09:00AM, Friday 21 April 2017
Marlow overcame a sickness bug to seal their place in the play-offs over the Easter weekend.
With Kameron English, Dan Hicks and Allen Bossman all feeling a little peaky, the Blues were dealt a rough hand at a period in the season when the games come thick and fast.
However, the Blues dealt with the hand they were given to beat Northwood 2-0 on Saturday and, having been reduced to 10 men after Jordan Brown’s dismissal, netted a 94th minute winner through Nathan Poulton to beat Chalfont on Monday, results that mean they’ll finish no lower than fifth in the Central Division standings.
A few weeks ago it had looked like their play-off hopes might be taken out of their hands, but nine points from a possible nine means they’re going into an extension of their season in fine form and, crucially, with the best defensive record in the division.
“Results did go our way a little bit but we were very much focused on ourselves,” said Barton.
“I always felt we’d be good enough to do it. It’s pleasing to get it done and to get over the line and now we’ll enjoy this for a couple of days before focusing on the Uxbridge game and the play-offs next week.
“I didn’t want to mention it last week but we had a sickness bug in the camp. Kameron English wasn’t able to play and Allen Bossman wasn’t involved at all this weekend. Sam Bangura and Dan Hicks were also ill but we had enough about us on Monday, even when we went down to 10 men.
"Managing to get a victory from that position epitomises what we’re about.”
It’s likely they’ll play either Barton home or away, or at second placed Farnborough, depending on how they get on in their final match of the season at Uxbridge on Saturday.
The semi-final matches will take place on Tuesday or Wednesday with the final scheduled for the May bank holiday (Monday, May 1).
“I feel like we’re the team that no one will want to play in the play-offs,” said Bartley.
“We’ve beaten Farnborough both home and away this season and they’ll likely have something in their mind about that and we’ve given Barton two tough games.
“If we play them they will know they’re in for a proper game.
“There’s a confidence we can do it and a belief in the squad.
“Unless we concede six goals in our final game we’ll also have the best defensive record in the league which is a pat on the back for the defence, the whole team and the coaching staff.”
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