...... to see United, eventually, overcome a determined Cookham Dean to advance to the last 16 of the Berks & Bucks FA Senior Trophy, setting up a mouth-watering home tie against fellow Thames Valley League Premier Division rivals Reading YMCA to be played in November.
If United are to succeed in reaching a third consecutive Berks & Bucks FA Senior Trophy final then it will be on the back of such a performance as Saturday, solid if unspectacular, determined but patient, add a little flair such as became evident as the game progressed with a dollop of tactical nous and you have a formula for success. There is a steely confidence about this team even when not firing on all cylinders and that can only hold the squad in good stead as the season progresses.
Another major attribute is the strength in depth of the squad. Saturday without Matt Canning, Alan Mckie, Qwam Thomas, Alex Steffi, and others Manager Pritchard simply shuffled the pack set the team up to its strengths and won the match. It has to be said that this wasn’t the dogged, feisty affair that is usually witnessed between these two sides but it was hard fought and Cookham know how to win but on the flip side know how to lose with grace.
Over 200 spectators watching what was effectively a step 7 encounter is incredible and I’m betting that no step 6 game came anywhere near matching that number Saturday or any step 5 encounter for that matter. Our average home gate to date is around 125 which is awesome at this level!
In fact, Saturday had a real community feel about it as young and old, male and female attended and it was great to see so many families with children. This is exactly what we were hoping for and it’s a very important first step into helping Marlow FC turn the Alfred Davis into a community hub for families to come along and feel comfortable, enjoy the football, while also enjoying what can be a great social occasion such as it was Saturday. None of this would be possible without our helpers and a big thanks to our former club Captain Martin Flint and Allan Maddern for manning the bar on what was a busy Saturday afternoon.
It was also good to see Harry Pritchard formerly of Maidenhead United but now following in the footsteps of Jimmy Armfield, Stanley Mathews, Alan Ball and Stan Mortenson at Blackpool Football Club in League One. Emlyn Hughes began his career at Blackpool before moving on to Liverpool and England so who knows where H’s career may lead. Harry, who is recovering from an injury, actually made his senior debut with Marlow United at the age of 16 in the Hellenic Premier Division so we are more than pleased to claim him as one of our own and our most successful ever player and we wish him every future success at Blackpool and beyond, should he so choose.
We also undertook a photo shoot of the team Saturday which provides an opportunity to thank our sponsors for their support. Lewis Pritchard, Uncle of Manager James, who kindly sponsored the squads smart waterproof training tops and of course our main sponsor Sanj Krishnasamy of SK Direct who not only supports the club financially but also provides practical help as a member of our board and of course not forgetting our long-term sponsor Simon Tickner of Polaris Landscaping who maintains the pitch to perfection and has done for several years now. Without such support the club simply couldn’t survive. We thank you all.
We also undertake a match by match sponsorship for just £100 where one can have their name in lights for a day but perhaps more importantly provide financial support for the football club which is strictly an amateur football club in every sense. We are resurrecting our match programme in time for our next home fixture so details of how to support the club , for those who are interested, will be found there.
Around the league Saturday Berks County slumped to a 4-1 home defeat as Mortimer travelled to Burghfield and consolidated top spot with a resounding 3-0 win while Reading City slipped 1-0 at home to Westwood United and Wrightchoice Unity went down 0-1 to Reading YMCA.
The other match in the Berks & Bucks FA Senior Trophy saw First Division Newbury hammer Premier Division Woodcote SR by 5-2. On the face of it this appears to be a shock result but Newbury were relegated last season due to their local council taking away their Faraday Road ground for future industrial development leaving Town homeless and unfortunately as Newbury couldn’t meet with the step 7 criteria they were automatically demoted, but they still carry a threat as they are clearly demonstrating, they belong in the Premier Division and we look forward to their return.
The reserves went down 2-1 in the Berks & Bucks FA Intermediate Cup to Chalfont Wasps despite a diving headed goal from centre back ‘Toffo’.
Next week United travel to Oxfordshire to face last season’s runners up Woodcote Stoke Row, United received a 4-1 battering in the corresponding fixture last season and therefore will need to be on their guard. The reserves are at home to Richings Park Reserves in a Second Division encounter both games ko at 2pm.
Updated 17:36 - 15 Oct 2018 by Alan Turner