Marlow progress in FA Trophy after battling back to beat Westfield

Marlow 4, Westfield 3

Marlow will find out later today (Monday) who’ve they’ll be drawn against in the first round of the FA Trophy after overcoming a persistent Westfield side at Oak Tree Road on Saturday.

For once, Marlow’s victory wasn’t built on their solid defence, with the side conceding three times in the absence of regular goalkeeper Simon Grant.

Fortunately, the offensive side of their game was firing on all cylinders and Nnamdi Nwachuku netted twice as they sealed a thrilling 4-3 victory.

The visitors flew out of the traps, scoring in only the second minute through Samir Bajja but Nwachuku continued his scoring form when he found the net to level matters in the 11th minute.

The Blues were level for only a couple of minutes, however, as Sam Evans beat Brown to make it 2-1 in the 13th minute.

The home side were in need of something special and Junaid Bell supplied it just a couple of minutes before half-time. Having won a free-kick to the right side of the Westfield area, a ball into the box looked to be the best option for Bell but instead, he surprised everyone, including the visiting keeper, with an angled drive over the wall and into the far corner.

The goal deflated the visitors before half-time and lifted the Blues and they seemingly took the tie away from Westfield with further goals from Devontae Romeo in the 68th minute and Nwachuku – his second of the game – in the 71st.

But to their credit, Westfield never waved the white flag and Caleb Wright scored with 15 minutes to play to make a real game of it.

They pressed for a leveller which would have taken the tie to penalties, however, Phil Brown, donning the gloves in the absence of Grant, pulled off a couple of stunning saves to see Marlow through to the next round.

Afterwards manager Mark Bartley said on Twitter: “Never happy to concede the goals we did. That’s just the standards we’ve set for ourselves and how we are.

“However, we won the game and scored four goals and are in the hat for the next round. Another home draw please.”

Brown, who reckons he must have been the oldest player in the FA Trophy on Saturday, added: “Cup games are all about getting through to the next round. We played very well in spells and scored four good goals. Unfortunately, I couldn’t carry on the clean sheets in Simon Grant’s absence.”

Ties for the next round of the competition take place on Saturday, November 13.

Winning clubs will receive £3,000 and losing sides £775.

The draw for the first-round proper takes place at 1pm and will comprise teams from step 3 and 4 who are still in the competition.

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