BLUES SECURE "DOUBLE" OVER WOODS
By Terry Staines
EARLY GOAL IS ENOUGH TO TAKE THE POINTS - WOODS LEFT TO RUE MISSED CHANCES
Having won 2-1 at Northwood at the very end of September Marlow went into this match looking to complete a "double" over their opponents and managed to do so courtesy of an early strike from Curtis Chapple but their opponents left Oak Tree Road wondering what if they had converted one of the many opportunities that came their way?
The only goal of the game came as early as the 5th minute and arrived when Chapple cut in from the left and fired hard and low into the visitor's net from just outside the penalty area but even so this was not the first opportunity of the game as that had fallen to the Woods striker Evans Kouassi a minute earlier at the other end of the 0pitch. A through ball had seen Marlow's Simon Grant leave his line and move towards a ball that he never looked likely to reach an Kouassi, having got to it first lifted it over the now stranded Grant but just beyond his far post.
A near repeat followed just 2 minutes later but again the ball was just past the outside of the Marlow goal and the game settled into a rhythm of end-to-end play with little threat of a goal until Marlow skipper Chris Ovenden was forced into an important defensive block in the 26th minute that preceded a long-range effort from Isaac Olurunfemi the rose just over the Marlow bar.
The Blues had a further chance before the break with a swift move forward but Xavi Comas in the Wood's goal was at6 full stretch to deny Kelvin Bossman low shot on the half-hour.
Despite the efforts after the break another opportunity took some 15minutes to arrive and this needed a defensive header over the Marlow bar from a Blue's defender to retain the lead with Grant's pressure minutes later leading to Charley Barker lifting an effort wide when finding space on the stretch to reach a cross into the box.
Grant was then forced into a save to again deny Kouassi as the visitors continued to have more of the possession and the Blues continued to retreat further and further whilst still remaining solid and resolute in the defending with a final chance presenting itself in stoppage time when a hard, low dross flashed across the Marlow goal but again without a touch from a visiting player.