It’s a long read this week as Marlow Rugby Club continued their perfect start to 2019, while Marlow Hockey club produced the pick of the weekends results with a thumping victory against local rivals Maidenhead. And Marlow FC were held at home by Tooting & Mitcham United.
Marlow hosted high flying Maidenhead at Pound Lane on Saturday looking to reverse the result from earlier in the season. With the visitors romping away nine points clear of all contenders at the top of the league, having not suffered a defeat in their preceding 18 games and with the strongest defensive record in the league it was always going to be stern test for the hosts. With the added spice of being a local derby and with both squads containing players who had previously worn the opposing team’s colours there was certainly going to be no quarter given by either squad.
It was Marlow who started the game the brightest and with seven minutes on the clock a penalty corner was expertly dispatched by Lewis Goodman to give the hosts the lead.
With four minutes remaining of the first half Marlow did manage to contrive an opening which was clinically finished by Tom Gray. However, this doubling of the lead was short lived as two minutes later the visitors got a foothold back in the game through a penalty corner. 2-1 at the break but with the scent of blood in the nostrils of the hosts there was a clear determination to hunt out some game defining possession.
The realisation that Marlow were not only matching but often bettering the current league standard setters through their endeavour, physicality and clear minded decision-making lead to a focus and belief which, allied with a defensive tenacity, resulted in a period of concerted pressure and incisive offensive play. This period of ascendancy lasted the majority of the second half with Sewell scoring the first of 6 unanswered goals. James Ward, Gary Goodman,Goodman (L) also added to the scoreline and it was left to Gray to score two further goals completing his hat-trick and leaving the visiting team conceding more than a quarter of all their goals this season in just one outing.
The exuberant and expansive mood was evident across the team and the clinical display when the chances fell was testament to the approach that Marlow took in trying to meet the expectations that they have of themselves. With everyone in a red shirt trying to get in on the attacking act Maidenhead did manage to fashion a consolation goal against an isolated Crampsie in the Marlow net but this did little to take the gloss off a fine performance by a Marlow team that is still finding its own personality and style after a period of significant changes from the previous season.
- Full list of the men’s results: –
Marlow2 beat Reading4 away by 4 goals to 3 after being 3 down (James Ashburner, David Hand (2) Lloyd Watters)
- Marlow3 lost narrowly at home to Windsor1 by 1-0
- Marlow 4 lost away to Leighton Buzzard by 4-0
- Marlow 5 lost to Maidenhead 3 by 3-1
- Strollers (Veterans) drew with Purley away 3-3 scorers. (Bagwell (2), King)
The Ladies results were:
- Ladies 1s vs East Grinstead 2s won 1-0 (puts them 2nd in league) (Jen Martin)
- Ladies 2s vs Sonning 1s lost 3-0
- Ladies 3s vs Aylesbury 1s drew 1-1 (Lizzie Dalton)
- Ladies 4s vs Phoenix & Ranalagh 2s drew 2-2
- Ladies 5s vs South Berks 3s lost 2-0
Also, the mixed team played in their next round of EH cup against Eastcote – full time 4-4, unfortunately lost on penalty strokes.
Marlow FC were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Tooting & Mitcham United, with both sides being reduced to ten men late on in the first half.
Marlow came into the game off the back of a fantastic cup win against MK Dons and were unbeaten in five games in all competitions. Similarly, their opponents were unbeaten in eight and provided a stern test for Mark Bartley’s men.
The away side took the lead through a stunning Isaiah Jones goal, although there were question marks about the Marlow defending after they needlessly gave the ball away in a panic. Jones duly accepted the gift, before jinking past the Marlow defence on the edge of the box before slotting it calmly under Grant.
An exquisite goal that came firmly against the run of play – as earlier in the half the Blues had struck the post through Isaac Osei-Tutu. But the home side continued to create chances and were rewarded before half-time. A brilliant set piece from Marlow was met with a powerful header by Marcus Mealing, and his goal-bound effort was diverted in by Jordan Edwards.
The sides went into the break level, not only on the scoreboard but also in the red card count as just moments before the half-time whistle a late two-footed challenge by Tooting goal scorer Jones saw him dismissed, which sparked a reaction from both sides, in which Marlow captain Chris Ovenden was sent off. Although, it was unclear for what.
The second half lacked the quality of the first as the game became stretched – the best chances fell to the home side. Firstly, Mealing couldn’t quite get enough contact on a brilliant cross before substitute Kameron English fizzed a shot wide late on as the game ended 1-1 – a fair result on the balance of play.
Marlow United had a weekend off but will take on fellow play-off rivals Woodcote Stoke Row on Saturday.
It was another perfect day for the men’s first team as they collected another maximum point victory and their seventh win since the start of the new year against Bicester.
In a tight first half in which two late tries gave Bicester the lead Marlow came out of the break rejuvenated, taking command of the game, scoring impressive tries and generally dominating possession of the ball.
Full time: Marlow 30-13 Bicester
Tries: Miles Noble, Chris Clark (2) , William Sones, Vanavasa Bai
Conversions: Nick Carvey
Penalties: Nick Carvey