MIKE Hyem is probably Godmanchester Rovers’ leading candidate for player of the season at the moment – and two technically superb strikes against Ely City on Saturday highlighted the midfielder’s importance in a team that is finally finding its feet in the Premier Division of the Eastern Counties League.

Goddy were 2-0 down with just 25 minutes gone against their Cambridgeshire rivals but after a first half to a season in which managers Nev Nania and David Hurst have been unable field a settled team, this is now more or less the core XI that won the Division One title. And it shows.

Ely, still smarting from their FA Vase exit at Spalding Town on the Tuesday, went to Bearscroft Lane and ripped into Goddy with two early goals.

Adam Murray almost headed the visitors 1-0 up on 22 minutes but Rob Mackney made a great save to deny Ely as Goddy were put under a bit of an aerial assault. However, Murray was on target a couple of minutes later and it was 1-0 before a Josh Bridgeman penalty made it 2-0 to the visitors after Mackney had brought down Richard Gammon in the area.

But a 25-yard volley from Hyem was followed by a classy finish from fit-again striker Paul Bass for 2-2 at half-time - and late on in the second half Hyem scored with another wonderful strike, this time from even further out, to secure all three points.

"We had three weeks without a game so we obviously weren't as fluid as we would have liked at the start," said Nania. "It took us about 20 to 25 minutes to really get into the game. We did well to just keep it to 2-0.

"But when we got the first goal, the game turned from that point."

Hyem's first certainly came against the run of play. He met the ball with a quality volley a couple of yards from the edge of the Ely area and it flew from his foot and looped over the top of the goalkeeper.

"It was a good goal, a great strike - but we were lucky to get it," said Nania. "From that point onwards we were the better side.

"We showed great character - there is a good bunch of lads here and they all know each other and they have got together and have pulled it back."

Those early season blues are dissipating. Goddy are up to 12th and drawing away from the relegation zone. They might not mount a serious challenge on the promotion places - though they are only 16 points off the top spot - but as long as they play like they did on Saturday, they will survive and learn from their first season at this level.

As Nania said: "That three points was very important - that should put us somewhere around mid-table.

"We are going to keep pushing on and we have FC Clacton who are bottom of the table next week so hopefully we will get another three points there.

"Sooner or later we will be back up to where we want to be - in the top six or the top eight," added Nania, full of confidence.

"It will only take two or three wins and we'll be right up there."

goddy: Rob Mackney, Stephen Hurst (Charlie Bowen), Jon Hall, Nicky Hurst, Tom Moran, Adam King (Tom Spark), Mike Hyem, Chris Hyem, James Hall, Paul Bass (Jordan Brocket), Joe Furness.