Seven days that made all the difference

WHAT a difference a week makes! On Saturday Woodford United goalkeeper Matt Finlay saved a late penalty to ensure that the Reds held on to all three points against a Marlow side which then entertained Daventry Town on Tuesday night.

Yet, only seven days earlier, Woodford’s own Chris Jackson had himself missed a last-minute spot-kick leading to a 1-0 defeat at Biggleswade. This time though it was a different story.

A misjudged tackle by Guy Clarke saw Marlow awarded an 84th-minute penalty but Adam Dickens’ effort from 12 yards was palmed away by Finlay to signal a return to form for Woodford.

Phil Mason’s men had not scored a goal in their previous three games but all that changed in the 70th minute at Byfield Road when a foul on Nathan Liburd allowed Neil King to bend the free kick like Beckham for the only goal of the match.

Jermaine Roche and Jon Case both fired blanks for Marlow in the first-half while Jackson also went close for Woodford on the hour before King’s match-winning strike midway through the second period.

Woodford remain in mid-table, one place and two points above Marlow whose solid home form promised to make life difficult for on-a-roll Daventry Town this week.

Elsewhere most of the Central Division matches went according to form apart from Biggleswade’s 2-1 win at Hitchin which brought the league leaders a third reversal in as many matches.

This latest defeat has made Arlesey the new title favourites following a 2-1 win at Burnham which extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches. Substitute Zema Abbey scored the late winner with his first touch of the ball.

Rugby Town captain Nik Preston scored an early winner against Slough Town while improving Barton Rovers also won narrowly at Beaconsfield. Bedfont completed a hat-trick of wins on overcoming Bedworth United by a 3-2 margin. The games at Soham and North Greenford both ended in 1-1 draws.