07:00PM, Wednesday 05 January 2022
Marlow boss Mark Bartley says he was pleased to kick off the new calendar year with a victory at Thatcham Town and promptly follow it up with another three points at home against Binfield on Monday.
Devontae Romeo was at the double to help the Blues beat the Kingfishers, 2-0, on New Year’s Day before Nnamdi Nwachuku went one better and netted a hat-trick in his side’s 3-0 win at the Alfred Davis Memorial Ground.
“It’s a bit of a nightmare how the games come thick and fast, but I’m pleased with how we’ve started 2022,” said Bartley.
“On Saturday, the pitch was really difficult – it was a really challenging surface and it was very tight, so it was hard for us to get going. We had to persevere because it was clear from the beginning that Thatcham would have been happy with a point. We had to really keep knocking on the door and battle to get those two goals late on.
“Then, on Monday, we had a play-off chasing Binfield side come to us. Unfortunately, we weren’t very good in the first half at all. I let the players know my feelings at half-time and I haven’t had to do that very often this season. I told them how I was feeling and what I was seeing from the side of the pitch. We made the necessary adjustments and in the second half, we were fantastic.
“Nnamdi has endured a bit of a mini goal drought. He hasn’t scored as much lately but has been getting assists instead. He’s a goalscorer so he’s only happy when he’s putting the ball in the back of the net himself. His hat-trick was well deserved and well-earned against Binfield, and I think he showed why he’s the best forward in the league.”
The results have lifted Marlow into third place in the Isthmian League South Central Division and, with games in hand over second-placed Chertsey Town and league leaders Bracknell Town, they are in a favourable position for the play-offs.
On their potential for promotion, Bartley added: “We started this season talking about trying to league and everyone still wants that.
“Bracknell have done so well to be where they are because they have managed to get games played and points on the board. They have got two weeks off now so we’re going to be able to catch up with them slightly.
“We know there’s a lot of football to be played so we can’t throw these games away if our ambitions are to win the league. Historically, I’ve learnt it’s the draws that really kill you so you’re always better off going after a game and losing it than settling on a point.
“I believe in the players I’ve got, and I believe we’re strong enough. We proved that with these two recent games.”
Visitors to Burnham Park Hall on Monday May 16 can undergo a ‘living with dementia experience’ as part of National Dementia Action Week.