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Hellenic League Match Report

24-26 February 2020

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Division One East

Marlow United 2 Penn & Tylers Green 3 

Marlow's poor league form continued as they fell to a late goal in their local derby against Penn and Tylers Green. A freezing night saw just over 40 brave souls boycotting the Champions League fare to witness this Chilterns derby with the visitors snatching the points on 86 minutes, sub Brad Lonsdale slotting the ball past keeper Matt Cannings following a break from midfield. 

There was no indication of the final result as Marlow, with new signing Marcus Mealing making his debut up front, took the lead on 4 minutes with Felix Prudden hammering home a cross from Kayd Ait- Fahim from close range.  The goal only seemed to spur on the visitors who having weathered the early pressure took the game to their opponents with some slick football. 

Penn were winning the midfield contest allowing their forwards to stretch the United defence and on 16 minutes the pacey Hancock crossed for Dean Allen to sweep home the equaliser.  Mealing saw a superb free kick crash of the Penn crossbar two minutes later, Marlow pleading for a penalty as Prudden looked to be bought down as he scrambled to the loose ball.  The visitors were equally adamant they should have been awarded a spot kick shortly after as Hancock was pulled back in the area, the referee deciding neither event worthy of a foul. 

Penn saw their controlled play eventually pay dividends as the half was drawing to a close with a quick break finding Allen in space and the forward ran on to fire the ball home. They thought they had increased that lead on 45 minutes with a header from a free kick finding the back of the net only for the flag to be raised for off side. 

United replaced the injured Prudden with Alf Lucas at half time abandoning their midfield diamond formation at the same time. The changes saw the hosts winning more of the ball as they applied plenty of early pressure, that pressure paying off with Danny Jordan equalising on 57 minutes guiding the ball past keeper Lines from a through ball. 
United were now looking the more dangerous side with Mealing and Ait Fahim prominent, testing the Penn defence. 
Chris Hurst saw an effort fly wide from a Lucas cross, the same player seeing an effort blocked from a Parsons corner soon after. 

Penn responded and United were grateful to Cannings who tipped a goal bound effort from Green over the bar. 
The game swung back and forth as both teams looked for the winner, Ait Fahim seeing a curling effort go wide and Mealing firing a free kick over.

With time running out Penn broke the deadlock with Lonsdale finishing off a quick break to the delight of the Penn contingent and they played out the remaining time to move above their hosts who dropped to eleventh in the table with this defeat. 

A visit to high flying Abingdon United now awaits United this Saturday as they attempt to avenge a recent loss.

Marlow United:Cannings, Tripp, Parsons, Mckie, Corden, Hardie, Prudden, Ait Fahim, Hurst (c) Mealing, Jordan. Subs. Lucas, Romeo, Rake. 

Penn responded and United were grateful to Cannings who tipped a goal bound effort from Green over the bar. 
The game swung back and forth as both teams looked for the winner, Ait Fahim seeing a curling effort go wide and Mealing firing a free kick over.

With time running out Penn broke the deadlock with Lonsdale finishing off a quick break to the delight of the Penn contingent and they played out the remaining time to move above their hosts who dropped to eleventh in the table with this defeat. 

A visit to high flying Abingdon United now awaits United this Saturday as they attempt to avenge a recent loss.

Marlow United:Cannings, Tripp, Parsons, Mckie, Corden, Hardie, Prudden, Ait Fahim, Hurst (c) Mealing, Jordan. Subs. Lucas, Romeo, Rake. 

Woodley United 2 Holyport 5

Scoreline harsh on Woodley who concede two in stoppage time. United, in the middle of a run of three consecutive home games, made the worst possible start against a Holyport side chasing promotion.

With just two minutes gone the away side went ahead through fortuitous circumstances when Fabian Driffill tapped in from close range after the right post was struck twice within seconds. The goal was extremely harsh on Woodley keeper Craig McCreeth who had done brilliantly to tip the second shot onto the upright. After McCreeth saved a Sam Whitfield half volley from twenty two yards the hosts got into the match and came within inches of levelling when a low shot went just wide of the left post. This was followed up with Freddie Barron failing to trouble Jake Tayler in the Holyport goal, after the midfielder received a pass from Ryan Alexander. Despite both teams creating chances it was the visitors who were getting theirs on target. A low shot through a sea of bodies was well saved while at the other end a Lamin Cessay effort missed to the right. Half an hour in and there was a long period of the game where neither goal was threatened. Young midfielder Tommy Boyd, playing on the right wing, was United’s dangerman skipping past his marker with quick feet on multiple occasions. Despite more often than not picking out a team mate the moves eventually fizzled out. A minute before the break Woodley fell further behind when Steve Deverall finished emphatically from twelve yards after racing onto a ball over the top. More lax defending nearly resulted in a second for Deverall after getting on the end of a cross from the left. Credit again goes to McCreeth who was alert enough to close the angle, make himself big and keep his side in it.

Five minutes after the restart a Ceesay set piece found centre back Max Swift who unfortunately couldn’t direct his header goalwards. After United full back Bailey Hill did superbly to block a Dan Rapley shot from the right of the box, the home team had their best spell which resulted in them getting back on level terms. On the hour Boyd rolled the ball square to Harry Hawkins who had his strike from twenty five yards partially blocked which meant a routine save. Five minutes later Woodley got on the score sheet when Ceesay scored for the third consecutive match after getting on the end of a Max Laschok cross from the right. With twenty one minutes left and moments after a Swift header went wide it was two all. Some fantastic work by Boyd saw a few stepovers free up enough space to whip in a left footed cross that Alexander took advantage of to flick deftly past Tayler. Immediately after the goal United made a change when captain Luke Axton-Hall made way for Josh Millo. This saw Barron move to right back, Jamaal Whight take over from Axton-Hall at centre back and Millo replace Barron out wide. A further substitution was made on seventy four minutes when Ben Anderson came on for Laschok. Holyport retook the lead with fourteen minutes to go when a Deverell strike from just outside the box took a big deflection off a defender, giving McCreeth no chance as it sailed into the top right corner. Woodley made their final change on eighty four minutes. Toby Briggs replaced Hawkins. United’s final chance came from a free kick after Millo was cynically bought down on the right wing. Taking the free kick himself, he picked out Swift at the back post who saw his header nick off a defender and land on the roof of the net. The points were sealed in stoppage time and once again it came from a rather lucky goal. Saying that, there was nothing fortunate about the pass that created it. A beautiful reverse ball sent Alan Ackerman in on McCreeth who saved the initial shot, only to see it bounce back off the Holyport player and roll into an empty net.

A fifth goal added gloss to the scoreline when sub Andy Forisky turned in a Deverall cross.

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