Simon Grant: 'It was sweet to upset the applecart at Basingstoke'

Having been aware of their promotion credentials and club status, Simon Grant says it was sweet to see Marlow FC ‘upset the applecart’ at Basingstoke Town with a 1-0 victory on Saturday.

An own goal from Nathan Smart was the difference between the two sides at the Winklebury Sports Complex and as a result, the Blues move into fourth in the Isthmian League South Central Division.

It was a thoroughly deserved win for Mark Bartley’s men, Grant believes, and upon reflection, the goalkeeper reckons his side could have scored three or four extra goals had they been more clinical.

“They’re above us in the league so it was kind of a big game, he said. “They had been on a good run so it was really good to go away from home and nullify them.

“I think they are one of the favourites in the league to go up and they score for fun each week but against us, they’ve not managed to put the ball in the back of the net, so it was good to keep them frustrated.

“Basingstoke, as a club, are probably the biggest at this level with the amount of fans they get at their games and the budget they have. It’s not too far off Bracknell’s from what you hear so it was definitely good to go there and upset the applecart.”

Grant added: “There were a few home fans that weren’t happy with us getting the result so that made the win even sweeter on Saturday. It was quite easy to have fun with them in the bar after because we just thoroughly deserved it.

“Looking back at it, they had one shot on target all game. If we were more clinical, we could have scored three or four if I’m being honest. We could have had a penalty, Junaid (Bell) had a good chance to score, Nnamdi (Nwachuku) had good chances himself – I can’t think of one chance they had if I’m honest, we thoroughly, thoroughly outplayed them.”

The Blues have already triumphed over title contenders Bracknell Town this season, and they were due to face another in third-placed Uxbridge on Tuesday night. However, the game was postponed due to adverse weather conditions.

It was just as well it was cancelled, Grant says, after the goalkeeper revealed it was touch-and-go for him to be between the sticks having sustained a ‘karate kick to the chest’ during Marlow’s clash at the weekend.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he said.

“But, they had done a few things before which were questionable – they were getting quite heated and losing their control.

“Shortly after half-time, the ball has popped up, bounced through to me, I’ve come to catch it, as you would, and the player has just karate-kicked me in the chest. I was on the floor, down, and rolling around – it was a pain I hadn’t felt in a long time.

“I’ve got cuts on my ribs, deep bruising where the boot has gone through. Luckily enough, after getting checked out, nothing was broken.

“I’m actually quite lucky the game yesterday (Tuesday) was called off because I don’t think I would have been able to play.

“We haven’t got a game on Saturday now so at least it gives me a bit more time to recover.”

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