First Team - Report
|South Reading||2||vs||0||Marlow United|
Madejski dream shattered
Any hopes of a fairy tail end to Marlow's first season back in the Senior Division were cruelly dashed at the hands of South Reading as they fell to a 2-0 reverse at the home of Woodley FC.
Marlow began brightly with James Flint shooting straight at keeper Dozier on two minutes.
The game was evenly contested at this stage with Reading forcing an early corner and Marlow keeper Bradley saving a long range effort before the dangerous Ollie Flint burst through the Reading defence and his dangerous cross was cleared.
A John Mason free kick was pushed over for a corner as United looked for the opening goal.
It was noticeable now though that the Reading midfield were beginning to dictate the play with their quicker passing and movement off the ball and on 20 minutes they took the lead as Lydon side stepped a defender and fed the ball to the unmarked Allen who swept the ball past Bradley from close range.
Stung by this reverse Marlow swept up field from the restart and Ollie Flint saw his shot brilliantly saved by Dozier with the follow up effort being cleared of the line.
Reading continued to dominate possession but United were creating some great chances, none more so than on 32 minutes when a Chris Davies cross was met by the onrushing Buchanan, his full length diving header producing another great save from Dozier.
Ollie Flint was again thwarted by the keeper two minutes later as he ran on to a through ball with Mason seeing another effort saved.
As the half entered the final third it was Reading who began to threaten, Adams missing from close range when it looked easier to score and the up until then subdued Spence suddenly finding the space on United’s left , three times beating his marker in a short space of time and each time the Marlow defence being forced into desperate measures to keep the ball out from the subsequent cross.
Marlow were grateful to Bradley again on 45 minutes as he saved from Spence and the half ended with two Reading corners.
With the wind at their backs Marlow would have been hoping to see more of the ball in the second half, unfortunately Reading hadn’t read the script as they began the half as they finished the first.
The Bucks team had to wait until the 51st minute for their first serious attack, James Flint winning a free kick on the edge of the area which Mason fired high and wide.
At the other end Bradley made a tremendous save low down to his left from a close range shot before James Flint saw his initial shot and follow up saved as United countered.
Not long after Reading increased their lead as Spence was sent tumbling in the area following a rash challenge by Dan Flint, the forward converting the spot kick on the hour mark.
It looked a lost cause now despite a decent headed effort by Ollie Flint from a free kick and if brother James had converted an easier chance from 6 yards on 66 minutes, failing to get any pace on the crossed ball from Ollie and only finding a grateful Dozier with his effort, then maybe United would have been in with a shout.
As it was Reading looked the only winners and although Buchanan had a headed chance from a corner on 78 minutes United never looked like retrieving a lost cause and to rub salt in the wounds sub Andy Thorne received his marching orders in the final minute to complete a miserable afternoon for the Blues.
With Westwood up next Marlow can still have a major say in the destination of the league title although with South Reading on a roll it would be a brave man betting against them completing a league and cup double.
Team. Bradley Gabb D Flint N Flint Letts Buchanan J Flint Middleton Davies J Mason O Flint
Subs. Cuva Thorne Filmore
K Bradley 9
S Gabb 6
D Flint 5
N Flint 6
M Letts 5
D Buchanan 7
J Flint 5
R Middleton 7
C Davies 6
J Mason 5
O Flint 8
B Filmore 5
V Cuva 6
A Thorne 5