NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Drake’s delight at improved defensive record as Godmanchester Rovers stretch unbeaten streak

Joe Furness struck from the spot as Godmanchester Rovers won at Thetford. Picture: J BIGGS PHOTOGRAP

Joe Furness struck from the spot as Godmanchester Rovers won at Thetford. Picture: J BIGGS PHOTOGRAPHY - Credit: Archant

Manager Ollie Drake saluted Godmanchester Rovers’ defensive transformation following their latest success.

Drake’s men stretched their unbeaten Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division run to seven matches with a 1-0 success at Thetford yesterday.

Joe Furness hit the only goal from the spot in the first half after a Simon Unwin shot was handled by a home defender. A third successive clean sheet was another source of satisfaction for a side who were leaking far too many goals earlier in the season.

“We were absolutely tremendous,” said Drake. “It was an excellent away performance to keep a very good run of form going.

“We defended superbly, we won our battles in midfield and always looked dangerous in attack. We could - and probably should - have scored more goal but we never looked like conceding even when under pressure late on as Thetford pumped a lot of high balls into our box.

“The way we have tightened up defensively is really pleasing and Charlie Bowen’s return has been a major factor in that. We’ve gone from conceding threes, fours, fives in games to only letting in one goal in our last five matches.”

Drake handed a debut to latest recruit Austen Diaper, who has followed the lead of Bowen in returning to Rovers from Newmarket Town. He is thrilled with the strength of his squad.

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“We’ve got a really good group of players and hopefully they are all here to stay,” added Drake. “We took a full squad to Thetford and not one of the five substitutes really deserved to be sat on the bench.

“That shows the amount of competition for places we now have. There is a huge motivation who are in the team to do well to keep their shirt.”

Only goal difference now keeps Rovers out of the top six. They go to sixth-placed Newmarket Town on Boxing Day, 11am, and are on home turf this Saturday when entertaining Stanway Rovers.