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FA Cup despair for Blues
3:20pm Tuesday 11th September 2012 in Sport
MARLOW were crushed in the FA cup first round qualifiers following a prolonged injury break.
Forward Phill John broke his ankle and was not taken off the pitch for a full 35 minutes. But once the game resumed, Thatcham pounced and scored three goals in the last ten minutes of normal time.
After creating an impressive home tally, winning all four games at the Alan Davis Memorial Ground, the Blues tasted defeated for the first time on home turf.
Thatcham started the brightest after Jack Coventry struck the crossbar in the first two minutes.
However, it was Marlow who stamped their authority on the game early on and following a few good chances, the Blues had their opportunity to pull ahead.
Aaron Barker was fouled in the box by his opposite number, Paul Taplin, when the referee whistled for a penalty.
John, who has been deadly in front of goal in previous fixtures, lost his composure on this occasion as he fired over the bar.
Ten minutes later, Ben Gladwin spread play from one end of the pitch to the other - in to the path of an accelerating Marcus Mealing who found himself behind the Thatcham back-four, but steered the ball wide of the target after Town keeper, Rhys Marshall, closed down the angles.
The chances were in abundance for Marlow as time drew close to the break. Gladwin again creating a pin-point pass to find John in the box, but the striker could not get enough on it as the ball dribbled wide of the goal.
John was presented with yet another chance to put his side forward. Richard Witt slotted a ball through for his striking partner, as John found himself with only Marshall to beat he tried to lob the keeper, but the last line of defence got enough on it to put the ball over for the last chance of the half.
With 10 minutes down in the second-half, John thought his time had come after a simple tap in was deemed offside by the linesman.
But, ten minutes later, a curled in cross fell on to the head of Jamie Piercy who dived to fire the ball across goal and straight into the net.
As the Blues began to cruise disaster struck as John clashed with the keeper - breaking his ankle. After the number 11 was removed and with the remaining ten minutes to play Marlow simply fell apart.
Thatcham Town caught the Blue’s back-four napping after substitute Dean Plethohaka found his way behind the defence for a simple knock-on to his team mate, Danny Seaward, for an easy tap in with his head.
The Blues must have still been a dreaming as the same manoeuvre exposed the defence and substitute Adam Everiss slotted in the near corner.
Thatcham gave the killer blow with minutes to spare as Everiss crept into the box to supply a cross to unmarked Seaward who volleyed it past keeper Iain Mcculley.
The Blues are now out of the FA cup and miss out on the £3,000 pound qualifying prize, much to the dismay of manager Mark Bartley. Selection will also be playing on the bosses mind as John is set to miss the rest of the season.
Marlow: Iain Mculley, Gary Smith, Aaron Baker, James Knight, Alex Salmon , Danny Lingwood, Jamie Piercy, Ben Gladwin, Marcus Mealing, Richard Witt, Phil John. Subs: Matt David, Dave Stevens, Seve Mayberry, Nick Kingston, Marcus Richardson, Hiham Benmadani.