Jack Mazzone struck his 17th goal of the season as late drama ensured Godalming Town secured an impressive 3 points against a 4th-placed Rugby Town that had levelled just a minute earlier.
After a cagey opening 45 the Gs struck 5 minutes into the second period when Adam Cornell bagged his 3rd goal in his last 4 games. A neat finished from substitute Justin Marsden appeared to have rescued a point for the visitors with 7 minutes to go but after Mazzone was fouled inside the box he made no mistake from the spot.
Ashley Lloyd returned at a centre-half as Andy Hunt made changes following the disappointing loss at Marlow on Tuesday night. Charlie Hutton started at right-back and with Will Hutton named ahead of Steve Brown 3 brothers were in the starting XI as Louis Hutton made his home debut. Chris Wales came in at right-back and in attack Mazzone started.
The Gs were emphatically beaten at Butlin Road back in October in a game which saw Cornell make his debut and the striker had the first sniff when his deflected shot flew wide 3 minutes in. Godalming continued their positive start and after Liam Roberts chested a pinpoint Will Hutton pass down to Mazzone the striker turned neatly allowing Cornell to have another effort, this time his drive flying inches off target.
Richard Gregory, brought in to replace Dave Kolodynski following his move to Kettering, scored 3 goals against the Gs in a prolific campaign for Stratford Town last season and he headed at Richard Ossai in the 18th minute following a cross from Sam Youngs. Seconds later some neat football from the visitors again drew Ossai into action, this time the stopper diving low to parry a Will Grocott strike.
In the 42nd minute Gregory shot wide but had to leave the field moments later having picked up an injury. With 9 goals since joining the Warwickshire side in January it was a blow for Rugby, and just 5 minutes after the break Godalming pounced.
Roberts’s tidy flick played in Will Hutton on the right flank and the midfielder send a perfect low cross into the box where Cornell was on hand to bundle the ball over the line, via Richard Morris, for his 9th goal of the season. The Valley goalkeeper received a knock in the process and had to receive lengthy treatment before continuing.
Youngs shot at Ossai before Mazzone tested Morris with a well-placed header, and the striker again went close when he drilled wide in the 66th minute. The game as a whole had few clear cut opportunities so when the visitors equalised with just 7 minutes to play it seemed like they’d rescued a point in their quest for the playoffs. With Marsden racing through Youngs picked him out with a fine pass as Ossai advanced the forward coolly lifted the ball over him and into the net for his 11th goal of the season.
The travelling support celebrated vociferously but it was only a matter of seconds before the Gs were attacking at the other end, and when Craig Kelly upended Mazzone referee James Vallance had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Like the first goal Morris got to the ball but it was too powerful for him and Mazzone had the goal he craved, a first at Wey Court since December.
With Darren Wheeler making his return from injury the Gs were perfectly set up for a counter attacking finale and the winger had two long range efforts that went not too far wide before the final whistle was blown, Godalming able to celebrate a third home win out of four.
Andy Hunt’s men travel to AFC Hayes on Tuesday night before another match at Wey Court on Saturday 21st, Chalfont St Peter the visitors. Godalming then travel to Potters Bar Town on the final Saturday of the month.
Scorers: Cornell 50’, Mazzone 84’ (P); Marsden 83’.
Godalming Town XI: Ossai; C. Hutton, Wales, Lloyd, Willment; Frith, Roberts (Howard 88’), W. Hutton, L. Hutton; Mazzone, Cornell (Wheeler 81’).
Substitutes not used: Brown, Wigley, Lunn.