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Marlow boss Bartley believes Blues could 'go deep' in Berks and Bucks Cup

Simon Grant

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Marlow FC manager Mark Bartley believes his side can once again ‘go deep’ in the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup, following last season’s unfortunate removal from the final.

The Blues are up and running in the competition once again after Tuesday’s penalty shoot-out win over Windsor at Oak Tree Road, and the Blues showed the competition adequate respect after the Marlow boss threatened to play himself and his coaching staff in the tie last week.

Marcus Mealing’s second minute penalty looked to be enough to send the Blues through in normal time, but Charlie Macaskill salvaged an equaliser for Windsor with five minutes to play. Following some well executed spot-kicks it fell to Blues keeper Simon Grant to save from Macaskill and earn the hosts a 6-5 win.

Marlow are unbeaten in the competition since the 2017/18 season and the boss believes their experience in recent seasons will prove invaluable as they go on to tackle some of the county’s more established sides.

“We have to believe that if we apply ourselves, we will go deep into the competition,” said Bartley.

“We’re confident that we can work hard against anyone. The players that take to the field and take the shirt in the next round will show that.”

“We’re in a situation where we haven’t been beaten in this competition in two years and it’s unusual for someone to say that and not be the champions but that’s what we are.”

Bartley is aware his side are under the microscope following their removal from last season's final, due to fielding ineligible players, with the boss still bitter about the decision.

“The association for me needs change, it needs overhaul, it needs refreshing. It needs to be modernised,” added Bartley.

“There’s a lack of diversity among the people who make the decisions in the FA. Certainly in the Berks and Bucks FA.”

Marlow were in league action on Saturday, earning a 1-1 draw against Ashford Town (Middx). The Blues sit 13th in the Isthmian South Central Division, one place above this weekend’s hosts Chipstead.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

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