Marlow show resilience of champions to battle back for draw with rivals

Marlow goalscorer Luke Stone. Credit: Oxford Hawks

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Leaders Marlow Men’s 1sts visited closest rivals Oxford Hawks 2nds on Saturday without leading goalscorer Callum White, but they displayed the resilience of champions to battle back for a 1-1 draw.

White has scored the lion’s share of the side’s goals this season and they missed his presence up front, but Luke Stone returned to the lineup after missing most of the season, and he was on hand to level things up after the visitors had fallen behind.

Not surprisingly, the game was keenly contested and, although Marlow carved out the game’s better chances, a draw was a fair result.

Hawks took the lead from a well-worked short corner routine, but Stone kept his composure to net an equaliser which keeps the Reds three points ahead of the Hawks in the title race. They also have a game in hand, however, both teams look set for promotion.

Marlow 2nds claimed revenge for a loss earlier in the season to Wallingford as they won an entertaining contest 3-2 at home.

The hosts made a number of changes to their line-up and also switched tactics, having lost 3-0 at Wallingford earlier in the campaign, however, it was the visitors who struck first on the stroke of half-time, having earlier been denied by both posts and keeper Charlie May. Marlow quickly levelled the scores in the second half, with Dan Merrell converting, and, after a second goal for the hosts was disallowed, Wallingford retook the lead. Top scorer Dan Field brought them level once more then, in a nail-biter of a game, he scored the winner from a short corner with only five minutes left.

W Marlow Women’s 1sts still have a close interest in the promotion race after claiming two positive results over the weekend.

Marlow keeper Dibs Haisman kept them in it with some impressive early saves in Saturday’s match against Henley before the Reds took control with Rachel Goodwin firing them in front from a superbly struck short corner. They then doubled their lead mid-way through the second half when Grace Kisbee finished off a slick passing move.

On Sunday the side played their rearranged match with Bournemouth, battling back from two goals down to claim a deserved draw. After conceding from a penalty stroke in the first half and falling further behind just after the break, Marlow finally got their act together with Kerri Smith finishing off a great team goal before Goodwin netted the equaliser with a brilliant strike from a short corner. The results leave Marlow third in the table heading into the season’s final matches.

Marlow Women’s 2nds remain top of the table with three matches to play after claiming a narrow win over closest challengers Oxford 2nds at Pound Lane. It was Oxford who took an early lead, but the hosts drew level through Emily Gillespie on the stroke of half-time. Marlow were thwarted by some excellent defence from the visitors but with five minutes to go they made the breakthrough with Lenny Conetta finishing off from a short corner.

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