PITCHING IN ISTHMIAN LEAGUE
SOUTH CENTRAL DIVISION
SATURDAY 3rd DECEMBER 2022
UXBRIDGE 0 MARLOW 1 (HT 0-1)
Uxbridge versus Marlow Part Two. Having first met over a hundred years ago, these two old rivals did battle for the 90th time at Honeycroft on Saturday. The Part Two reference follows the Reds and Blues having already met at the Alfred Davis Memorial Ground earlier this season. On that occasion a lone Victor Osobu strike, in the 9th minute, saw the Reds progress to the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup in a tightly fought encounter. Saturday’s game followed a similar vein – Toby Raggett netting the only goal of the game in the 3rd minute to give the Buckinghamshire side revenge for that earlier defeat. Uxbridge gave a debut to Callum Woodcock who has joined the Reds on a dual registration from Hanwell Town.
The game itself was keenly contested with no quarter given by either side. Goalmouth action, however, was at a premium. Raggett’s goal was worthy of winning any game – Elijah Oladunjoye’s long throw was headed clear by Jordan Ireland and Raggett acrobatically hit a volley, from the edge of the penalty area, into the bottom corner, giving Tyler Tobin no chance. It was the home side that created the most chances but at the moment chances aren’t being converted into goals. Osobu’s attempted lob lacked the necessary height to beat Aaron Watkins in the Marlow goal and Joe Jackson’s run into the box ended with an attempt that flew high and wide. Former Red Curtis Chapple made a desperate lung from behind as Osobu showed him a clean pair of heels. “Penalty” claimed the Honeycroft faithful – goal-kick said the man-in-black. Open mouthed shock and a wide arm gesture from the Uxbridge attacker articulated his frustration. Just before the break Ireland dragged a shot from the edge of the area wide of the far post, leaving Watkin’s handling an unknown quantity. The majority of Marlow’s attacking moments came from the dangerous long-throws of Oladunjoye, which were a constant threat all afternoon. Half-time 0-1.
The visitors had a great chance to increase their lead early in the second period. Naheer-Omar Nawaf sprinted clear of the Uxbridge defence but fired wide as Tobin advanced from his line. A few minutes later Tobin had to be quick and precise as he dived at the feet of Raggett to deny the forward a second goal. The experienced Chris Ovenden proved there was nothing wrong with his handling in the sixty-second minute. Jackson intercepted a cross-field pass and looked to put Osobu through on goal. Ovenden had other ideas and flung out an arm to divert the intended killer ball – yellow card, which seemed lenient but considering the offence took place 30-40 yards from goal, not altogether surprising. Uxbridge kept pushing and introduced forwards Gareth Chendlik and Dan Williams to try and find an equaliser. Watkins showed his handling was up to the mark as he reacted quickly to push away Williams close-range shot, after Alex Witham had put him through on goal. The Marlow defence, which has conceded less than a goal a game, proved difficult to breach and despite plenty of effort Raggett’s early strike was the difference between the two evenly matched sides. Full-time 0-1.
Uxbridge and Marlow have met twice this season, in both games, there has been very little to choose between the sides. However, with this victory Marlow are only two points behind league leaders Northwood with a game in hand, while Uxbridge find themselves in the bottom half of the table. This proves the league this season is very tight; a run of victories can easily propel you towards the top-of-the-table. Keep the faith. COYR.
Uxbridge Line-up: Tobin, Andrew, Woodcock, Poley, O’Brien, Jackson, Ireland, Hedley, Witham, Osobu, Donnelly. Subs Used: Maloney for Donnelly, Chendlik for Ireland and Williams for Andrew. Not Used: Paris and Seabrook.