MARLOW will be the football equivalent of a wounded animal when they go to Kidlington tomorrow.
Mark Bartley’s men have hardly put a foot wrong all season, but their one major blemish so far was a shock 4-2 defeat to struggling Kidlington in The FA VAse three weeks ago.
It was a competition Bartley tipped his team to win and the Blues will be out to prove a point when they take on their cup conquerors in the Hellenic League tomorrow.
Bartley said: “They came to our ground and beat us on our own patch. We don’t like that.
“We’ll definitely be aware of what they did to us. I expect us to respond in a positive manner and put a few wrongs right.”
With that attitude, another defeat tomorrow would be an even greater shock than the cup result was.
Marlow have won every game they’ve played since that defeat, scoring four times each time and on Saturday they strengthened their position on top of the league with a 4-0 victory over Holyport.
After postponements and cup runs, it was their first league match in a month but goals from Ian Davies (2), Michael Bartley and Chris Ovenden ensured it was a happy homecoming.
Bartley said: “They came with a nothing-to-lose mentality and played with freedom, but we were the far better side.”
Witney, Oxford and Highworth are all to come before the New Year, and Bartley has challenged his players to maintain their festive focus.
He said: “We’re one game short of half-way and are playing as well as I know we can.
“We’re in the mix, but it’s important we have a good Christmas period now.”