Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Marlow Score Four More

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Tuesday 11 September
Marlow 4 Highmoor Ibis 1
Hellenic League Premier Division (Step 5)
Ground 479 on the lifetime list – here because of midweek travel constraints!  A real groundhopping gem, it has to be said.
Pre-match preparation
Not a lot!  Late decision.  Leave the M40 at junction 4, and that’s about it.  Quick look at the programme shows that Marlow have a 100% home league record before tonight with 21 goals in 4 games!
This match in one sentence
Two very late goals gave an unfair slant to the evening, as this win was much less convincing than the scoreline suggests.
So what?
Marlow are 6th (three points behind the leaders) with a superb home league record, and Ibis are 15th.
The drama unfolds
Marlow’s number 11 in the last match, Phil John, suffered a nasty leg break in an incident that held up that game for 35 minutes.  Whether as a mark of respect or for practical laundering reasons I don’t know, but Ian Davies was wearing 17 rather than 11, and he opened the scoring after 5 minutes.  Jerome Coultress tripped Marcus Mealing, and Davies scored from the penalty spot.  1-0

Here is a scene-setter clip from midway through the first half.  Marlow in all blue.

It must be a nightmare for many Hellenic linesmen, but Marlow play an offside trap, and quite effective it is too.  Ibis attackers were certainly getting frustrated with it.  At the other end, Mealing was getting plenty of the ball, often drifting out to the left as Marlow controlled the game.  It was no surprise that they got a second goal after 24 minutes, through Ben Gladwin’s shot from the edge of the box, and I can only assume keeper Mitchell Parker was unsighted or there was a deflection.  He got nowhere near it.  Marlow saw out the rest of the first half easily enough.  2-0 at half-time

Highmoor Ibis started the second half better and here is a clip from just before the hour mark – I have moved to the upper strata of the main stand.  It’s not often you get the chance to be this high at a step 5 game!

Just after this, Ibis pulled a goal back, as they had been threatening.  We had already had one close call for offside.  A curling direct freekick from Jamal Forde-Small found the net.  Good strike.  2-1

Another close offside call followed.  I can’t say it was wrong, but it was another close one.  Ibis were looking strong, and with better finishing or a bit more composure around the box they would surely have got level.  They would have deserved it at this point in the game – Forde-Small was prominent in their attacking play.  Ibis finally broke the offside trap with 15 minutes to go and it needed a superb goalline clearance from Alex Salmon to protect the Marlow lead.  They really should have scored.  Forde-Small was narrowly wide with a shot after the trap had been sprung again, when perhaps the pass would have been a better option.  Devontae Romeo dribbled from left midfield into the box and shot just over.

Then, in the last few minutes, Marlow substitutes started to find space up front.  There was almost a comedy goal where Ibis sub Simon Eade, rushing back, headed past his own keeper Parker, rushing out, but he recovered to clear for the corner.  Then Parker was stranded after a loose throw out, and Gladwin sent in a neat lob which dropped on the top of the crossbar.

I switched the camera on just in time to capture the Marlow insult-to-injury goal, announced as 88 minutes on the clock.  Davies crosses from the right for sub Jamie Piercy.  3-1

In stoppage time, Davies got his second with an odd goal, rolled in along the line and in off the post from a tight angle.  Two goals and an assist for him on the night, but overall a scoreline that seemed harsh on Ibis.  Marlow took their chances but Ibis didn’t.  Final score 4-1
The programme

Something random
A montage of pictures in the clubhouse from the 1991 FA Cup tie between West Bromwich Albion and Marlow.  West Brom won this one 6-0, but Marlow showed more cup pedigree the next season with a visit (and a noble 5-1 defeat) to Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. There is a large match poster in the clubhouse.  They had two more 90s cup runs of note.  In those days the club played in the Isthmian Premier League, which we would now call step 3 of the “non-league” game.

Hopping for Moorfields Update
Five more goals taking the running total to 56 from 12 matches.
What Next?
Glad to see announcements from club and players that Truro City will be in existence – my last unvisited step 2 ground, so I am hoping to see them against Bromley on Saturday.

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