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Marlow 2 Hornchurch 3

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This proved to be a very much harder game than our last few but this win sets up a very exciting final day at Great Wakering.


Marlow had a chance after only 2 minutes when Robert Gibson made little or no contact with a whipped in cross from the right which flashed across the face of the goal. However, we took the lead in the 21st minute following a fine tip over from home keeper Lee Carroll from one of his own defenders trying to block a Vinnie John effort. From Garry Kimbles corner, John brought the ball down amid claims for handball and with the Marlow defence waiting for the referee to blow his whistle both he and Jamie Southon between them managed to bundle the ball over the line. The referee gave the goal and John claimed the final touch. Four minutes later we made it 2-0, and it was Mark Risley, in his first game back in the first team who scored, bringing down a skewed cross from Southon and striking it low into the far corner. The third came with 5 minutes of the first half remaining. Nick Lowery won the ball off a defender on the touchline and passed it to Andrew Martin who centred for an unmarked Vinnie John who made no mistake from ten yards.


Marlow came back strongly in the second half and pulled a goal back in the 55th minute, Grant Gooddall running on to a ball threaded through the defence to shoot in via the underside of the bar. Marlow had a chance to pull another goal back on the hour after Michael Collier was adjudged to have picked up a back pass, but the defensive wall did it's job and James Pritchard's shot was blocked. Their second goal came in the 68th minute from one of Tim Cook's long throw-ins. This one was half cleared and fell to Nicky Ryder at the far post who saw his effort blocked by Collier who could then only watch as Sam Shepherd tidied up. In an 'interesting' refereeing performance where all 6 of the game's yellow cards went to Hornchurch players, one always sensed that a red may appear and Gavin McGowan was the recipient for a second yellow card offence with 20 minutes left. The closing stages was a nervy affair for us but we held firm and there was much relief when the whistle finally blew.


Line-up:-Collier, Carter, Kimble, Risley (Cowley 72), Jopson, Moore, McGowan, Southon, Martin (Jones 80), John, Lowery. Subs not used: Cripps, Fox, Wood (GK)

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