Two half goals from Lee Barney consigned Godalming Town to defeat as the Gs put in a disappointing second-half performance in Buckinghamshire.
Having not lost away from home for over two months Godalming succumbed to the predatory Barney, his second-half brace taking the 22-year olds season tally to 19, despite the hosts playing with 10 men for the last 22 minutes.
After the impressive victory at Bedworth on Saturday Andy Hunt made just two changes to his starting eleven, one of them in attack as Grame Purdy started ahead of Jack Mazzone. In midfield there was a debut for Louis Hutton, a 20-year-old former England Under-17 international and brother of current Gs Will and Charlie, having joinied on a month’s loan from Championship side Brentford on Monday.
The hosts had lost just one of their last 6 games including a draw at Kettering last weekend and they came close to an early goal, Nathan Ashton’s thunderous long-range shot crashing off the bar just 2 minutes in. The Blues early attacking continued and in the 8th minute Lewis Gabbidon burst through on goal only to see his effort cleared off the line by Tom Willment.
Hutton demonstrated his technique shortly after when an excellent pass found Purdy in the box, but Dan Hicks was able to get goal side of the big striker and execute an important tackle. George Frith was then presented with a chance but Oneal Garnes made a save at his near post.
Adam Cornell matched Ashton in the 13th minute as the Gs hit the bar with the in-form forward unleashing a rocket of a volley from 25-yards that bounced back off the post. At the other end Barney had his first sight of goal, angling wide on the half hour, before Purdy shot straight at Garnes.
The last chance of the half came for the hosts as Romone Rose found himself in on goal but was denied by a deflection of Lee Wigley, with the corner not resulting in anything.
Godalming made a decent start to the second half and Roberts volleyed wide before a penalty appeal wwas turned down in the 52nd minute. After Hicks appeared to push Hutton referee Chris Felton ignored the appeals, and the debutant saw his eventual shot parried by Garnes and headed off the line by Nathan Bovell.
Marlow then came close as Richard Ossai kicked against Rose and the ricocheting ball bounced just past the far post. After that escape Ossai was caught out from a set piece as the Gs went behind on 58 minutes. Chris Ovenden floated in a deep free kick and Barney was at the back post and at least 12 yards from goal but his header looped over Ossai and into the far corner.
Rose fired over minutes later before Will Hutton and brother Louis combined with the latter’s excellent through ball playing the substitute in, but Garnes was quick off his line and saved. The former Reading Town stopper was called into action again in the 65th minute when he denied Cornell, Frith offside from the rebound.
After the chances the visitors were given further reason to believe an equaliser was close when Hicks was shown his second yellow card. Despite Frith travelling away from goal the Blues skipper brought him down late and consequently given his marching orders.
However, despite the reduction the hosts doubled their lead in the 75th minute, leaving Godalming with a mountain to climb. The Gs lost the ball on half-way and Gabidon released Barney who shrugged off Wigley and rounded Ossai before gleefully firing past Willment on the line.
Andy Hunt brought on Jack Howard and Steve Brown moved to a 3 man defence as the visitors looked for a goal that would spark life into hopes of a comeback. Frith came close, again Garnes made a save, and ultimately Godalming couldn’t muster and form of response. Indeed, with full time approaching, Bovell shot wide when he perhaps should have made it 3.
With St Ives losing to Rugby Andy Hunt’s men failed to climb to 8th and the 4th placed Warwickshire side, who beat the Gs 3-0 in October, travel to Wey Court on Saturday. AFC Hayes away then takes place on 17th Match before Godalming are again at home, this time to Chalfont St Peter on the 21st.
Scorers: Barney 58’, 75’
Godalming Town XI: Ossai; Musgrove, Hutchings (Howard 75’), Wigley, Willment; Frith, Roberts (W. Hutton 61’), Brown, L. Hutton; Purdy (Mazzone 68’), Cornell.
Substititues not used: Lloyd, Lunn.