It wasn’t quite daylight robbery on Saturday, as the 4s opened their account with a 2-1 win over Marlow 3s at Pound Lane, but the home side could feel rightly aggrieved at not gaining a single point from their dominant overall performance. My local knowledge of the area of taking the quick route through Bisham and over the bridge turned out to be futile, as the bridge is currently shut following an errant Lithuanian lorry driver ignoring the weight limit signs and driving his 40 tonne over the 3 tonne weight limit and causing £200,000 of structural damage. Teams take note the bridge, a small scale copy of the Chain Bridge in Budapest, is likely to be closed for six months. Both teams looked very different from the end of season affair in the last campaign - when we prevailed - and Marlow looked well up for the fight. There were chances at each end as Marlow pressed and we hit them on the break and actually opened the scoring through a neat deflection from Ed Wilkinson. Chris Maidlow had a couple of gilt edged chances to further the lead, but a succession of short corners resulted in an equaliser for Marlow. One all at half time and the Marlow press proved very effective as we had to defend desperately for much of the game, with Dave Cooke resorting to the “unnecess-aerial” (as Tom succinctly remarked) as he chucked ball after ball from the 16. Rodders and Charlie worked hard, as did returning the Jake T, while Neil Gallacher maintained some order in the middle. New joiner from Oxford HC Tom Harris was stoic in defence and reduced the real open chances on goal to a minimum. Marlow looked dangerous at corners but couldn’t breach the Hawks goal and with a minute to go, ball retention was really our only aim, but Luke Piper had other ideas and playing the lone striker role, turned and shot swiftly past the ever-prone Marlow keeper. The spoils ours – the moral victory, Marlow’s (I know which I’d rather have).
DoD – Joint winners, Dave Cooke and Ollie Dunn