02:30PM, Monday 17 January 2022
Mark Bartley admitted Marlow did not play ‘champagne football’ against Chipstead, but the boss was bubbling with joy that his side secured three points to keep pace with the Isthmian League South Central Division promotion-chasers on Saturday.
Having been two goals to the good for the majority of the match thanks to Khalid Simmo, the Chips’ Michak Stanic-Stewart was able to turn the contest into a scrappy and uncomfortable affair when he halved the deficit in the 83rd minute.
In the dying embers of the game, the Blues had skipper Simon Grant largely to thank for preserving the lead as he pulled off a number of strong saves and controlled the agonisingly long 10 minutes of stoppage time.
Shortly after the blow of the final whistle, however, the goalkeeper – who was already booked for time-wasting – and the visitors’ Jensen Grant saw red from referee Mario Stetakovic following an altercation.
With three points ultimately in the bag, boss Bartley said: “You’ve got teams that are in great form such as Bracknell Town, Uxbridge, and Basingstoke who are all challenging for promotion.
“But we also want to be where the action is come the end of the season and for us to do that, we need to be getting the results how we did today.
“Sometimes it’s not going to be champagne football, sometimes it is going to be ugly and scrappy. Teams that win leagues and teams that are successful at the end of the season have an ability to do that and that’s what we’ve done today.
“Of course, they (Chipstead) had a lot of chances towards the end, but I still felt relatively comfortable with our lead. Granty (Simon Grant) made two good saves and our defence worked hard.”
Marlow face Didcot Town in the Berks and Bucks County Cup Second Round on Tuesday night. Kickoff is at 7.45pm.
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