Smash and Grab
Mortimer pulled off a perfect smash and grab raid as they condemned Marlow to a second home defeat, Mortimer's Stef Allen being the sledge hammer that shattered United's defence.
With another three figure attendance at the Alfred Davis Ground Marlow opened brightly, pushing back their opponents as they looked to repeat their 4-1 victory of four weeks ago.
They penned back Mortimer and all the early pressure should have paid dividends on ten minutes as Chris Hurst found himself unmarked in the six yard box but somehow managed to fire the ball over the bar when it seemed he must score.
That was a portent of things to come as Marlow continued to dominate possession without creating a clear cut opportunity although Ollie Flint saw two efforts blocked from a corner with the visitors barely entering United’s penalty area.
The hosts thought they had opened the scoring on the half hour with Liam Bushay heading home a cross from James Hardie only for the effort to be ruled narrowly off side.
Worse was too follow as five minutes later a long clearance by Mortimer saw Darren Rockell fail to control the bouncing ball and quick as a flash Stef Allen pounced , ran on and slotted the ball past keeper Cannings with the defence in his wake.
If Marlow were stunned by the turn of events they were staggered on forty minutes as corner from their left was met by Allen with a superb near post header that flashed into the net.
Two nil down Marlow were grateful for the half time whistle as they trudged off.
If they were to salvage anything from the game United needed an early goal and they began the half in determined fashion, Namyslak firing a ball across the Mortimer six yard box from a free kick.
Manager Pritchard replaced the injured Sethi and subdued Thomas with O’Meally and Harman after ten minutes and then created a great opportunity soon with Fox collecting a pass from Bushay but firing narrowly wide as he cut in on goal.
Mortimer were defending in numbers and despite the pressure they restricted United to long range efforts and broke quickly, stretching the home defence at times.
Canning’s made a good save after a slip by Mckie as Mortimer sensed a third goal but still it was Marlow making the running even if their play was at times frantic.
Mortimer worked their socks off as they protected their lead with United making a final throw of the dice bringing on Adam Parsons and giving a debut to Alfie Lucas.
Al Mckie was on hand to clear the ball as it rolled toward the goal after a Mortimer raid but with time running out the points looked destined for Berkshire.
Fox saw another effort skid across the goal when well placed with Hurst bringing a point blank save from keeper Perrin as the game entered added on time.
A delighted but tired Mortimer rightly enjoyed their victory having taken their chances when they came and defending superbly to restrict Marlow’s chances.
The result opens up the title race with four teams all in with a chance.
Marlow are away to Wallingford in the B & B Trophy next Saturday with a possible title decider the following week at current leaders and now favourites Cookham Dean.
They can ill afford another display like this if they harbour title ambitions.
Cannings, Namyslak, Sethi (c) Mckie, Rockell, Flint, Thomas, Hardie, Hurst, Bushay, Fox
O’Meally for Thomas 55
Harman for Sethi 55
Lucas for Bushay 72
Parsons for Hardie
M Cannings 7
J Namyslak 7
A Sethi 6
A Mckie 6
D Rockell 6
O Flint 7
Q Thomas 6
J Hardie 7
C Hurst 6
L Bushay 6
J Fox 7
N O’Meally 7
A Harman 7
A Parsons 7
A Lucas 7