A 25th minute goal from Darren Wheeler and a fine defensive performance was enough to get Godalming Town back to winning ways as the Gs ended a four game winless run with a 1-0 victory away to St Ives Town.
After a previously miserable September, which included two home league defeats and an FA Cup exit, Godalming were able to end the month on a high as Andy Hunt made effective changes to his team in Cambridgeshire.
One of the switches proved the star of the show with Graeme Purdy leading the line with experience and force. Also, the impressive Chris Musgrove started with Charlie Hutton coming in at right-back and Antonio Simeone, another player who excelled, moved to midfield.
Purdy would prove to be more than a handful for the hosts and in the opening minute he linked up nicely with Jack Mazzone but the move culminated with Simeone shooting over the bar.
St Ives flexed their muscles shortly after and Jack Higgs nearly curled a deft effort into the top corner in the 3rd minute before Salim Relizani shot straight at Richard Ossai.
Ossai, who had a fine game in goal, was forced to make his first meaningful save in the 14th minute as Jon Stead’s clever free-kick hurtled towards the near corner but the former Farnham Town stopper dived to push the ball behind.
Darren Wheeler was playing a central role and he was pulling the strings with his 18th minute cross was just missed by the onrushing Piers Oldland.
A minute later, following some excellent work down the left channel by Purdy, Simeone burst into the box but the captain couldn’t place his shot either side of Barney McLaughlin.
The Gs were on top and it didn’t take long for them to open the scoring. After a St Ives attack was shut down Oldland passed to Steve Brown who picked the perfect pass to play in Wheeler. He took a touch to steady himself before clinically finishing beyond McLaughlin for his second goal since returning to Wey Court last month.
Ryan Ingrey was St Ives livliest forward player and the striker, on loan from Royston Town, almost scored an immediate equaliser after been played in by Ollie Medwynter but he was denied by a spectacular, full-stretch Ossai save.
A Jordan Lambert header from the resulting corner raised alarm bells before, in the space of two minutes, Ingrey and Relizani combined to create two decent chances that were spurned by the pair.
Purdy’s hassle had left some of the St Ives defenders resorting to fouls and following one such challenge a typically wicked Wheeler free kick was headed just wide by a flying Simeone.
The dangerous Wheeler nearly got his second of the game when he spotted McLaughlin off his line in the 43rd minute but the keeper was able to back track and catch the goalbound effort.
At the other end Jimmy Dean glanced a Higgs cross wide of the right post but Godalming went in one up at the interval.
Former Histon midfielder Higgs curled an effort that was very similar to his chance early in the first half over in the 47th minute before, moments later, Ingrey played in Stead who was denied by a well-timed Charlie Hutton challenge.
Ossai was called into action in the 54th minute, getting down low to push away a long-range Ingrey shot, then the Godalming stopper made a truely remarkable save 5 minutes later.
Ingrey played in Relizani and his ball across the box was nodded away by Mazzone but only as far as Stead. The midfielder hit his first-time effort hard and true but Ossai somehow got a hand to the shot and turned it behind.
Brown shot over in the 68th minute but it was the hosts who were pressing as they looked for a leveller. Ingrey’s header dropped just over the bar before St Ives had a glorious double-opportunity with 17 minutes to go.
Relizani found Ben Seymour-Shove who picked out Higgs at the back post and his shot was headed off the line by Musgrove with the ball dropping to Keiren Jospeh. The substitute hit his shot first-time but Ashley lloyd was on hand to block the effort and the Gs escaped.
There was more goalmouth drama in the 85th minute when Medwynter broke down the right and crossed for Lambert, who was up from the back, but his header was cleared off the line by Purdy.
Despite the chances Godalming were keeping the ball when they got it and holding up play at the other end well. Charlie Beath headed over before Musgrove deflected a Seymour-Shove cross not too far over his own bar but the Gs still looked a threat, and substitute Andy Crossley nearly caught out McLaughlin with a 25-yard shot after beating Medwynter.
The hard work would be enough as Gary Nowak blew for full time shortly after and Godalming could celebrate three points, a clean sheet and the end of a poor run.
The Gs are next back in league action on Saturday October 4th when Potters Bar Town visit Wey Court before a Tuesday night journey to Northwood on the 7th.
As a result of the fortnight gap a friendly against Combined Counties Division One Sandhurst Town has been arranged, and will take place at their Bottom Meadow ground this coming Tuesday.
Scorers: Wheeler 25′
Godalming XI: Ossai; C. Hutton, Hutchings, Musgrove, Lloyd; Simeone, Brown; Wheeler (Roberts 74′); Oldland (Crossley 80′), Purdy, Mazzone (W. Hutton 61′).
Subs not used: Wales
Attendance: 234 (27 away)