Cookham and Marlow shared the points in an absorbing and uncompromising game of two distinctive halves
Alex Stephi clears from Cookham's Joe Newman
After a scrappy opening it was the visitors who took the lead on eight minutes.
A clearance from the United defence found the unmarked Qwam Thomas on the Marlow right, Chris Hurst then rising to guide the perfectly weighted crossed ball wide of Cookham keeper Bovingdon and into the net.
Having fallen behind in their last four games it was the perfect tonic for United as they looked to close the gap on league leaders Cookham.
The goal though seemed to galvanise the hosts as they gradually ramped up the pressure, their midfield showing an appetite for the ball not matched by their opponents with the United defence having to resort long balls out of defence in an effort the relieve the pressure.
United’s Hurst was proving to be a willing worker up front testing Bovingdon on numerous occasions but the home teams pressure eventually told on twenty four minutes as a through ball picked out Cookhams Alder and although his shot was saved by Cannings the loose ball was picked up by the same player who slotted home the equaliser.
United responded with probably the best move of the game thus far, a break by Fox saw him cross for Harman who laid the ball back to Ollie Flint, his well placed effort defeating Bovindon before hitting the post and going behind.
Cookham continued to pressure the Marlow defence but in truth they created few chances as the back four stood firm, Alex Sethi proving a rock alongside Al Mckie, but still the United midfield struggled to gain a foothold in the face of some determined play in what was a full blooded local derby.
Bovingdon saved Cookham as he tipped a Thomas free kick around the post with the half coming to a close whilst Cannings returned the favour, getting down superbly turning away a skidding effort in virtually the last action of the half.
Maybe it was the half time oranges or the manager’s team talk but certainly it was a different United who opened the second period.
Now it was they who were first to the ball, Hardy, Flint and Harman winning the 50/50 balls and pinning back the home defence.
With more possession Marlow’s full backs Gumbs and Fox were pushing forward, increasing the pressure on Cookham.
Flint and Namyslak saw efforts go wide with Hurst finding the back of the net only to see the flag raised for offside.
Cannings plucked a free kick out of the air after a free kick and from the break Namyslak lashed a shot from twenty five yards which caused Bovingdon to parry the ball before clearing.
Cookham were certainly dangerous on the break, twice firing wide from decent positions but it was United who were in the ascendancy.
They bought on Bushay and Medford as they looked to grab the three points and both players were soon in the thick of the action.
Bushay embarked on a run that ended with a shot finding the keeper as United looked to break the deadlock.
Cookham broke quickly almost catching out the United defence, the game becoming stretched as it entered the latter stages.
With the game entering added on time Ollie Flint arrowed in a shot that Bovingdon saved with his feet in desperation.
The clock was running down as Bushay collected a Cannings clearance only to be clattered twenty five yards from goal, Fox firing the resultant free kick over the wall, Bovingdon stretching to tip the ball over for a corner.
Despite the corner Marlow were unable to break the deadlock, the points being shared on the day.
With three games in hand the top spot is still in Marlow's grasp but they can ill afford any slip ups.
Next week they travel to Mortimer were a win will see them move above the hosts and gain some revenge for their recent home defeat.
Cannings, Gumbs, Sethi, Mckie, Fox, Thomas, Flint, Harman, Thomas, Hurst, Namyslak
L Bushay for C Hurst 68
L Medford for A Harman 68
C Hurst 8
M Cannings 8
J Gumbs 7
A Sethi 8
A Mckie 7
J Fox 8
Q Thomas 7
J Hardy 7
O Flint 7
J Namyslak 7
C Hurst 8
L Bushay 7
L Medford 7