Marlow 3s have matched us by getting promoted from Division 6 to 4 in the last two seasons and on Saturday we again faced each other in a top of the table clash. The great thing about these matches with our underwater friends from the edge of the Thames is the spirit in which these games are played in - and this tussle was no exception. We were indebted to having dads-on-call Lamby and Pablo amongst our ranks and their quality was undoubtedly a factor in us defeating Marlow by the narrowest of margins. Jasper also showed up, although he was meant to be playing for the 3s, which meant the skipper was promoted to a Jose Mourinho role as the 'tactical genius' on the sidelines, but with an elegant flair (I thought). The first half was a cagey affair, with much of the action restricted to between the two 23s, but Marlow went ahead with a cool finish as Boggs Jr. was dragged out of position. Tom Forrester, the silent assassin, was excellent throughout and equalised with a cool drag flick in open play that their brilliant junior keeper could not keep out, before Elliott deflected a great move to put us in the lead.
Having been under the cosh for the first 15 minutes of the game, we slowly took control of the rest of the proceedings and created several chances to extend our lead. It was not until Lamby weaved some magic down the right to find Wing Commander Robbins perfectly poised to score and put us 3-1 ahead. This wasn't the end of the action, however, as Marlow struck back almost immediately and had a couple of gilt-edged chances to draw level. In truth, it did get a bit fractious towards the end, but Dave Dawes and Hutts held firm (despite my bellowing in the latter's ear) and we held on for a 3-2 win. All credit for Marlow in the way they took defeat. Tough challenges lie ahead, but this stands us in good stead for the run in to the end of the season. We are sorry to lose Rob Home with a mashed finger for the rest of the campaign and Elliott, who inexplicably fell off a ladder on Sunday, the donut.
Additional player: James Holder