Slough went into the game having lost four of their last five, knowing that only three points would realistically be good enough for the Rebels to continue to harbour hopes of a playoff spot. Godalming started well, with Jamie McClurg firing a difficult half-volley off target from distance, and Warren Harris got in front of his man but could only poke the ball across goal and wide.
For Slough, Adam Martin hit a low shot on the wet turf which Jake Somerville gathered comfortably, but the hosts claimed the opening goal from a corner. Somerville parried a shot from Ryan O’Toole over the bar, and from the resulting corner, a scramble ensued with Alex Brown just unable to convert. But from the following corner, Stuart Swift swung the ball across and another bundle led to Kyle Anthony getting the necessary touch to push the ball over the Godalming goal-line.
Minutes later, Anthony found himself free on the left, but was denied by Somerville as he tried to pull the ball across for Smith.
But just as Slough were looking to settle and build on their narrow lead, a poor clearance from Jamie Jackson gave Johnnie Dyer a clear run at goal, and in a shoulder-to-shoulder race with Dave Woozley, the referee adjudged the Slough captain to have shoved him off the ball, and Woozley was dismissed.
This was a real turning point as the resulting free kick from Godalming’s star man Darren Wheeler was well-struck, but came back off a post – only for Dyer to react quickest to the loose ball and put it beyond the stranded Jackson for the equaliser.
Godalming then took control, almost forcing Slough into conceding an own goal, with Jackson keeping the ball out. Ashley Deeney later had to clear over his own crossbar to prevent Scott Harris converting into an empty goal.
The visitors made their pressure count and took the lead with a goal of the season contender from Guy Hollis, who struck across the ball on the volley from 30 yards out, leaving Jackson no chance as it flew just inside his far post.
Godalming went close to a third as McClurg whipped a shot narrowly over the bar, and Jackson had to scramble away with his legs following a corner – but Slough showed fighting spirit and drew level two minutes before the interval. Jake Parsons played the ball forward and Adam Foulser missed his clearance, allowing O’Toole to hold off the challenge of Wes Harrison and curl a shot past Somerville.
A minute later, Smith fired a half-chance wide of goal as Slough looked to turn the tables.
Early in the second half, Godalming continued to have more of the ball, but a good spell of possession ended with David Deeney having a sight of goal from 25 yards; however his strike was straight at Somerville.
Slough then had a let off as Jamie McClurg’s strike came back off a post with Jackson beaten, but the Rebels were dealt another blow just after the hour mark, with the dismissal of Ryan O’Toole for a second yellow card, after a rash late sliding challenge next to the Godalming dugout.
This left a tired Slough to battle on with just nine players for the remainder of the game, and it seemed a matter of time before Godalming would wrap the game up. Just a few minutes after O’Toole’s departure, a superb cross into the middle of the Slough box was met by Dyer, who headed down and past Jackson to put the visitors back in front.
Adam Martin headed a corner wide as Slough looked to make set-pieces count, but Godalming used the extra space sensibly and could have extended their lead with Dyer narrowly unable to make contact as he slid in to meet a low cross from Wheeler. But Godalming saw out the remainder of the game fairly comfortably, with the nine men of Slough unable to create another chance, and left with a crucial three points. The two sides meet again on Tuesday evening before Slough face another difficult game at title-chasing Rugby on Thursday.
Godalming Town Line up
Jake Somerville, Wes Harrison, Ryan Lake (Ben Edwards), Guy Hollis, Adam Foulser (c), George Short, Johnnie Dyer, Jamie McClurg, Scott Harris (Dan Read), Darren Wheeler, Warren Harris. Subs not used: John Palmer, Neil Baker.