Godmanchester Rovers out of the FA Cup after heartbreaking defeat

COMPLIMENTARY words from the Daventry Town manager Darran Foster did little to ease the pain of defeat as Godmanchester Rovers were knocked out of the FA Cup by a wonder goal at Bearscroft Lane on Saturday.

It was 3-3 with just two minutes to go when the Southern League side’s Guy Sanders hit an 80-yard wind-assisted free kick which sailed over the top of out-of-position Goddy goalkeeper Rob Mackney and into the net to settle this preliminary round tie in dramatic style.

“The management and officials of Daventry were very gracious in victory,” said joint manager Nev Nania. “They said we were the better side on the day, gave them their hardest game of the season, and would grace the Southern League if we were in that division.

“Nice words but we would rather be in the next round.”

The Tuesday beforehand Rovers had won their first Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties Premier Division game when they beat last season’s runners-up Ely City at the Unwin Sports Ground - but they were missing three key players going into Saturday’s FA Cup tie with brothers Mike and Chris Hyem and defender Jon Hall all away at the Creamfields music festival.

Mike Hyem either misses games – or scores in them. In two matches the midfielder has played so far this season, he has found the net. James Hall also scored at Ely with new striker Aaron Mackay getting his second goal of the season.

Daventry are a decent side and began the game well, taking the lead in the 25th minute when Nat Biburd headed home – but James Hall scored an equaliser in the 33rd minute with a superb drive.

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The visitors had their best spell for the first 15 minutes of the second half and scored two goals in two minutes. Neil King found a bottom corner with a low striker and in the 55th minute Mykel Backley bundled the ball home for 3-1. In the 65th minute Joe Furness unleashed a peach of a drive to pull one back.

Goddy were on fire now and in the 80th minute James Hall hit home a fantastic Furness free kick.

Then came the heartbreak. From well inside the Daventry half Sanders drove the ball forward and the wind caught it. It sailed agonisingly over the top of Mackney and dropped into the net. It was a fluke.

“Unfortunately after one of our best performances this season, we went out of the FA Cup,” Nania told The Hunts Post. “Still, August is out of the way and we have a full complement for Saturday now.”

That day United Counties League Division One side Rothwell Corinthians are Goddy’s visitors for their FA Vase first round qualifying tie.

Goddy: Rob Mackney, Stephen Hurst, Tom Evens, Tom Moran, Nicky Hurst, Adam King, Jason King, Aaron Mackay (Jordan Brocket), Paul Bass (Dan Chillingworth), Joe Furness, James Hall.