Neither side is 'nailed on' to win FA Trophy clash, says Marlow FC boss Bartley

Marlow have done their homework on Saturday’s FA Trophy opponents Phoenix Sports, according to boss Mark Bartley.

Like most non-league sides this season the Blues will be keen to go as deep into the draw as possible in order to bring in some much-needed prize money, but – while confident – Bartley admits that neither side is nailed on to win the tie.

“They’re not a bad side Phoenix,” he said. “They’re quite efficient in the way they play and their approach to the game. We’re right to be confident believing we can go there and get a result, but they’re not going to give us anything. We’re going to need to do all we can to get that victory. Neither side is nailed on to win it. It’s a 50/50 game.

“The Phoenix manager will be looking at our start to the season and saying, ‘they’re in average form’. They’ll be thinking if they’re on their game they’ve got a good chance. It bodes well for a good game and they’ll probably look to attack the game.”

Bartley has also been pleased to see above average gates at the Blues’ recent matches. They had 400 come to watch the FA Cup tie at Bracknell Town and more than 150 watched Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Westfield. It’s been an early season boost for the side, even if performances haven’t been quite up to scratch.

“We played North Leigh in our first game and had a really good turnout,” he said. “It’s great to see people out and able to watch football in the open air. Safety is paramount of course, that’s the most important thing, but there are mental health issues as well and many other challenges people are facing.

“Being locked down and not being able to socialise, not being able to get away from the confines of the four walls. It’s an important thing. I’m just glad we were able to provide a service. I was quite frustrated and put a tweet out after the match saying so, but one of the supporters came back to me and said how much he’d enjoyed the game and that’s what it’s about really.

“If we can create an atmosphere and enjoyment that’s more important than anything else.

“I’d like it to happen when we get three points, but it was a bit of a consolation to know we’ve helped people out and given some entertainment.”

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