Godalming Town’s poor run of form continued as struggling North Greenford United struck a stoppage time equaliser to deny the Gs a first win in 6 matches at Wey Court.
The hosts found themselves two down after half an hour, against the run of play, thanks to goals from Anthony O’Connor and Adam Wallace. However a quick-fire brace from Adam Cornell saw Godalming level before the break but despite going in on top they struggled to maintain their dominance and were somewhat fortunate to go ahead in the 72nd minute thanks to Jack Mazzone’s 14th goal of the season. However, the visitors grabbed a deserved leveller as Andrew Brennan glanced home a corner with seconds to go.
Andy Hunt made changes to his starting eleven after the disappointing loss to Egham Town and Tom Willment made his debut at centre-back having signed from Beaconsfield SYCOB last week. Elsewhere Steve Brown returned to central midfield ahead of George Frith and Adam Cornell started in attack.
Godalming made a good start to the game and after 3 minutes Antonio Simeone saw a 35-yard pile-driver, reminiscent to his strike against Egham midweek, tipped over acrobatically by Melvin Minter. The visitors had won just once away from home and went into the match without a league win since October 4th so it was little surprise that the hosts were on top, and Graeme Purdy’s sliding effort that Minter held suggested a Gs goal was on its way.
However an injury to Ashley Lloyd after just 13 minutes clearly disrupted Godalming and just three minutes later the Blues took the lead. Jack Read’s pass probably started life as a shot but it was of little matter to the visitors as skipper Anthony O’Connor was on hand in the 6-yard box to tuck a first-time shot past Richard Ossai.
Godalming immediately pushed for an equaliser but they were almost caught out on the break as Adam Wallace crossed for Read who shot narrowly wide. The Gs had been playing some good football though and after Will Hutton exchanged a neat one-two with Cornell the midfielder fired wide from distance.
With the hosts on top it was very much against the run of play when the visitors doubled their lead in the 32nd minute. Again the goal was simple, and again Read the provider, this time his cross nodded in by Wallace for the veteran strikers first goal for North Greenford since signing from Leverstock Green last month.
Wey Court was stunned but only for a minute as Godalming quickly responded with a deserved goal of their own. Mazzone did well on the left flank and crossed to Cornell who headed beyond Minter. As they had been all half the Gs were on top and Mazzone volleyed wide on 40 minutes before Cornell turned well 30-yards out and sent a shot just wide of the right-hand post.
North Greenford were all hands to the deck and Godalming came desperately close to an equaliser as Hutton’s cross clipped off substitute George Short’s shoulder and hit the crossbar, before being scrambled away by the Blues defence.
That missed opportunity was quickly forgotten though as the resulting corner saw Hutton’s low cross find Cornell, who flicked home his 3rd goal in 4 games since signing from Slough to make it 2-2. The Gs were completely on top and should have gone in at half-time ahead. Mazzone provided a tidy lay off for Hutton who shot from close range only to be denied by a fine Minter save, and Cornell couldn’t get to the rebound first.
The nature of the host’s first-half dominance, as well as their excellent comeback from 2 goals down, should have been a recipe for more goals but it was the visitors who made the better start to the second period and indeed were arguably the better side for the rest of the game.
After O’Connor volleyed wide and Cornell fired over North Greenford came very close to retaking the lead on the hour mark. After some good pressure Gavin Suddell found himself in on goal but his shot was cleared off the line, spectacularly, by Chris Wales.
In the 65th minute Ossai denied Jack Hutchinson an 8th goal of the season so, after the Blues decent chances, Godalming were somewhat fortuitous to take the lead with 18 minutes to play. Simeone’s header from Hutton’s corner was clearly handled by Sam Flegg and Mazzone stepped up to confidently despatch his 14th goal of a fine season for him, and put the hosts ahead for the first time.
He nearly had another minutes after putting his side ahead but his volley flashed over the bar. With a minute to go Simeone was denied in style by Minter for a second time, this time the Blues stopper flying to his left to tip over the Godalming captain’s thunderous free-kick.
Despite the chances Godalming, who’d withdrawn both Cornell and Purdy, were struggling to hold the ball up and after a flurry of corners the visitors levelled in the third minute of stoppage time. Hutchinson’s corner may well have been flying in anyway but Brennan got the faintest of flicks to carry the ball beyond the helpless Ossai, to the delight of the North Greenford players.
Their draw was deserved and Godalming must pick themselves up again as they continue the search for a now elusive three points. Having slipped to 9th a win at Daventry next Saturday would be most welcome, though the Northamptonshire side site just 4 points behind the Gs in 14th. Godalming then host Bedford Town on Tuesday 2nd December.
Scorers: Cornell 33’, 44, Mazzone 72’ (p); O’Connor 16’, Wallace 32’, Brennan 90’.
Godalming Town XI: Ossai; Wales, Hutchings, Lloyd (Short 13’), Willment; Simeone, Brown; Hutton; Cornell (Palladino 84’); Purdy (Micaletto 76’), Mazzone.
Substitues not used: James Ryan