NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Godmanchester Rovers boss salutes ‘exceptional’ side as they continue the chase for third place

Simon Unwin scored in Godmanchester Rovers' success against Ipswich Wanderers. Picture: J BIGGS PHOT

Simon Unwin scored in Godmanchester Rovers' success against Ipswich Wanderers. Picture: J BIGGS PHOTOGRAPHY - Credit: Archant

Manager Ollie Drake insists it is now all about third place for Godmanchester Rovers.

His side have risen into that position in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division after reeling off six successive victories. They’ve actually won 10 of their last 11 league games.

The latest two triumphs arrived in the space of three recent days as a 2-0 home victory against lowly Ipswich Wanderers last Thursday was followed by a 2-1 verdict at Hadleigh on Saturday.

Second-half goals from Simon Unwin and Charlie Bowen were enough to earn the points against Wanderers in a match quickly rescheduled after being postponed on Easter Monday. Rovers had missed a stack of excellent chances in the opening period before prevailing.

Austen Diaper fired them ahead against the run of play at Hadleigh. He struck in the first half after an Unwin shot was saved.

Joe Furness doubled the advantage from the penalty spot early in the second period after a Bowen header was handled.

Hadleigh then hit back to halve their arrears and deny stand in Rovers goalkeeper Sam Palmer a clean sheet. The club’s physio was pressed into action with number one Phil Peachey away on his stag do in Poland.

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“We weren’t totally convincing in either game,” admitted Drake. “But we managed to get the job done and put six more points on the board.

“We have said all along that there was no specific target this season, but we have now put ourselves into a position where third place is the goal.

“The boys have been absolutely exceptional and the mood in the camp is through the roof.”

The two successes in recent days mean Rovers have now bettered the 75-point tally they managed when runners-up to Norwich United in 2014-15.

They piled up 94 points when also occupying second spot to the same Norfolk side in the following campaign.

Those two seasons were both made up of 38 games which is the number of fixtures Rovers have also completed in the current campaign.

They still have eight more matches to play, starting with a trip to second-bottom Fakenham tomorrow night (Tuesday). That is followed by a home clash against Stanway Rovers at the David Wilson Homes Ground this Saturday.

Rovers then have a Monday date when making another attempt to play a Hinchingbrooke Cup quarter-final at Deeping Rangers.

That tie will provide a chance to claim revenge for an FA Vase exit at the hands of the United Counties League Premier Division side back in November.