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PREVIEW: MARINE v SLIMBRIDGE
Courtesy of Your Sport Swindon
Swindon Supermarine hope to get their promotion push back on track when they take on Slimbridge at the Webbswood Stadium (weather permitting) on Tuesday night, KO 7:45pm. Having seen their home fixture against in Yate Town called off on Saturday morning due to excess surface water on the pitch, Marine have found themselves dropping another place in the league to tenth.
However, with only 5 points separating third place Bristol Manor Farm (45 points) to Marine in tenth (41 points) a win against ‘The Swans’ could see the Swindon side transported back up to potentially fifth, dependant on other results on the night. Since only amassing 2 out of a possible 12 points in four fixtures, long-serving Manager Dave Webb departed the club, with Chairman Jez Webb asking Coach Lee Spalding to act as Caretaker Manager whilst the search for Webb’s replacement proceeds.
Marine then battled back bravely last Wednesday night in awful conditions to grab a plucky 3-3 draw away against big-spending promotion hopefuls Evesham United, with top scorer Josh Parsons returning from his skiing holiday to bag a brace, taking his tally to 18 so far, with Brad Gray also notching against his former club. With Saturday’s ‘wash out’, Spalding was still able make use of the freed up time to gather the squad for an afternoon training session inside the impressive ‘Swindome’ training facility at the club , where the spirits amongst the players remain high.
Visitors Slimbridge, like Marine, saw their game at Evesham on Saturday fall foul to the weather. Prior to this, they recorded an excellent 2-0 home win against promotion-chasing Winchester City last Wednesday night, only their second win at Thornhill Park this season and their first since October.
The two teams met at The Webbswood back on Saturday 18th November, the game being abandoned late on when the visitors top scorer Marley Thomas sustained what looked like a serious leg injury. At this time the score was 1-1, Marine replying with a Brad Hooper penalty in a scrappy game not helped by difficult conditions.
Under the guidance of Manager Freddy Ward, Slimbridge have found success on the road easier to come by than at home, with more losses at home (10) than any other side in the league but have only tasted defeat on three occasions out of eleven away from Gloucestershire.
Speaking ahead of the game, Caretaker Boss Lee Spalding was under no illusions that Slimbridge will be another tough encounter, “They are a hard working team and we must match their work rate and more or we’ll get beaten! Slimbridge are very workmanlike and our players must be mentally prepared to be ready.
They are focussed on this next game and will be trying to get three points.” Spalding looks to be without the services of Ryan Campbell (ankle) who’s picked up an injury last week at training, whilst forward Aaron Woodley’s hamstring issue has improved and he may well play a part on Tuesday night. Harrison Bennett will face a late fitness test having recently suffered illness, though young midfielder Antonio Gerrish is still out with soft tissue damage to the shoulder.
When asked about his current new role at the club and whether he hopes to be considered for the Manager’s role full time, Spalding replied, “If I do well, it’s up to those above at the club? The Chairman’s asked me to go game by game.”