BURNHAM suffered a fifth straight defeat in Southern Division One South & West following a 3-2 loss to rivals Marlow on Boxing Day.

The Blues have only taken on point from their last nine matches and remain in the relegation positions though they have ended a run of four games without scoring.

Marlow went into the derby at The Gore having shown some form in recent outings, but they did fall to defeat in the reverse fixture back in September.

In the opening few minutes, three half-chances fell to the away team but they failed to take any of them and play switched to the other end where Burnham scored.

A through ball to Charlie Barton found him in open space and he duly fired low past Marlow keeper Simon Grant to put the hosts ahead inside five minutes.

However, a response was not long coming as within 60 seconds the scores were level again.

Chris Ovenden laid the ball back to the edge of the Burnham area and Richie Whittingham was there to find the corner of the net.

Both sides then looked to get ahead and Marlow managed to do so when Allen Bossman met a cross from Kunle Otudeko with a half-volley on 17 minutes.

Burnham emerged early for the second half and huddled in a corner of the pitch along with manager Dave Tuttle for the rest of the break.

The Blues restored parity when a ball through the middle caught the injured Grant off his line and outside the area. Barton took advantage of the unguarded goal to chip in from distance.

The scores remained level until the 58th minute when Ovenden won the ball near half-way and slipped it forward to Marcus Mealing, who ran on and hit past Sam Gray for the winning goal.

Marlow could have added to their advantage but well-struck shots from Jordace Holder-Spooner were pushed away at full-stretch by Gray, and Ovenden saw an effort go inches wide with virtually the last kick.

Burnham begin the New Year one point away from safety with a trip to Didcot Town next this Saturday (3pm) before a return to The Gore to face Yate Town on January 9.