NON-LEAGUE: Poor decisions and poor finishing see points slip away but the Godmanchester Rovers injury problems increase
- Credit: Archant
Godmanchester Rovers manager Ollie Drake was left to bemoan the performance of his players and the officials as two precious Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division points slipped away.
Drake’s men surrendered top spot after being held to a 2-2 draw by Brantham Athletic at the David Wilson Homes Ground last Saturday. They now trail Histon by a point, but the new leaders also boast three games in hand.
They hit the front through skipper Micky Hyem but found themselves behind by the break with Drake critical of the refereeing decision that allowed Brantham to level from the penalty spot and unhappy with the standard of his side’s defending as the Norfolk visitors hit the front.
Hyem, the club’s FA Vase match-winner the previous Saturday, restored parity early in the second and that leveller was the cue for Rovers to dominate the remainder of the contest.
But they were unable to turn possession and pressure into further goals. A host of chances went begging with Jack Chandler and Ross Munro denied by fine saves before Austen Diaper saw a goalbound volley inadvertently blocked by Bowen.
And Munro could have snatched victory in the dying moments when sending the best opportunity of all wide.
“It was one of those frustrating days where things didn’t go right for us – partly from our own doing and partly from others,” said Drake.
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“At this level of football we need to have good, strong officials for big games, but those we had on Saturday were abysmal.
“The penalty decision against Charlie is ridiculous. He was shoved to the floor and it should have been a free-kick to us, but the referee chose to give Brantham a penalty as his hand hit the ball when he fell.
“It took a lot for me not to go into the referee’s room after the game, but I didn’t want to get myself banned for the next round of the Vase.
“We need to have a look at ourselves as well. The defending that led to Brantham’s second goal was embarrassing and we lacked a lot of quality in the final third when we absolutely battered them in the second half.
“It’s two points dropped and we can’t afford to do that at home.”
Rovers were dealt a pre-match blow when losing Joe Furness to injury in the warm-up. He joins Matty Allan on the casualty list while Hyem and his brother, Chris, also have knocks.
Rovers are set to be depleted for a trip to Whitton United tomorrow night (Tuesday) when Drake is hopeful of having Baldock Town striker Russell Bull in his squad on a dual-registration deal.
Rovers hit the road again this Saturday when heading to Wroxham before hosting Eynesbury Rovers in a Hunts Senior Cup semi-final on Tuesday, January 22.
They also have another all-local semi-final clash to look forward to in the Hinchingbrooke Cup later in the season.
Rovers will go to Huntingdon Town in the last four of that competition after making dramatic progress last week.
Seventeen year-old goalkeeper Harry Walker produced a vital save as Drake’s men triumphed 5-4 on penalties at Bedfordshire side Stotfold following a 2-2 deadlock in which Diaper hit a last-gasp leveller.