Uhlsport Hellenic League Division One West
Thornbury Town 2 Hereford Lads Club 0
After beating Hereford Pegasus three days earlier Thornbury were looking to complete a double over the leagues Hereford clubs with victory at home to Hereford Lads Club. With both teams amongst the favourites for promotion this season it was always going to be a close game and shots on target were certainly at a premium in the first period with Brandon Benjamin having the best attempt when the ‘keeper saved with his feet
Nil-nil at the break and although the possession was shared equally that didn’t include much for Thornbury in their opponent’s half. After no corners in the first half it took only a minute for Hereford to force the first of the game when their forward rode two tackles looking to shoot rather than try to claim a penalty
Corner number two came 5 minutes later and Parkin in the home goal was forced to punch clear and the visitors had the better of the half up to the hour mark. However, slightly against the run of play, Marcus Wormwell then cut in from the right and his goal-bound effort took a big deflection off the defenders’ head into the net.
A few minutes later a home free-kick came to nothing but on 67 minutes everyone stopped when it looked as if the ball was rolling out of play but instead hit the corner flag and stayed in. Thornbury were the more alert and the ball was worked back to the edge of the box from where Rhys Hodgson hit a great shot into the bottom corner to double the lead.
There then followed a scrappy period of play with tempers starting to flare and the referee was forced to brandish his yellow card to several players from each side. The last chance of the evening fell to Craig Lancastle, but he was unable to convert leaving him goal-less in a match for the first time since 22nd April. Full time 2-0 and on the balance of play over the full 90 minutes a fair result
Uhlsport Hellenic League Division One East
Langley 0 Marlow United 5 (away view)
You can't keep that man Chris Hurst (pictured) down as he completed a second hat trick in four days as United swept aside Langley at a very damp Summerleaze
On a rain soaked night Marlow simply swept aside their opponents with a display of attacking football that Langley had no answer too. Despite the torrential rain that preceded the game the pitch was in excellent condition and it was the visitors who made the most of a superb surface. Langley could well have taken an early lead though as with less than a minute played Kamil Zielinski let fly from outside the box forcing Alex Partridge into a superb save as he palmed the ball onto the post for a corner.
That was as good as it got for the Berkshire side United cranked up the pressure, James Hardie dominant in central midfield with Josh Fox proving to be a constant menace down the left flank. Hardie saw two efforts blocked in quick succession shortly followed by a Hurst free kick being saved by keeper O’Hara JC Etienne somehow putting the loose ball wide with the goal gaping. Fox was firing in crosses galore and chances were coming and going with monotonous regularity but still the onion net failed to bulge.
Langley saw two shots blocked on a rare excursion into enemy territory gaining a corner in the process but eventually the Marlow pressure had to tell although we waited until 34 minutes for the moment to arrive. It began in midfield where Hardie won a tackle he had no right to win, playing the ball wide to Fox his cross then being inch perfect for Hurst to blast past O’Hara. A minute later Fox galloped down the wing his cross evading a lunging Hurst as it sped across the six yard box. Langley broke quickly and Marlow were indebted to an acrobatic clearance from Alan Mckie, all those high jump skills evident as the ball was whisked away from a Langley forward from under the bar.
Qwam Thomas instigated the final action of the half releasing that man Fox yet again (Bring Back Fox Hunting Langley?) and he fired in a rasping shot that O’Hara saved at the near post.
Marlow with the wind in their backs were not to be denied as the second period began and thus it was that JC Etienne finished off a delightful move following a one two between Thomas and Lucas on 51 minutes. Suddenly Lucas was on fire as he tore into the Langley rear guard his cross finding Hurst who gratefully plundered his second and United’s third one minute after the second. Etienne saw the ball cleared of the line as the unremitting pace of the visitors attack kept Langley pegged in their own third of the pitch.
Lucas having been the provider decided it was time he joined the party, collecting the ball from a throw he glided across the area curling a precise shot past a despairing keeper for number four on the hour. Manager Pritchard rang the changes sending on Flint, Shingleshurst and Jordan for Waldron, Hardie and Lucas and shortly after four became five as keeper O’Hara was embarrassed by a poor back pass hacking the ball into the path of the predatory Hurst who promptly fired the ball back hitting an outstretched defenders arm, penalty it was! Hurst despatched the ball effortlessly into the goal from twelve yards to match his hat trick from Saturday’s game, his tally now into double figures for the season.
Langley kept plugging away creating their best opportunity of the evening only to miss the target from a couple of yards and then forcing a save from Partridge with time running out. Fox had the last word with a corner from a run before the referee ended proceedings.
The win extends Marlow’s unbeaten run to eight games, seven wins and a draw as they draw level on points with leaders Risborough Rangers. A tough fixture away to Wokingham await’s this Saturday ko 3pm.
Marlow United:Partridge, Woodward, Waldron, Mckie, Woodbridge, Hardie, Lucas, Thomas , Etienne, Hurst, Fox, Subs. O Flint, Shingleshurst, Jordan