Champagne is on ice for Godmanchester

GODMANCHESTER Rovers will have to wait until at least next Saturday to secure promotion to the Premier Division of the Ridgeons Eastern Counties League.

Six points over the Easter weekend would have cemented second place in Division One, and guaranteed Rovers the second automatic promotion spot, but after they beat visitors Cornard United 10-0 at Bearscroft Lane on Saturday, Nev Nania and David Hurst’s team went to Essex and lost 3-2 at Brightlingsea Regent.

Top team Thetford Town, who started the Easter Monday also needing three points, got theirs, and now Goddy need just two points from their remaining three games to pull far enough away from third-placed Whitton United, who they will play at home on the final day of the season anyway.

“It has always been about promotion and not winning the title,” said a disappointed Nania. “I still have complete faith in the players and we just need to finish the job.

“It was the first game we have lost since August. Perhaps it was a case of the nerves.”

Paul Bass gave Rovers a 1-0 lead at Brightlingsea, but the home side equalised and in the second half Johnny Hall was brought down and Bass made it 2-1 from the penalty spot. On the hour the Essex boys equalised again and, with nothing to lose, got a third before Bass had a late penalty brilliantly saved.

It was a far cry from that massive win on Saturday. Four players scored twice for Goddy against Cornard, who have Thetford next Saturday, with Tom Moran opening the scoring in the second minute and James Hall adding a second three minutes later.

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Cornard, the division’s bottom team, were terrible throughout. It wasn’t down to them that it remained 2-0 for the next 30 minutes, it was down to Goddy, who missed chance after chance as the visitors crumbled at each attack. In fact, in between Hall’s goal and Carl Foreman’s 35th minute third, the home side had 16 attempts on Cornard’s goal.

James Hall had a bagful of chances but put the ball over, wide, and into the goalkeepers hands; Joe Furness and John Turner were also both off target before Turner touched in a cross for 4-0 minutes before half-time.

In the second half, the managers brought on star striker Bass - who had been ill for the previous game - and he also missed the target with two chances before fellow substitute Rob Stamper struck number five from close range. James Hall got number six and Bass got seven and eight - and almost completed a five minute hat-trick - before Stamper headed home a corner for the ninth.

Turner swept in number 10 and there was still time for Bass to blast the ball over from four yards and have a free-kick well saved too. Foreman also had a good chance saved and put another wide before the end. Ten goals is obviously fantastic - but those 10 goals came from 48 chances! Cornard, it’s safe to say, were very, very poor.

Brightlingsea were far from poor. Goddy had beaten the Essex side just two weeks before when they met at Bearscroft Lane. But on Monday they upped their game.