07:28PM, Saturday 15 January 2022
Khalid Simmo’s brace against Chipstead secured Marlow their seventh win on the spin in the Isthmian League South Central Division on Saturday afternoon.
The ex-Flackwell Heath forward found the back of the net in the ninth and 44th minute, while Chips’ substitute Michak Stanic-Stewart set up a nervy finish when he scored seven minutes from full-time.
With Uxbridge narrowly beaten by Bracknell Town, the three points awarded to Mark Bartley’s Blues lifts them into third place in the league before they travel to Northwood next Saturday (January 22).
Reflecting on the match, the boss said: “I think we played about nine or 10 minutes of added time and that’s never great when you’re only one goal to the good.
“Yeah definitely [we could have scored more today]. We had plenty of chances to extend our lead before they (Chipstead) got their goal but we didn’t. A couple bobbled away from us, and a couple didn’t hit the target when on any other day they would’ve. We could’ve got four or five goals from those chances.
“They changed their shape in the second half and I don’t think we adjusted too well to it. Clearly, they were throwing caution to the wind. They knew they had nothing to lose and threw bodies forward. We are disappointed in the way we’ve conceded from that set piece.
“Overall, I’m happy with the win today. We’re at that stage of the season where you prioritise results over performances. Uxbridge played Bracknell today so someone had to drop points and a couple of the other teams went to difficult destinations.
“We had to win today. That’s seven league games in a row now and if we are going to challenge for promotion, you need to grind results like this out.”
At the Alfred Davis Memorial Ground, the Chips registered the first, albeit tame, effort of the match when Teo Kurtaran punted wide under the pressure of Alex Salmon.
Down the other end, Nnamdi Nwachuku had the ball at his feet and, with some trickery, skipped past his man but curled a cross out of play.
Moments later, however, the ball was in the back of the net when Nwachuku whipped in a better delivery and Simmo nodded in.
Jack Beadle latched onto a pass superbly for Chipstead just after the half-hour mark but Salmon was over quickly to stifle the man as he prepared to fire.
A minute later, Devontae Romeo was presented one-on-one with David Wilkinson but the Blues player was denied with a strong parry. On the rebound, Nwachuku was also suppressed.
Entering the last 15 minutes of the first half, the hosts’ stopper, Simon Grant, was fortunate to have Adam Richards nick the ball from Kieran Lavery as he mistimed his dive.
Marlow would have the final say before the interval when a well-weighted ball by Junaid Bell completely caught the visitors’ defensive line out, and Simmo was able to poke away his and his side’s second goal.
The Blues’ number 17 was quick out the blocks in the second half, stinging the palms of Wilkinson after being sent through on goal. Next, Bell whistled the woodwork from Nwachuku’s cross.
Lavery should have certainly hit the target when he got his head onto a corner kick in the 74th minute while substitutes Noah Amissah and Kameron English fought to make the game safe.
Just under 10 minutes later, the visitors halved the deficit when Stanic-Stewart thumped away a finish just yards from the net. Immediately upon the restart, Nwachuku shinned an effort past the posts.
With all the fouls accumulated, Bartley and his men has to endure 10 minutes of injury time but held firm and retained possession in order to strengthen their grip in the top five of the league.
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