Two goals in two second-half minutes saw Godalming Town fall to a 7th defeat in their last 11 matches as an in-form Uxbridge consigned the Gs to a miserable start to 2015.
A scrappy game offered few opportunities but it was the hosts who made the most of an improved performance after the break as Matt Woods’ 12th goal of the season, swiftly followed by a second from Kevin Warner, left Andy Hunt’s men 9 points off the last playoff place.
Godalming lined up with an unchanged team for the first time since August and they had the first shot of the game in the 6th minute when Will Hutton fired over from distance. At the other end Richard Ossai held a Lewis Cole effort but the match was being played mainly in the middle of the park, so it was damaging for the Gs when, after 25 minutes, George Short hobbled off with a groin injury.
Despite the lack of opportunities both sides had good chances to take the lead before the break. Godalming came closest in the 39th minute when Adam Cornell’s flick played in Jack Mazzone and the Gs top-scorer rolled the ball past Paul McCarthy but his shot lacked pace and Mark Dennison was able to race back and clear it off the line. Just 2 minutes later the hosts had their best chance of the half, Jake Groves pacey cross being touched just wide of the far post by Woods.
The visitors could have taken the lead after the break with Darren Wheeler’s free kick inviting a diverting foot. Antonio Simeone, who replaced the injured Short, got a faint touch but the ball glanced narrowly wide of the far post.
A strong Wheeler run resulted in Mazzone having a goal ruled out for offside but it was in fact the Reds who’d made the better start to the second half and Woods almost took advantage of an Ossai slip following Wayne Carter’s free kick.
The deadlock was broken in the 69th minute when Groves’ cross wasn’t dealt with by the Gs defence who, in static mode, watched as Woods, seemingly with all the time in the world, calmly fired past Ossai.
The shell-shocked visitors were mere spectators in the 2 minutes between Woods strike and the second, decisive goal from Kevin Warner. The portly Carter whipped an excellent cross to the far post where the one-time AFC Wimbledon man sent a first time finish into the far corner.
Godalming had crumbled and failed to muster any chance which may have given hope of an unlikely comeback. Indeed, with 5 minutes to go they were indebted to Ossai for preventing a third goal as substitute Craig Tomkins chested down a long ball before stinging the Gs stopper’s fingers.
Andy Hunt’s men have now won just once in their last 12 matches and the defeat furthers the gap between them and the playoffs. The Gs could feasibly still reach them, 9 points is by no means an impossible tally to make up at this stage of the season, but a return to winning ways is crucial when they make the trip to second-bottom North Greenford United on Saturday.
Scorers: Woods 69’, Warner 71’
Godalming Town XI: Ossai; Wales (Purdy 73’), Hutchings, Willment, Lloyd; Short (Simeone 25’); W. Hutton (Roberts 66’), Frith; Mazzone, Wheeler, Cornell.
Substitutes not used: C. Hutton, Brown.
Attendance: 131 (33 away).