Godalming Town suffered their heaviest defeat of the season as a classy Rugby Town side out-passed and out thought the Gs at Butlin Road.
After kick off was delayed by 15 minutes due to traffic problems on the M1 the hosts, whose performance belied their mixed campaign so far, dominated from the start and lead at half time thanks to record-scorer David Kolodynski. Second half goals from Sam Youngs and Justin Marsden sent Godalming on the long journey back to Surrey with nothing but wounds to lick.
Having been rested against Beaconsfield SYCOB Richard Ossai and Ashley Lloyd came back into to the starting eleven with the George Short selected ahead of George Frith in midfield following his return to Wey Court from Slough Town. Graeme Purdy partnered Jack Mazzone up front in a seemingly 4-4-2 formation.
After the late start the match failed to reach a significant pace in the early stages although Lewis McBride, who had a lively game, shot wide from distance after 11 minutes. The hosts were limited to long-range efforts and after Sam Youngs bent a shot wide Ashley Lloyd had to be on hand to block a powerful Will Grocott strike in the 22nd minute.
Ossai made a smart stop from McBride soon after but the hosts were enjoying the vast majority of possession and after getting into their stride they took the lead on 34 minutes. Having collecting a pass from Grocott the all-time Valley top scorer Kolodynski turned Lloyd before delivering a classy finish high into Ossai’s left corner.
The Gs were very much on the back foot and almost straight from the kick off the hosts regained the ball and Marsden played in Grocott but Ossai turned the effort behind for a corner.
Short sent a 25-yard effort wide after good hold up play by Mazzone but Rugby went in at half time clearly on top with Grocott again testing Ossai before Kolodynski, a threat all night, hit the side-netting after he charged down the Godalming stopper’s kick.
The Gs made a markedly improved start to the second period as they began to pass the ball around in the middle of the park. In the 54th minute they forged their best chance of the match as Alex Gudge slipped whilst trying to clear Antonio Simeone’s ball and Mazzone, who cut inside onto his right foot, was denied by Richard Morris at his near post.
The hosts custodian, their 4th goalkeeper already this season following his recent move from Daventry Town, was hardly troubled again however as Rugby soon got back into their stride. Kolodynski shot wide before he produced some excellent work down the left channel teeing up Grocott for a cross which was headed onto the bar by McBride.
Purdy volleyed at Morris in the 64th minute and Youngs hit the side netting before, with 16 minutes to go, Rugby doubled their lead. Ben George passed to McBride and his perfectly weighted pass required one touch from Youngs to be dispatched into the far corner.
2 minutes after the second goal the hosts nearly scored again as they broke swiftly from a Godalming set piece, Ossai’s fingertips and the post denying Youngs another.
Rugby seemed to have an extra man wide during every raid forward and full-back Craig Kelly had been particularly impressive, his seemingly endless energy allowing him to motor up and down the pitch. In the 78th minute he played an inside pass to Marsden who curled a fine strike high into the roof of the net, leaving Ossai with no chance.
The comfort of a three goal lead relaxed the hosts who were playing some truly neat football, with off the ball movement to match. New Gs signing Adam Cornell teed up fellow substitute Piers Oldland for a miscued volley but Rugby were completely in control and in the 82nd minute a rapid succession of passes across the width of the pitch resulted in Ossai saving from Kolodynski.
Morris punched away a Simeone free kick with a minute to go but it would have been scant consolation for Godalming who must learn from the defeat and continue the positivity that has been generated after the good early start to the season.
Andy Hunt’s men, who have a good record of bouncing back so far this campaign, must do so at league leaders and title favourites Kettering Town on Saturday. The Poppies lie 7 points ahead of the Gs who stay in 4th place despite the 3-0 loss.
Godalming then host Combined Counties Premier Division side Mole Valley SCR on Tuesday 11th November in the Surrey Senior Cup, a tournament thrown that bit more wide open after Woking’s shock loss to Ashford Town last night.
Scorers: Kolodynski 34’ Youngs 74’ Marsden 78’
Godalming Town XI: Ossai; Brown (Wales 55’), Hutchings, Musgrove, Lloyd; Hutton, Roberts (Oldland 65’), Simeone, Short; Purdy (Cornell 73’), Mazzone.
Substitutes not used: Palladino, Frith.
Attendance: 167 (21 away).