The Blues travelled to Cheshunt for their playoff semi-final match in a confident mood have taken 4 points from 6 against their opponents during the season.
Marlow started well and had the better of the early exchanges with the home side’s keeper the first to be called in to any significant action. As Marlow pressed for an early breakthrough Isacc Osei-Tutu was latched onto a through ball and got in behind the Cheshunt defence. As he was about to shoot on goal he was brought down by a tackle from behind. The referee waved away calls for a penalty, but Osei-Tutu was injured in the tackle and unable to continue leading to the introduction of Marcus Mealing.
The Blues maintained the pressure and had several half chances before there best chance was blasted straight at Girling in the Cheshunt goal. This seemed to spur on the home side as they had a period of sustained pressure themselves, with a Calam Gallimore blocking one shot and Adam Richards blocking another immediately after. So solid was the block from Richards that the Ambers’ Joe Re required treatment.
Cheshunt went close on their next attack, which was just as well as the assistant referee was out of position and missed two players who were clearly offside in the build-up.
Curtis Chapple was brought down on the right wing but Marlow were unable to create anything from the resulting freekick. Shortly after Kameron English was pulled back, but again the referee took no action. The referee finally showed a card to Taylor Miles for another dangerous tackle on Chapple, much to the surprise of the visiting supporters it was only a yellow, when a red would seem to have been more appropriate.
The first goal came soon after. Gallimore picked up the ball from a poor clearance from the home side and played it back in to the area before it bounced free to Overs on the left whose cross come shot was tapped in by Kameron English at the far post.
Marlow were in the ascendency and more chances followed with English pulling a short wide before Samuel put in a great cross from the left, but English was again unable to capitalise as he sliced the ball high and wide.
The home side started to get onto the front foot as the half progressed with the giant Moses finally winning a header but hitting the bar, before Richards cleared for a corner that came to nothing. Joe Re found space 30 yards from goal but his shot failed to trouble Grant in the Marlow goal as it went high and wide.
The Blues conceded another corner after a good block from a shot by Cojocarel. The resulting corner was excellent, and Cheshunt looked to be getting an equaliser before Bell cleared off the line.
Marlow started the second half well and had to good chances to double the lead. Charlie Samuel put in a great ball from a freekick with Richards just failing to make contact and ball drifted just wide of the post. Soon after Bell found Samuel in space on the wing who whipped in a great cross, but English couldn’t quite make contact.
The Ambers started to apply their own pressure and soon had a breakthrough. Simon Grant made a good save from Cojocarel but the clearance failed to do its job and ball was played back in to Hallett who put the ball just under the bar to equalise.
In response Charlie Samuel picked up the ball and dribbled past 4 players but shot high and wide, followed by a Bell freekick that flew narrowly beyond the far post.
The Ambers next attack found the Blues unusually ragged at the back. Grant saved a shot but only parried the ball to a lurking Moses whose initial attempt was blocked by Grant but as the ball rolled free to him, he made sure second time around.
Marlow pressed to try and return to parity, with multiple attacks in succession breaking down as the ball was hoofed clear by the Cheshunt defence. Free kicks, corners and crosses followed but Marlow were unable to get the final touch need to get the ball across the line. In the dying minutes two more excellent chances came and went as Cheshunt held out to secure their place in the playoff final against Bracknell Town on Saturday.
Marlow Team: Simon Grant, Curtis Chapple, Ronayne Marsh-Brown, Junaid Bell, Adam Richards, Calam Gallimore, Devontae Romeo, Chris Ovenden, Charlie Samuel, Isaac Osei-Tutu, Kameron English. Subs: Tristan Campbell, Allen Bossman, Jordan Edwards, Marcus Mealing, Phil Brown.