Big match: Marlow vs Bracknell Town in the Isthmian League

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Who can stop Bracknell Town this season is a question asked almost weekly on the Berkshire Football Stories Chat podcast.

So far, the only viable answer has been ‘Marlow’ who beat the Robins 1-0 all the way back in September courtesy of a Michael Eacott own goal.

Coincidentally then, the Robins travel to Marlow on Saturday (3 pm) having not lost a game since, let alone drawn one, batting all-comers aside with the latest being Thatcham Town who were beaten 2-0 last weekend at Bottom Meadow.

There’s still a little way to go of course before anyone is crowned but Bracknell are, as it stands 14 points ahead of second-placed Chertsey Town (more on them in a minute). For reference, the championship-winning points total in a 20-team division was the 93 posted by Hayes & Yeading United in 18/19 when the Robins finished runners-up.

I mentioned more on Chertsey, well it would appear Bracknell have been awarded the points from the two sides abandoned encounter back in October (Brakcnell were leading 3-0 when the match was abandoned after 83 minutes, the Chertsey manager subsequently resigned). The Isthmian League website league table currently shows the Robins with an additional three points – but we await official confirmation.

Marlow’s form

Mark Bartley’s side have been the only team able to inflict defeat on Bracknell in the league this season, and the former Bracknell player will undoubtedly fancy his side to do the same again at home.

Mark Bartley during his spell with Bracknell Town.
Mark Bartley during his spell with Bracknell Town.

Historically the Alfred Davis Memorial Ground hasn’t been a particularly happy away day for Robins but Wilkinson’s side will go to Buckinghamshire unbeaten in the last couple of seasons with Bracknell winning a penalty shoot-out in the FA Cup last season.

Marlow are well in the play-off hunt in the South Central Division One with games in hand on the clubs around them, however Bartley’s side are on a rare-run of form that has seen them beaten twice and held to a draw at home to Uxbridge in their last three games – albeit one of those was a County Cup penalty shoot-out defeat to Didcot Town.

Bracknell Town injury news

Michael Eacott. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com
Michael Eacott is expected to return for Bracknell. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com

Bobby Wilkinson has supplied an injury update on a couple of players. Michael Atkinson is available again which the Robins called a ‘big boost’, while he also confirmed goalkeeper Eacott should be back between the sticks.

The former Sutton Common Rovers stopper has missed the last four games with youngster Sonny Wheeler replacing him for three games and Aymen Azaze in goal for the 1-0 win at Uxbridge.

Match details: Saturday 29th January, 3pm. At the Alfred Davies Memorial Ground, SL7 3ED. Tickets: £9 adults, £5 concessions and 6 to 16 year olds £1. Full details.

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