GODMANCHESTER Rovers’ joint manager Nev Nania has told The Hunts Post that Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Wivenhoe Town was possibly ‘a game too far’ for the club’s severely tested squad.
After two Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League Premier Division draws – against Woodbridge Town and Cambridge Regional College – and a win over Thetford Town in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup, Goddy went to Essex without six key players.
But the return of star striker Paul Bass will have been a huge fillip for joint bosses Nania and David Hurst, while they handed a debut to on-loan St Neots Town youngster Chae Simmons.
Nania told The Hunts Post: “The missing players again gave us the opportunity to test the squad’s depth but the performance was not at the required level to get a positive return.
“We have done well to get through until now unbeaten and that’s the beauty of our squad – maybe this was one game too far.
“We just need to manage to get through August now and start September with everyone available.”
Brothers Mike and Chris Hyem were attending a family function, while Adam King and Jordan Brocket were both on holiday. New strikers Dan Chillingworth (injured) and Aaron Mackay (ill) were sidelined.
Marcus Spindler scored Wivenhoe’s first goal on 25 minutes when he headed the ball home at the far post. The home side had started brightly on their bumpy pitch and it was a lead they deserved.
Things got worse for Goddy when striker James Hall was forced to leave the pitch with an injury after half an hour, though his replacement, last season’s top goalscorer Bass, went close immediately with a free kick that was saved by the Wivenhoe goalkeeper Richie Robins.
Goody had several chances in the second half with Jon Hall failing to score from an excellent Joe Furness cross and Jason King, who worked tirelessly in midfield, unlucky with another chance.
On 65 minutes, against the run of play, Spindler made it 2-0 when he lobbed Rob Mackney.
Nania said: “The game then became very scrappy and as both teams tired in the summer heat.
“There were some valuable lessons for us, especially with some of the big games we have coming up in the next few weeks.”
The first of those big games was due to be played last night (Tuesday) with Goddy away at Ely City – and then it’s that FA Cup match against Daventry at Bearscroft Park. But Nania and Hurst will again be without the Hyems and striker James Hall for that one – those three are attending a music festival over the weekend.
Goddy: Rob Mackney, Tom Evans, Mark Ling, Tom Moran, Nicky Hurst, Jason King, Jon Hall, Carl Foreman, Joe Furness, James Hall (Paul Bass), Chae Simmons (Stephen Hurst).