08:32AM, Sunday 12 March 2017
Aylesbury 1, Marlow 0
Marlow's hopes of finishing in the Central Division play offs remain very much in their own hands, but Ty Deacon's second half strike gave them an unexpected set back at Aylesbury this afternoon.
Aylesbury, struggling down towards the foot of the table and coming into the game off the back of a 6-0 defeat to leaders Royston, weren't supposed to pose much of a threat to a side pushing for promotion with three straight wins under their belts.
But, almost from the very first moments, it was obvious Mark Bartley's side wouldn't have things all their own way at the SRD Stadium.
Marlow, looking to close the gap on second placed Farnborough while fending off their playoff rivals below them, weren't unduly troubled in the first half and probably should have taken the lead when Marcus Mealing's stabbed finish was saved by James Weatherill early in the second half.
But the chance went begging and 10 minutes from time Aylesbury capitalised when Deacon drilled the ball firmly passed Joel Driscoll from just inside the area after a couple of blocked shots had sent the ball ricocheting around the Blues penalty area.
Marlow can't say they weren't warned. Minutes after Mealing's missed opportunity Alex O'Brien sent a header from Joe Fitzgerald's cross just wide of Driscoll's post.
And in the 70th minute Deacon was played in on goal but Driscoll was out like a shot to save with his feet.
The first half was a largely forgettable affair. So much so that most fans appeared to enjoy the mascots' half-time penalty shoot out competition more than the football match they'd come to see.
Blues defender Calam Gallimore, dismissed after collecting a second yellow card for a foul in the final minutes, came closest to a first half breakthrough when he chested the ball past Weatherill from Nathan Poulton's flick but couldn't turn the ball home on the turn. Poulton's header then flew just over the bar from a Jordan Brown corner 10 minutes before the break.
Both sides made a brighter start to the second half and exchanged the odd half chance before Deacon delivered the game's most telling contribution in the 80th minute, firing a determined Aylesbury side to a much needed three points in their battle to avoid the drop.
The referee did neither side much favours but Bartley must have been wondering what he has against the Blues after dismissing Gallimore for an aggressive shoulder charge when similar offences had gone unpunished.
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