NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: A ‘perfect professional performance’ helps Godmanchester Rovers create a slice of history

Simon Unwin was one of the goalscorers in Godmanchester Rovers' largest FA Cup win. Picture: DUNCAN

Simon Unwin was one of the goalscorers in Godmanchester Rovers' largest FA Cup win. Picture: DUNCAN LAMONT - Credit: Archant

Godmanchester Rovers created a slice of club history last Friday night when cruising to FA Cup glory.

Ollie Drake’s men were emphatic 5-0 winners at fellow Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division side Thetford in a preliminary round tie.

It was Rovers’ largest ever victory in the famous competition and earned close to £3,000 in prize money as well as a tie at higher-level Hitchin Town, who play at Step 3 in the Southern League Premier Division Central, in the first qualifying round on September 8.

It also provided the right response after a disappointing league defeat at the hands of fellow title contenders Histon the previous Friday.

“We produced the three P’s at Thetford,” said Drake. “A perfect professional performance.

“I asked a lot of questions of my players publicly after the defeat to Histon and the reaction was absolutely excellent.

“The passion, the desire, the commitment – everything that was lacking in that game – was there in abundance at Thetford.

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“We nearly always bounced back from a disappointing result by going on a good run during last season and we asked the lads to ensure we do the same again.

“It’s our biggest-ever win in the FA Cup and I’m so proud of my team to have created a little bit of club history.

“The boys were absolutely buzzing when they learned that and it was exactly the sort of thing we needed to get back on track.

“Hopefully we can kick on now as we have an important run of games coming up in the league as well as the next round of the FA Cup.”

Joe Furness made the breakthrough from the penalty spot at Thetford after Jack Chandler was brought down.

Further goals from Chandler and captain Micky Hyem then put Rovers in command by half-time and arrived either side of a stunning Niall Conroy save to keep out the hosts.

Furness turned provider in the second half to lay on a fourth Rovers goal for Chandler, who cut inside and finished smartly.

Chandler then created the final Rovers goal when his cross from the right was finished by a diving Simon Unwin header.

Rovers face two home league games in the space of four days with Kirkley & Pakefield the visitors to the David Wilson Homes Ground this Saturday, 3pm, before Newmarket Town arrive on Tuesday, 7.45pm.

Rovers will play home midweek games on Tuesdays this season rather than the Wednesday slot they have used in the past.

It should ease the strain on a surface which also stages youth games on some Thursday evenings.