Marlow 6-0 Guernsey
English 29’, 84’, 86’; Nwachuku 35’; Strawbridge (og) 43’; Richards 52’.
Guernsey were put to the sword by a relentless Marlow side in Buckinghamshire on Tuesday night.
Three goals either side of the break, two of them turning the scoreline from a comfortable victory into a rout in the final few minutes, did not flatter the home side at the Alfred Davis Memorial Ground, as they demonstrated sheer ruthlessness and skill that the Green Lions were simply unable to cope with.
It was just another stark reminder of what the Sarnians are up against at this level - travelling away on Tuesday night against a top team with the budget to bring in top quality players capable of playing at a higher level, the latest example being winger Noah Amissah making his debut having previously played college football in America and spent time in both Queens Park Rangers’ and Brentford’s academies.
The task of dealing with him was tricky enough, but it was Kameron English on the other flank who was the real star of the show, completing a hat-trick to add to goals from top scorer Nnamdi Nwachuku, Adam Richards, and an unfortunate own goal from Tom Strawbridge.
Guernsey’s plans were further hampered when Liam Mahon was taken unwell shortly before kick-off and had to be withdrawn from the starting line-up. They survived a couple of early scares as Nwachukwu headed harmlessly wide from a corner that followed a dangerous whipped cross from the left that caused uncertainty. Jordan Kelly was then called into action within 10 minutes, producing a firm hand to beat away Nwachukwu’s rising shot after the number nine was able to turn in the area.
Gauvain headed away a goalbound free-kick and Kelly claimed another set piece from the other wing before Ben Acey’s teasing cross at the other end just evaded Carlos Canha in the six-yard box.
Amissah couldn’t jump high enough to get a decent header to a left-wing cross, before Tom Strawbridge found himself in unfamiliar territory to have a go from range, but he dragged his shot and it bobbled wide.
The centre-back surprisingly found himself in a similar position a few minutes later as he collected a pass and sent a shot dipping towards goal, requiring Grant to throw up an arm to tip it over. Canha got his head to the resulting corner but could only flick it towards the Marlow stopper.
Guernsey were just starting to build a bit of momentum when they were halted in their tracks by the hosts’ opening goal on 27 minutes. Kameron English pinched the ball off Thomas Dodds and drove towards the area, evading Strawbridge before striking a low show into the bottom corner.
Seb Skillen seized onto a loose ball flashed a shot wide as the visitors looked to respond, while Kelly stood up to block as Junaid Bell showed too much pace for Dodds down the left. Amissah could then only poke wide from close range amidst a scramble, while Bell steered a shot just wide from the edge of the area.
Marlow doubled their lead on 34 minutes, Nwachuku tapping in from a few yards out after Amissah beat Le Tocq, who had already been booked for a foul on his man by this point and couldn’t risk another mistimed challenge, and pulled back from the byline.
The chances kept coming as English danced into the box and evaded Jamie Dodd’s challenge but only found a Sarnian with his pullback into the six-yard box.
Football demonstrated its fine margins as the Green Lions spurned a chance to get themselves back into the game, only to have it ended as a contest by a third goal at the other end moments later.
Ben Acey did brilliantly to weave his way through the middle. He had Kyle Smith free to his left but opted to shoot and hit it straight at Grant, who kept it in his grasp.
Two minutes later it was game over as English got into the box again. Kelly saved the initial shot but Strawbridge couldn’t sort out his feet to clear, the ball instead bouncing off him and into his own net. Strawbridge was then forced off with an injury as the problems kept piling on for Tony Vance.
In first-half stoppage-time, Bell lifted one well over the top from 25 yards, and the whistle to signal the interval was a brief respite from almost non-stop pressure from a tricky, pacy, top-quality attack.
The Blues got a fourth seven minutes into the second half. Kelly had made another good block to deny English from close range but the resulting corner to the far post found the run of Adam Richards, who leathered a volley that made the net bulge.
Louis Rogers had half a sight of goal from the right corner of the area on 77 minutes but dragged his effort wide, while Kelly made another save at his near post to deny English on the counter attack.
A loose ball inside from Le Tocq presented Nwachuku with a chance to grab a brace as the game approached its final quarter-hour, but he dragged wide. Amissah was then played into the right channel but fired wide of the far post.
Marlow did get their fifth, then sixth as English topped and tailed his side’s scoring by completing his hat-trick with two in three minutes.
For the first, he cut inside and lashed into the roof of the net, then ran in behind a flat-footed defence onto a splitting pass, evaded a couple of challenges and another Kelly save and tuck in at the near post – a disappointing finish to what had previously been battling performance on a difficult night.
GFC remain 16th in Isthmian South Central, with Tuesday’s other results as follows: South Park 0-0 Westfield; Staines Town 0-1 Basingstoke Town.
Marlow: 1 Simon Grant; 2 Georges Ehui; 3 Isaac Olorunfemi; 5 Adam Richards; 6 Alex Salmon; 7 Junaid Bell (12 Jay Welch 73’); 9 Nnamdi Nwachukwu (16 Ashleigh Artwell, 76’); 10 Devontae Romeo (14 Jordan Brown, 69’); 11 Kameron English; 18 Louis Rogers; 19 Noah Amissah. Not used: 4 Babocarr Jaria; 8 Chris Ovenden.
Guernsey: 1 Jordan Kelly; 2 Frank Tobin; 3 Jamie Dodd (c); 4 Thomas Dodds (15 Liam Mahon, 55’); 5 Tom Strawbridge (14 Tom Martin, 45+1’) ; 6 Ben Le Tocq; 7 Charlton Gauvain; 8 Seb Skillen; 9 Kyle Smith (12 Tyler McKane 72’); 10 Carlos Canha; 11 Ben Acey. Not used: 16 Ross Allen.
Booked: Le Tocq, Gauvain, Smith, Skillen.
Highlights are available now on GFCTV.