Win against odds bodes well as Godolphin avoid upset
Sticker 0, Godolphin Atlantic 3
WITH players pulling out even on the morning of the game and the first-team kit not arriving until 20 minutes before kick-off, Godolphin Atlantic manager Derek Martin was wondering what else could hinder his plans at Burngullow Park on Saturday.
And against a young Sticker side flying high in division one west, you sensed before kick-off that a Throgmorton Cup upset could be on the cards.
But even when Godolphin were almost quite literally caught short in the second half, when an upset stomach left Ross Fallens sprinting for the nearest toilet, there was no stopping Martin's makeshift side.
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They can be thankful, however, that Sticker were missing a couple of key players of their own, with Jack Bowyer (throat infection) and Jack Walker (cup-tied), both outstanding in their 4-0 win at Perranporth seven days earlier, unable to feature.
But even without the two Jacks, Sticker made sure Godolphin fully earned the right to play in the quarter-finals of the Throgmorton Cup because in truth, the 3-0 scoreline did the hosts no justice for all their application and commitment in front.
And that was perhaps what made victory for Martin and his players all the more special, with a home tie against St Blazey or Teignmouth awaiting.
The Godolphin boss said: "I think under the circumstances and Sticker flying high after beating Perranporth last week we knew it was going to be tough today.
"We had a depleted squad but I thought the lads were outstanding, especially those who we brought in. They did a great job.
"It was an excellent performance in view of the fact we had so many setbacks going into the game.
"Under the circumstances that was arguably one of our best performances of the season."
Sticker player-boss Andy Avery couldn't have asked anymore of his side, with all three goals coming in fortuitous circumstances.
A Jason Rogers own goal and a highly contentious penalty awarded to Godolphin contributed to the visitors' victory as Avery was left to rue his side's bad luck.
He said: "Our boys are a bit gutted to be fair. The first goal was deflected in by one of our players. The second one, our keeper pulled off a great save and fell to their player on the floor and he kicked it in. Then we gave a penalty away when I won the ball from their player."
And Avery could only reflect on what might have been had Bowyer and Walker been available.
He added: "Jack (Bowyer) was out and I think we lacked his pace today. With balls over the top he has the pace and ability to get on the end of them and cause problems.
"Jack Walker recently signed from St Austell and he was cup-tied. He's been looking good in recent games down the right with his deliveries.
"We missed them both today, but full credit to the lads, they caused Godolphin a lot of problems."
Despite the briefest of warm-ups following the last minute arrival of their kit, Godolphin dictated the opening exchanges.
Lowry had already had a couple of opportunities to score, with Fallens also coming within inches of scoring, before the striker's cross was turned into his own goal by Rogers in the 34th minute.
Sticker did plenty of pressing of their own without really testing Shaun Semmens in the Godolphin goal.
And after the visitors were temporarily reduced to ten men early in the second half as Fallens made a dash for the dressing room, Lowry doubled their lead in the 63rd minute.
Sticker goalkeeper Ryan Holland didn't deserve to concede after pulling off a brilliant point blank save to deny Lowry, but the ball fell back out to the striker on the floor and he was able to scoop it past Holland.
The Sticker goalkeeper came face to face with Lowry again in the 77th minute, this time from 12 yards, as Godolphin were awarded a penalty after Avery was harshly penalised for a foul on substitute Josh Fearon despite appearing to win the ball. And it was left to Lowry to wrap up victory for Martin's men with his second of the game.