GODMANCHESTER Rovers began the new year on a high after completing a festive double over Cambridge University Press on Monday in front of a bumper crowd of 170 at Bearscroft Lane.
Their excellent 2-0 win followed the 2-1 away win at the Glassworld Stadium on Boxing Day - and both of those results came without the return of star striker Paul Bass, who warmed up for the home leg but felt a twinge in the ankle he injured two months ago.
“Bassy took part in the warm up - got changed and kitted up and everything else but he was still feeling his ankle a little bit,” said joint manager Nev Nania. “It’s just a fitness thing; he would have played today if he had been fit.”
No matter, in new signing James Freshwater, the forward who joined the club just in time for the Christmas period from Southern Leaguers Biggleswade Town, Godmanchester have a pretty decent stand-in.
The St Neots-born former Rushden & Diamonds player, who is still only 20, scored his first goal for Goddy in their home win late in the first half to add to John Turner’s early opener. In the first match it was Mike Hyem and James Hall who got the goals.
“I’m pleased,” said Nania. “Cambridge University Press are a good side and they were always going to cause us problems - but at the same time I knew that we were going to get the three points today.
“I’m just confident because of the way they are playing at the moment.”
And so he should be. Godmanchester were excellent in the second game, and were only guilty of maybe trying to play too much football when opportunities arose to shoot from distance.
Taking advantage of their 11am kick-off, Nania and his co-manager David Hurst headed to Thetford after the match to watch the leaders beat Debenham LC 1-0.
Second-placed Godmanchester face Thetford in Norfolk on January 14 - after their Hunts Senior Cup semi final against Ramsey on Saturday.
Thetford are currently three points clear at the top of the Eastern Counties Division One table and have one game in hand over Goddy; they too have a cup game next Saturday.
Bass is unlikey to be risked against Ramsey - but Nania has high hopes he will be available the following weekend. “I’d like to think he will be back in time for Thetford,” said the boss. “But if he’s not back in time, it won’t be a problem because we have a strong enough squad.”