Marlow surrender play-off challenge with home defeat to Thatcham Town

Marlow 0, Thatcham Town 1

Marlow finally surrendered their play-off challenge on Monday when Thatcham Town ground out a 1-9 win over the Blues at Oak Tree Road.

Friday evening's 1-1 draw at Binfield had all but ended their chances of a top five finish, however, they were mathematically confirmed by Monday's disappointing home defeat and the Blues now have only pride to play for when they visit Westfield in Saturday's final game.

The Blues form has been faltering for months, with the side winning just five of their last 18 league matches, however, their consistent form prior to January meant they were able to take their challenge down to the final weeks of the season.

Missing out on the play-offs will be hugely disappointing for manager Mark Bartley and his players, with the Blues having occupied a top five spot for almost half of the season. However, their form - hampered by injuries and a loss of form - simply wasn't good enough to maintain their challenge.

Having conceded an 83rd minute equaliser to Binfield's Liam Gavin on Friday evening, the Blues were again undone in the closing stages against Thatcham, Alex Miller grabbing an 86th minute winner which left the hosts with very little time to respond.

Afterwards Mark Bartley tweeted: “It looked like the draw on Friday took the belief out of us a bit and today we surrendered out play-off chances.

“Overall, I think a draw would have been a fair result but credit to Thatcham as they pushed right until the end to secure the points.”

Marlow are set to finish their Isthmian League South Central campaign in seventh. They're five points adrift of Uxbridge in sixth and seven behind fifth-placed Basingstoke Town ahead of their final game at 16th placed Westfield.

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