Ten minutes of mayhem
By bernard carvell
Ten second half minutes of mayhem that saw four players dismissed ended with eight man Marlow defeating ten man Mortimer to narrow the gap at the top of the league
Darren Rockell heads a corner toward the goal
There had been no indication of the rash off dismissals that were to follow as Marlow, despite falling behind early in the game, took control of the proceedings leading by two goals as they were with twenty minutes to play.
A quick break by Mortimer caught the visitors defence flat footed, keeper Matt Cannings rushing from his goal instinctively saved the shot with his hands outside the area and was automatically shown a red card.
With Ollie Flint donning the gloves United continued to attack their hosts with Liam Bushay winning a free kick on the edge of the area.
This resulted in a corner to United and as the ball came over Bushay was jostled and fouled , losing a tooth from a stray elbow in the process.
On the referees whistle most onlookers were expecting a penalty award but the assistant had seen a retaliatory blow from Bushay who was dismissed with a free kick to Mortimer.
Worse followed almost immediately as tempers frayed, a melee in the middle of the park ending with both United’s Gumbs and Mortimer’s Taplin being shown two yellow cards and off they went,
the second card harshly awarded for arguing with each other in an aggressive manner.
Eight verses ten and United rang the changes, seeing out twenty plus minutes of pressure and creating two brilliant opportunities to increase their lead, sub O’Meally twice missing the target from close range.
Marlow began the game on the front foot winning a number of corners only to be caught out at the back as Sethi lost a midfield challenge, the ball being swept out to the United right where the unmarked Steff Allen ran unchallenged before curling the ball around Cannings into the net.
Stung by this reverse Marlow began to assert themselves on the game, efforts from Thomas, Stethi, Bushay and Namyslack, the latter hitting the post, failing to open Uniteds score.
Mortimer were proving dangerous on the break often stretching the Marlow defence but on twenty six minutes the visitors were level, Flint being pulled down in the area from a corner, Hurst firing home the resultant penalty making it a perfect seven from seven for this season.
Marlow were now in full flow pouring forward at every opportunity, only a propensity to stray offside spoiling many attacks.
They took the lead on thirty one minutes with a move started with Namyslack finding Bushay on the left, the illusive forward pulling the ball back for the incoming Hurst to fire home his and Marlow’s second goal.
The pressure continued until half time the best opportunity falling to Bushay who collected Cannons long clearance, his shot being well saved as the half came to a close.
Marlow were straight onto the offensive, Namyslak and Harman both seeing efforts cleared in the first minute.
Mortimer hit back with two free kicks awarded around the United area only for Marlow to increase their lead with a well worked goal.
Fox collected the ball on the left before picking out Hurst in the area, his low cross finding Bushay who deftly turned the ball past the diving keeper into the goal.
United turned the screw with a period of pressure and a number of corners Mortimer relieving that pressure with a corner of their own, Flint heading clear.
Hurst found Fox who fired across the goal as United looked to extend their lead then two minutes later the mayhem began.
With United reduced to eight men and a sub keeper manager Pritchard bought on Mckie followed by O,Meally and Medford as he reorganised his depleted team.
The fact that they managed to play out twenty minutes plus a further eight of added on time speaks volumes for the spirit off the team, the back four with Rockell in the thick off it restricting Mortimer to half chances and in fact wasting two golden opportunities to increase their lead.
The result takes Marlow above Mortimer, exacting a modicum of revenge for their earlier defeat in the process and probably ending the hosts slim chances of grabbing the TVPL title.
That they will suffer, losing players to suspension, is a fact but the squad has depth and the quality to overcome as they attempt to regain the title they last held four years ago.
Cannings, Gumbs, Rockell, Sethi, Fox,Namyslak, Harman, Flint, Thomas, Hurst, Bushay
A Mckie for A Sethi 84
L Medford for C Hirst 90
N Omeally for A Harman 90
A Sethi for J Fox 95
C Hurst 26 (pen) 31
L Bushay 51
M Cannings red 70
L Bushay red 75
J Gumbs two yellows 76/78
M Cannings 7
J Gumbs 8
D Rockell 8
A Sethi 8
J Fox 8
J Namyslak 7
A Harman 7
O Flint 7
Q Thomas 7
C Hurst 8
L Bushay 8
A Mckie 7
N OMeally 7
L Medford 7