NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Change in philosophy leads to an upturn in results as Godmanchester Rovers reel off three wins in a week

PUBLISHED: 06:31 19 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:35 22 September 2017

Godmanchester Rovers manager Ollie Drake.

Godmanchester Rovers manager Ollie Drake.


Godmanchester Rovers boss Ollie Drake admits taking the shackles off his players has led to a fine run of results.

The local side have reeled off three successive Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division victories in recent days since what the boss described as a ‘change in philosophy’.

The last of those was a 5-0 home drubbing of Walsham-le-Willows last Saturday to follow up triumphs on the road at Kirkley & Pakefield and Ely City in the previous week.

“We have really picked up lately,” said Drake. “It’s down to a different philosophy.

“I don’t mind admitting I got it wrong at the start of the season. I set the team up to try to not lose games rather than going out to win them. I realised the group we have needed a different style of football to thrive and the players are showing that with their performances.

“Three wins in a week is a terrific return at any level. We’ve actually won four of our last five games – scoring 17 goals in the process and conceding just two.

“We were exceptional in the second half at Ely and then better still for the whole 90 minutes against Walsham.

“It’s been a real squad effort with substitutes making big impacts in games, and I’m absolutely certain there is more progress to come.”

One man making a habit of impressing from the bench is Zac Knight-Percival. He created one goal and scored another after being introduced in a 4-1 win at Kirkley & Pakefield the previous Saturday and then struck again in the thumping of Walsham-le-Willows at the David Wilson Homes Ground.

That match also featured a brace from Simon Unwin, a fourth goal in three games from Jack Chandler and a first for the club from Sam Coe.

Rovers turn their attention to the FA Vase this Saturday when entering the competition at the second qualifying round stage.

They host Raunds, who play a level further down the non-league ladder, but sit top of United Counties League Division One.

“It will be a tough game,” added Drake. “Raunds are going well in their league and will be up for it.

“We’re expected to win the game as the higher-level team playing at home.

“There will be upsets in the Vase on Saturday and we have to make sure we’re not on the receiving end of one of them.”

Drake has added local lad Matty Allan to his squad ahead of the Raunds game.

The striker, who is from Godmanchester and played colts football there, has been at Step 4 level with Soham Town Rangers so far this season after previously rising into senior football at Histon.

“We know exactly where we want our squad to continue heading towards and Matty fits in with that,” continued Drake. “He has the ability and versatility to play in a number of positions and is a proven goalscorer.

“I’m sure he will prove to be an excellent signing for the club.”


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