PITCHING IN ISTHMIAN LEAGUE
SOUTH CENTRAL DIVISION
SATURDAY 15th APRIL 2023
MARLOW 1 UXBRIDGE 1 (HT 0-0)
Uxbridge will have to wait until next season to end their search for an away league victory. The run has now extended to twelve games, although this performance at The Alfred Davis Memorial Ground on Saturday, against play-off bound Marlow, was a vast improvement on recent encounters at Bedfont Sports and South Park. Considering the injury ravaged Reds were forced into a make-shift line-up, which included Alan Hedley at centre forward, this result must be seen as a massive positive as the season draws to a close. Andy O’Brien, Jordan Ireland, Joe Jackson, Mark Bitmead and Alex Witham were all unable to make the starting eleven. Another positive from the afternoon was the return of Jack Beadle to the starting line-up, his first since August 2022.
Understandably, the Reds took time to settle and Marlow, who needed a victory to secure home advantage in the end of season play-offs, started on the front foot. Luke Paris made a superb sliding block to deny Aaron McLeish-White and Tyler Tobin showed a safe pair of hands in collecting a dangerous near post effort. With the game entering the second period of the first half the Reds suddenly sprung into life. Beadle cut in and his shot was blocked by the head of a defender and Aaron Minhas following up saw his attempt deflected over the crossbar. From the corner Paris did well to retrieve a lost cause and Eitel Goueth’s curling cross smashed against the woodwork, Sean McGuinness pounced on the rebound, but his goal bound shot was blocked by an outstretched boot. Beadle was up next, he tested Aaron Watkins with a twenty-yarder that the Blues custodian did well to palm away from danger. Marlow hit back and the game, which had been dawdling along, was now end-to-end goalmouth action. Toby Raggett struck the under-side of the crossbar with a twenty-yard free kick and moments later the woodwork once again came to Red’s rescue. A corner to the far-post was header back across goal and Tobin did well to touch the ball onto the bar and react quickly to gather as Marlow’s players looked to pounce. McLeish-White, who was a handful all afternoon, turned Paris and unleashed a powerful low shot. However, Tobin was equal to it, spreading himself and saving with his feet. With the half drawing to a close Hedley challenged for a quality Josh Andrew cross, the ball dropping between Watkins and Hedley - but the centre forward was unable to force the ball home as he lay flat on the floor. There was still time for Beadle to fire a shot from distance which flew inches wide of the upright. Half-time (somehow) 0-0.
Marlow took the lead five minutes into the second half. The Reds were caught napping from a quickly taken corner, allowing Jordan Hamilton-Olise the time and space to send in a curling cross-cum-shot that eluded everyone and nestled in the far-corner. Once again, the game took on an end-to-end feel as firstly Watkins saved Paris’s bullet header and secondly, Marlow wasted a good chance, skying a shot over the bar from twelve yards. This miss proved to be costly as the Reds raced up the other end and Beadle’s superb cross was poked home by Minhas, who timed his run to perfection, to score from six yards. The Blues, looking to claim all three points to boost their play-off chances, started to dominate territorially but the Uxbridge defence held firm, Paris and McGuinness repelling everything that was thrown at them. Substitute Dawid Rogalski had a great chance to secure all three points for the home side in the 72nd minute. A low cross finding the striker unmarked six yards from goal – it seemed easier to score than miss – however, he failed to get a firm touch and Paris was able to clear before the ball crossed the line. Full-time 1-1.
So, we have just one more game to play of the 2022/23 season – at home to relegated Tooting & Mitcham United on Saturday 22nd April. A win to complete what has been a frustrating season would be nice! COYR.
Uxbridge Line-up: Tobin, Andrew, Sota, Paris, McGuinness, Hedley, Maloney, Minhas, Beadle, Patrick, Goueth. Subs Used: Witham for Beadle, Evans for Sota. Not Used: Fleary, Harburn and Mughal.