Marlow FC destined for play-offs despite loss against South Park

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Marlow FC secure play-off promotion spot while Marlow United Reserves take relegation battle to final two games of the season.

Marlow FC vs South Park FC

Following on from “Non-League Day” and a visit from ex-professional footballer Stuart Pearce the previous weekend, Marlow Football Club qualified for the Isthmian League South Central playoffs despite a 3-1 loss against South Park FC.

On Saturday 8 April with the sun shining and a large home crowd of 202, Marlow FC looked to extend their 11-game unbeaten run. However, they found themselves 3-0 down before half time against mid-table South Park FC at The Alfred Davis Memorial Ground.

Saturday’s showing was a fiery affair which saw both teams receive red cards. South Park struck first through a Sam Tutt goal (18’) shortly followed by a Finlay Johnson goal (29’) 11 mins later. Ben Jordan added a third in the 42nd minute.

Substitutions were made by the home side at half time at an attempt to overturn the three-goal deficit. South Park’s Ben Jordan received a caution six minutes into the 2nd half and was sent off for a second bookable offence a minute later. Referee Thomas Green produced a second red card of the day as Chris Ovenden of Marlow FC received his marching orders in the 55th minute. Dawid Rogalski scored 11 minutes before time (79’) for Marlow but it was a story of too little too late for Mark Bartley’s side. They will be looking to bounce back after a rare home defeat.

Marlow were due to play away at Binfield FC on 10April but, after adverse weather conditions, the pitch was deemed unfit for purpose.

Binfield took to Twitter to express their apologies to the travelling fans: “We would like to apologise for this late postponement and the inconvenience it causes to spectators and our visitors”. (@Binfieldfc). The rescheduled game is set to take place on Tuesday 18 April, 7.45pm (A).

Marlow sit in 3rd place on 63pts with a goal difference of +20 having qualified for the league play-offs.

Final Score: Marlow FC 1-3 South Park FC

Marlow United vs Henley Town Development

Marlow United played out a tight encounter with local rivals Henley Town with points shared in a 2-2 draw. There was a quiet optimism around Gossmore Recreation Ground that Marlow could “do the double” over Henley as they had already secured a vital three points away at Henley in February.

The Henley side, who were sat two places above Marlow in the Thames Valley Premier League Division 3 table were the dominant team in the opening exchanges.  Marlow conceded numerous attacking chances from set pieces only for goalkeeper, Finlay Shaw, to make a string of fine saves to keep the score 0-0.

Scorer of the opening United Goal ‘Tino’ Austin

Marlow soon began to assert their dominance in the Midfield and take a foothold of  possession. Cody McCarthy found himself in a left midfield position and picked out ‘Tino’ Austin with a through ball who made it 1-0 on 30 minutes. Three minutes later roles were reversed, and Austin set up McCarthy who narrowly missed a superb chance.

A quick break away down the left-hand side resulted in an equaliser for Henley. 1-1.

At the start of the second half Henley piled the pressure on their rivals and after several sustained attacks they scored within four minutes of the restart giving them a 2-1 advantage.

Luke Mantle powerfully headed home from a Jack Thorndyke corner levelling the scores at 2-2. There were chances late on for both teams, but the points were shared in an exciting end-to-end game.

Player of the match was awarded to Finlay Shaw.

Marlow FC manager Ash Sharma: ‘Bearing in mind our last three opponents have all included a number of first team players in their starting elevens our youngsters have acquitted themselves admirably’.

Marlow have two games left to avoid relegation, but with a four week break before their penultimate game against Winkfield Reserves (H), they have time to prepare for their biggest game of the season so far!

Final Score: Marlow United 2-2 Henley Town

Article author: Cameron Beazley-Clarke

Sports reporter writing weekly round-ups for MyMarlow! Studying a masters in Journalism after graduating from The University of Nottingham with a degree in Environmental Biology. Born in Oxford, living in Longwick. Plays for Marlow Hockey Club first XI and coach at the hockey club and Sir William Borlase's Grammar School

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