Mick Catlin expects Moneyfields’ good start in the Southern League east division to face a tough examination from Marlow at Dover Road tomorrow (3pm).
Both teams are unbeaten after two games – with the visitors boasting a 100-per-cent record and sitting third in the table.
The hosts won their opening home game against Kempston Rovers before drawing at Northwood and currently sit sixth in the early standings.
However, Catlin believes the Copnor side could also be boasting an unblemished record at this point – with the Northwood equaliser arriving deep into stoppage-time.
The first-team coach expects Marlow to provide their toughest test yet.
‘It should be be a good entertaining game between two sides playing with confidence,’ said Catlin.
‘Whenever you step up a league it is always going to be more physical but we have shown we can deal with it.
‘In our first home game, Kempston tried to rough us up a bit and it backfired on them.
‘That played into our hands. We won that battle and they ended up having two players sent off.
‘If they had played football from the start they might have been a far tougher proposition.
‘As new boys we are still a bit of an unknown quantity to the other teams in this league.’
A big positive for the home side is the way some of the younger players have made the step up.
Striker Ryan Pennery, who played for Baffins Milton Rovers in Wessex League division one last season, has adapted quickly to the higher level.
Hawks loanee Marley Ridge has also shown good strength and maturity in midfield.
The experience in the side has also been a big factor in the impressive start and Catlin reckons they will be key to the club’s hopes this term.
‘We have a number of players who have played at National League South level and that makes a big difference,’ added Catlin.
‘Apart from the physical side, they can also deal with the mental aspects of moving up.
‘They will be a big factor for us this season.’
Experienced striker Steve Hutchings showed with his FA Cup hat-trick at Badshot Lea he is more than up for the challenge.
The greater physicality should suit him because that is the way he has always played his game.
‘It was almost the perfect hat-trick he scored in the FA Cup match,’ said Catlin.
‘He scored one with his left-foot, one with his right and finished it off with a header.’
Moneyfields are also pleased to have experienced forward Dan Wooden back in contention after holiday.
It will be his first home league appearance after making his return at Northwood.
‘It is good to have him back because we don’t have too many naturally left-sided players in the squad,’ added Catlin.
Moneyfields: Mowthorpe, Giddings, Pearce, Poate, Bailey, Ford, Raine, Ridge, Wooden, Fennemore, Hutchings, Pennery, Spurway, De Costa, Martin, Gauntlett