06:51PM, Saturday 02 December 2017
Chalfont St Peter 3, Marlow 0
Marlow manager Mark Bartley kept his players in their dressing room for more than half an hour after the Blues were beaten 3-0 by Chalfont St Peter this afternoon.
The Blues were far from their best at Mill Meadow, but this result said more about the spirit and desire of Danny Edwards men, who took the game to their visitors from the very first whistle.
Marlow’s brightest moments came at the start of each half, but in general they played second fiddle to a Chalfont side who kept themselves in contention for promotion.
Jahson Downes lifted an early attempt over the crossbar for Marlow, after Marcus Mealing showed strength to win the ball and lay it off to him.
Bu then Bartley’s boys were undone by two Chalfont goals in the space of 10 minutes. Alex Paine nodded the ball home from close range after losing his marker in the box to get on the end of Holland’s knock-back.
The ball had been whipped in superbly by the impressive Victor Osobu, whose afternoon got even better nine minutes later when he lofted a shot over Simon Grant after running onto a well-weighted pass from Frankie Jones.
Marlow struggled to carve out clear cut openings, with their forwards well shackled by Chalfont’s rock solid defence. Isaac Osei-Tutu, one of Marlow’s brighter players on a dreary afternoon in Buckinghamshire, fired well over the bar in the 33rd minute. He then sliced wildly wide of Michael Power-Simpson’s after running clear on the left side of the Chalfont box.
Chalfont continued to look the more likely, however, with Holland firing into the side netting before the half came to a close.
The Blues, whose hopes of a play-off finish appear to be dwindling by the week, raised their tempo after the break, and should really have given themselves a lifeline in the 50th minute when Mealing was sent clear by Downes’ through-ball. But Power-Simpson got out well to block his effort and Allen Bossman couldn’t control the rebound which was sent wide of the target.
Bartley rang the changes, bringing on the argumentative Jordan Brown and Jordace Holder-Spooner for Osei-Tutu and centre half Dan Bailey. Holder-Spooner very nearly had an immediate impact when he played in Bossman but Power-Simpson stretched well to keep out the wide man’s shot with his finger-tips.
Jake Cass, a threat throughout for Chalfont, saw a towering header kept out by Mealing on the line, with Grant well beaten, in the 66th minute. But Cass killed off the Blues challenge three minutes later when he reacted quickest to seeing his own header come back off the post to blast the home side into an unassailable 3-0 lead.
Tempers boiled over for Marlow toward the end, and Brown walked a tight-rope after being yellow carded having come on in the second half. The game ended in a brawl inside the Chalfont penalty area, Brown again at the centre of the turmoil, but instead of trying to get to the bottom of what had gone on, the referee wisely blew the full-time whistle.
Before the game Bartley had said that Edwards wasn’t on his Christmas card list this year. It’s unlikely that will have changed after the Blues were largely outplayed by their rivals who are now seven points ahead of Marlow in the Southern League South East table.
Marlow: Grant, Chapple, Lee-Brown (K Bossman), Bell, Gallimore, Bailey (Holder-Spooner), Bossman, Ovenden (C), Mealing, Downes, Osei-Tutu (Brown).
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