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Cookham Dean blow Premier Division title race wide open with win at Marlow United

Cookham Dean beat Marlow United in their own backyard to blow the Thames Valley Premier Division title race wide open on Saturday afternoon. First-half goals from Jack Woodbridge and Nathan Lishman saw them claim revenge for a cup loss to United earlier in the season.

Darren Rockell responded for the hosts with a powerful second-half header but Dean deservedly held on for a 2-1 win which takes them two points clear at the top of the table. Their joy was tempered in the final minutes by a horrible injury for winger Harry Baker, who suffered a bad leg break in a challenge with United’s Alex Sethi.

Dean began the game well and could easily have led before Woodbridge turned the ball home at the far post from a Jordan Brown corner midway through the half.

Nick Bovingdon saved well from Josh Fox and, from the resulting break, Cookham deservedly doubled their advantage. Lishman was allowed to run unchallenged into the Marlow area before dispatching his shot – with the aid of a deflection off a defender – beyond Cannings.

Marlow also had their moments, with Jordan Gumbs looping a shot onto the crossbar before the interval, but Dean deserved to be two up at the break.

Marlow gave themselves a lifeline when Rockell met Fox’s free-kick, his header nestling in the back of the net. But any momentum Marlow gained from the goal quickly dissipated following the bad injury to Baker.

Marlow, who sit three points behind Dean at the top with two matches in hand, will look to bounce back at Wraysbury on Saturday before the season enters a three-week- long Christmas break.

Dean have wished Baker a ‘speedy recovery’ from his leg break and will hope to give him something to cheer about when they visit Reading City u23s on Saturday.

Elsewhere in the Premier Division, third-placed Mortimer were beaten 1-0 by Berks County FC while Woodcote Stoke Row leapfrogged Marlow with a 4-1 win over Reading City u23s. Wrightchoice & Unity CSA also beat Burghfield 4-3.

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