Matt Godden was the first signing made by Darren Sarll in summer 2016; the gaffer intent on adding a potent goalscorer to the Stevenage squad. The Boro’ defence was tightened up towards the end of a leaky 2015-6 campaign. Goals, however, were proving tougher to come by.
It was an inspired choice. As it goes, Godden came to us having banged in 30 goals for Ebbsfleet United that term. So, an all-round excellent candidate to sort our ‘problems’? You bet. By the time his chance to move on came around, he’d notched 35 goals in 80-odd outings at League Two level. Not record-breaking, but better than most.
Boro’ do have a history of digging out goalscorers from lower leagues; Steve Morison and Barry Hayles, for example. With an eye for goal so keenly demonstrated at Stonebridge Road, Boro’ fans hoped they had found their next scoring superstar, and it came to be. For Godden, meanwhile, it was the chance to go back into the League after his time at Scunthorpe… and to go back with a vengeance.
Matt Godden: Before Boro’
A Kent man by birth, the striker started his career up north at Scunthorpe United. He turned professional in 2009, going on loan to Brigg Town in one of many loan moves he’d make while at the Iron. A second loan move to Ilkeston Town followed, before he finally made his Scunthorpe debut in September 2010.
It was against Manchester United of all teams!
In 2012, Godden went to Gainsborough Trinity in two separate loan stays; the first being in March for a month, while the second coming in August and for six. This, however, was cut short due to injury. In November, he then found himself turning out for Ebbsfleet United.
It was to be the Kent side that was to offer Godden a new permanent place to call home in May 2014. And it was where he started building his reputation as a hotshot in front of goal. The 2015-6 season was arguably, to date, the pinnacle; his 30 goals powering the Fleet to second place in Conference South. Sadly for Fleet, however, promotion was denied after a penalty defeat to Maidstone in the playoff final.