MARVELLOUS MARLOW MASTER LIGERS
By Neil SINCLAIR
10-man Ligers lose 100% record despite another George L hat-trick
A proper winter’s day, injuries and, frankly, a marginally better side, brought Ligers’ excellent start to the season to a juddering halt. One of the longest away trips of the term took the League leaders to the new home of old foes Marlow, with their leanest squad to date, boasting just two on the bench.
Ligers got off to a blistering start. The rapidly improving Ilyas notched up the first in the second minute and George L continued his phenomenal goal-scoring form almost from the restart to make it 2-0.
Although Matt generally had an exceptional game until his second-half injury, even he could not stop the home team from clawing their way back. The Hearts midfield struggled to boss the game and frequently left the defence severely out-numbered. Two quick-fire goals for United levelled the scores on twelve minutes and they were laying siege to the Ligers’ end. George scored his second on a Ligers counter attack but on the half hour mark Marlow drew level again. Ligers back four of Daniel, Kevin, Joe and Rufus were working overtime and Matt made a number of top quality saves to keep the score level at half-time.
George PM and Ilyas made way for Sam and Tommy; Ligers started the half with another fast break and a strong finish from George L to claim his third hat-trick of the season. Ligers were back in the lead but it was not to last for long and it wasn’t to happen again. Three minutes later Marlow had drawn level and three minutes later they were ahead 5-4. Disaster followed as Matt was taken off with a hip injury and Dylan injured his back. Joe took over the gloves and Ilyas returned but Ligers were now down to ten-men against a team who had built their confidence and their eye for goal. Two more goals bulged the Ligers net and, although they showed some resilience over the last 10 minutes, the visitors didn’t look like they could dent the deficit.
Although it goes without saying that an under strength team has very little chance at this age group, Ligers were undone by failing to take control of midfield and not working hard to recover once possession was lost. But in fairness, Marlow are a useful, big strong side and deservedly find themselves amongst the league leaders.