Goddy’s historic step to FA Vase

GODMANCHESTER Rovers beat Bloxwich United on Saturday to secure a place in the last 64 of the FA Vase for the first time in the club’s history.

In front of almost 300 fans at Bearscroft Lane David Hurst and Nev Nania’s side beat their Walsall-based visitors 3-2 - but it was a bizarre sending off that turned the tide of the game late on in the second half.

James Hall put Goddy 1-0 up in the 25th minute, straight from a corner, but five minutes later the Alan Wilkes equalised for Bloxwich with an unstoppable drive.

It wasn’t pretty stuff; Bloxwich were giving Goddy very little time on the ball, though both John Turner and Mike Hyem had further chances before the end of the half, before both teams spent the first half-hour of the second half cancelling each other out.

It wasn’t until the 75th minute that Hyem finally found the net for Goddy’s second goal – but once again it was Bloxwich’s current top scorer Wilkes who replied to make it 2-2.

It was while the Bloxwich players were celebrating this goal, in front of a group of Godmanchester supporters, that the trouble began. Words were exchanged between the players and some of the fans before, only a few minutes later, the visitors were awarded a throw-in in the same position. There were further exchanges before the referee brandished his red card at influential Bloxwich centre back Ashley Bellingham who had run 30 yards to get involved.

With just two minutes remaining James Hall, unmarked in the area, rose in the space vacated by the defender, to head home the winner.

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The club will now meet United Counties Premier League side Newport Pagnell Town on December 3 in the third round proper.

But joint manager David Hurst knows exactly where he can get his info on them from – Jez Hall, the St Ives manager and member of the extended Hurst family.

“We’ll be speaking to Jez about them,” he said. “And we’ll be going to see them to do our homework.

“There were two things we didn’t want to happen when they made the draw: we didn’t want a UCL team and we didn’t want an away game. Oh well. You can’t have it all.

“I guess we’re a little worried about them because, without wanting to belittle the United Counties League, I think they play it a little more direct. They are a strong and tough team apparently, so we will have to bolster up a bit.”

Once again, Hurst and his co-manager Nev Nania will be without their star striker Paul Bass, whose is still waiting to find out the extent of his ankle ligament injury.

Bass picked up the injury in Godmanchester’s recent Eastern Counties Division One win over Long Melford and has been told he will have to wait for the swelling to go down before the knows how bad the damage is.

“We now know it’s not a fracture, but he is definitely out until Christmas and maybe even longer,” said Hurst.