the substitutes, Matthew Grave, curled a free kick just a few inches over Richard Ossai’s crossbar. Ossai then made a fine save in the 64th minute to deny Josh Andrews, another substitute, with Antonio Simeone clearing the loose ball. From the resulting corner Farnden headed wide. Aulsberry was then called in to action to deny Hutton before Andrews had another opening, shooting wide from just inside the box.
With just over 15 minutes to go a throw in from Jordan Binns, who had a fine game in front of the back four, found Mazzone whose clever turn allowed for a shot which Farnden managed to block behind for a corner. Ossai was called in to action again as the Sarnies pressed for an equaliser with time running out. After making a smart stop from Reis Stanislaus with his feet the former Farnham Town goalkeeper was grateful when the same player headed in to his hands in the 85th minute. Weight sent another header over but ultimately Godalming produced a mature final few minutes to restrict Egham to long-range efforts and secure a fine 3 points, sending the Gs up to fourth and make the short trip home a sweet one.
Andy Hunt’s men begin their FA Cup campaign next weekend when they travel to face Combined Counties Premier Division side Windsor in the preliminary round. Their next league game is at home to Aylesbury on September 6th.
Goals: Mazzone 31′
Attendance: 167 (46 away)
Godalming XI: Ossai, Brown (C. Hutton 67′), Hutchings, Simeone, Lloyd; Binns, W. Hutton (Wales 84′), Roberts; Oldland, Mazzone, Crossley (Purdy 78′).