Godalming executed the perfect smash and grab raid to steal all three points from a match where the home side had 80 per cent of possession, but could not finish their chances.

Stuart EasonStuart Eason

Manager Ricky Marheineke was absent – but for the best of reasons, he was best man at his brother's wedding. Nevertheless he kept tabs on the game and spoke to his assistant Jack Cassidy afterwards.

“It was our best defensive display for a few weeks according to Jack. He was happy with how we played, but we just couldn't take our chances.”

The new look home side, with three players making their debuts, and only four of last season's squad in the sixteen, started on the front foot.

The first shot on target came on 11 minutes as debutant Salim Relizani saw his snap shot from 20 yards grabbed at the second attempt by Ossai. Only one minute later excellent interplay between Jack Higgs and Jon Stead saw the latter almost feed in Ryan Ingrey, but a well timed last ditch covering tackle by Antonio Simeone cleared the danger.

St Ives' pressure continued and on 15 minutes a dangerous cross by Stead was only half cleared to Ben Seymour-Shove whose curled effort from 25 yards only just cleared the bar.

The G's then enjoyed possession and grabbed the lead through a smart interchange of passes between Steve Brown and Jack Mazzone that saw the latter set Wheeler clear through the middle and he finished with a deft flick past the advancing McLaughlin.

The Ives reacted well. Ingrey had a snap shot tipped over by Ossai. Ingrey was proving a handful for the visitors' defence and he worked his own space but was unlucky to see his curled effort from 25 yards just clear the crossbar.

The visitors created their third, and final, chance of the afternoon on 38 minutes as a long Wheeler free kick was allowed to travel through to Simeone at the far post who somehow failed to hit the target.

The second half was all one way traffic with Ives creating and squandering a number of good chances and when they hit the target they found visiting keeper Ossai in unbeatable form.

The first shot of the second half came only one minute in when Higgs tried his luck from 25 yards after being teed up by Stead, but he was unable to keep his shot down. Two minutes later and a quick Ollie Medwynter throw was flicked on by Ingrey and Seymour-Shove fed in Stead, but he wanted one touch to many and was quickly crowded out.

On 84 minutes another Medwynter long throw was flicked on by Charlie Death and the ball fell to fellow centre back Jordan Lambert 12 yards out. Lambert looked like he might finally open his account for the Ives after years of trying, but his goal bound effort was cleared off the line by Nick Hutchings.

The Ives continued to press right to the death winning a series of late corners, but Godalming defenders continued to throw themselves bravely in front of shots from Seymour-Shove and Relizani to ensure they hung on.