NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Late penalty gets depleted Godmanchester Rovers out of a spot of bother
- Credit: Archant
Scraping victory against rock-bottom opposition with a stoppage-time penalty might not usually be the cue for wild celebrations.
But it was the exact scenario which left Godmanchester Rovers boss Ollie Drake feeling ecstatic last Saturday.
Ross Munro coolly stepped up from the spot to earn a 5-4 victory at basement boys Gorleston and secure three precious Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division points for a patched-up Rovers side who were without seven regular players.
Drake said: "When you take into account the people we had missing and the fact that other lads were playing through niggles, it is a great result.
"We had three players making their debuts including a goalkeeper who travelled from Enfield to play and had never even met us before.
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"We need that sort of commitment from a hell of a lot more of our players if we are going to kick on this season.
"It certainly wasn't one of our best performances, but then I wasn't expecting one either.
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"We defended atrociously all game and that's becoming a bit of habit due to our defence being so unsettled, but we managed to dig in and get a result out of it and I'm delighted with that in the circumstances."
Drake borrowed keeper Craig Foxhall from Soham Town Rangers, with regular number one Niall Conroy getting married.
Young reserve team full-back Doradon Pjetra also made a first senior start while another new arrival - Andre Williams - struck a debut goal to cancel out a Gorleston opener after joining on loan from Peterborough Sports.
Josh Dawkin completed the turnaround with his first goal since completing a permanent switch to Rovers from St Ives Town.
The basement hosts then levelled before young Gianni Cantone edged Rovers back ahead only for them to also surrender that advantage before the break.
Munro added another terrific entry to his collection of free-kick goals as Rovers hit the front again in the second half, but, somewhat predictably, Gorleston battled back to restore parity.
The spoils looked set to be shared until Munro earned the points for Rovers with a stoppage-time penalty after Micky Hyem was sent tumbling by the home goalkeeper.
Rovers now face successive home games as they host Swaffham Town in the Premier Division this Saturday, 3pm, before entertaining Mildenhall Town in the third round of the League Challenge Cup on Tuesday, 7.45pm.
Drake has signed midfielder Charlie Coulson from United Counties League club Deeping Rangers. The 23 year-old made one apperance for Peterborough United after rising through their youth system.