MARLOW 9 MINUTE BLITZ BLOWS AWAY TIRING TIGERS
Tigers firmly rooted to the foot of the table as hosts overcome two-goal deficit
Yet another game of two very distinct halves left Tigers firmly rooted to the foot of their division. A glorious and very unexpectedly sunny morning on Farnham Common welcomed two struggling sides, Marlow sporting blue bibs to prevent a garish fashion faux pas. Already warned that there was no official referee, Hearts added to the pre-match comedy by declaring a player "MIA" , and the stand-in ref -who was excellent, one should add -
blew for a match of 8v8.
Tigers flew out of the traps and with in no time their forward flyer, Gabriel, had out-muscled and out-stripped the home defence, with a neat finish putting the visitors 1-0 up. Marlow then proceeded to dominate possession but Joe and Rufus maintained a high line and the Marlow front-line struggled to stay onside. Matt was his usual dominant self at the back and any time the blue bibs broke through, he dealt with it competently.
John and George were managing some success in midfield and with Tommy and Sam finding space wide, they were able to release Gabriel who was giving the Marlow defence a torrid time. On 22 minutes, he got away a shot that rattled back off the post but he had followed up to slip the rebound back under the goalie, and take Tigers into half-time with a comfortable two goal cushion.
All season, Tigers have struggled straight after half-time. This week, they face the added complication of defending from the bottom of a deceptively steep slope. With coach Wallis's exhortations ringing in their ears, the first two minutes went well enough, but then it all unravelled. Nine minutes later, Marlow were 5-2 to the good. The most galling was goal 4, coming directly from Gabriel hitting the post at the other end. With several of the Tigers clearly out on their feet, the high defensive line became a thing of distant memory. Matt decided he'd had enough in goal and swapped with an exhausted looking George. George proceeded to play a blinder at the back and Matt injected some zip behind Gabe. One surging run across the left edge of the box resulted in Gabe being flattened, but unfortunately Sam put the penalty straight down the middle and hit the goalie.
Gabriel was to score two more and go home with the match ball but so did Marlow, including a penalty for a handball.
It had been a good effort by Tigers but they do suffer with both speed and fitness, and a strange aversion to the football. Two of Marlows' goal resulted directly from Hearts boys jumping and turning their backs to the ball carrier, only for Marlow to calmly play the ball under the "blind" defender to a team mate and into the net.
A quick chance of revenge when Marlow visit Carlisle Park next Saturday, hopefully with at least 9 players. The last game of the season is on 5th May.