Marlow 1  Northwood 0

Tuesday 14th September 2021


1 Montel Joseph ©    
2 Adam Cash    
3 Juan Velasco    
4 Leo Decabo    
5 Matt Surmon    
6 Gradi Milenge    
7 Shakeel Morris    
8 Declan Nche    
9 Joakim Ehui    
10 Matt Ayres (83m)    
11 Matteo Esposito (89m)    
12 Ezekiel Williams    
14 Ryan Avery    
15 Aaron Petch (83m)    
16 Kyle Matthew    
17 Arnold Linturn (89m)    

Marlow: Simon Grant, Georges Ehui, Isaac Olorunfemi , Adam Richards, Ramarni Medford-Smith, Tristan Campbell (Louis Rogers 63m), Chris Ovenden, Devontae Romeo , Ashleigh Artwell (Kameron English 60m), Curtis Chapple (Jay Welch 67m), Marcus Mealing


Battling Northwood were unfortunate to come away without a share of the spoils as they slipped to a single goal defeat at the hands of unbeaten Marlow on a lively evening at the Alfred Davis Memorial Ground. Having secured their first league win of the season at the weekend, Woods went into the encounter in confident mood with one change to the starting eleven as central defender Matt Surmon was given his first start with Arnold Linturn dropping to the bench.

Marlow were immediately into their usual routine as Curtis Chapple received a caution for a crude challenge on Pablo Velasco with barely two minutes on the clock. Chapple continued to be a thorn in Northwood’s side in the early stages as he made several forays down Marlow’s right flank, creating an opportunity for striker Marcus Mealing whose close-range shot was well saved by Woods skipper Montel Joseph before testing  the latter with a near post shot.

Having withstood the early pressure, Northwood began to find their way into the game with Shakeel Morris finding space down Marlow’s left side before picking out Adam Cash on the edge of the box, but his half volley attempt failed to trouble Marlow keeper Simon Grant.

The first contentious moment of the evening was not long in coming as Marlow’s Devontae Romeo was lucky to escape with only a yellow card after he flew in on Velasco, the ensuing melee, which may have been prevented had a red card been shown at the outset, resulting in Gradi Milenge being cautioned for Northwood.

And the referee’s course of action in the earlier incident ultimately cost Northwood dear on the half-hour mark as Milenge’s tussle with a blue shirt on the edge of the box was deemed worthy of a second yellow card, the unfortunate Woods defender receiving his marching orders for the second time in four days. Declan Nche was moved back into defence to cover for Milenge and Northwood had some defending to do as Tristan Campbell found space to fire in a snapshot which was well kept out by Joseph.

But while the Blues maintained the pressure on ten-man Northwood, the visitors did manage to break the shackles and might have taken the lead as a miscued clearance from Grant was latched onto by Morris but the Marlow keeper recovered to smother the shot.

Marlow continued to test the Northwood rearguard with Mealing and Ramarni Medford-Smith going close while former Wood Isaac Olorunfemi was cautioned for catching Joseph as he looked to poke the ball home.
But Northwood’s brave quest to reach the break intact was undone with literally the last kick of the half as the referee allowed an incredible nine minutes and time for Marcus Mealing to convert a free kick from the edge of the box before blowing his halftime whistle.

Marlow began the second period in a similar vein with Chapple shooting over from the edge of the box while Ashleigh Artwell was denied by the legs of Joseph. However, Woods were given some encouragement as the numerical balance was restored on 55 minutes after Romeo was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Northwood sought to find a way back and they introduced Mo Sahnoun for Joakim Ehui with Morris moving into the central striker’s position. And Woods began to string a number of constructive moves together with Ayres almost on the end of a Cash assist before Leo Decabo shot narrowly wide after good work from Sahnoun.

A rejuvenated Northwood continued to ask questions of Marlow and they had a glorious chance to draw level as Morris outpaced the home defence but Grant stood firm to keep out the low shot from Woods’ leading scorer. And the one-way traffic continued with Matteo Esposito and Morris combining to set up Ayres but the latter shot straight at Grant.

Northwood were reminded of the Marlow threat as Velasco recovered well after losing possession to Mealing, racing back to execute a last-ditch tackle to prevent Kamaron English extending his side’s lead. Further yellow cards were dished out to Ayres and Marlow’s Adam Richards as the game became increasingly frantic with Morris not far away once more.

Aaron Petch and Linturn joined the fray for the closing minutes as Ayres and Esposito made way for Northwood. And after Mealing was crowded out by Joseph at one end, Woods went agonisingly close to grabbing what would have been a deserved equaliser in added time as Petch’s ball across the face of goal narrowly avoided the onrushing Morris.

But Northwood were unable to find that vital finishing touch as Marlow safely negotiated the remaining minutes to keep their 100% record intact.

Despite the frustrating nature of the evening for Northwood, Ben Murray’s men showed great character and resolve and can they take plenty of positives out of the performance as they look ahead to their next game, a tough assignment at home to high-flying Uxbridge.