Win flatters Marine as they make it three in a row
SWINDON Supermarine survived plenty of Paulton pressure to clock up a third straight victory in Southern League Division One South & West on Saturday.
Goals from Chris Taylor, Ash Edenborough and Josh Parsons gave the hosts a somewhat flattering 3-0 win over their promotion rivals at a bitterly cold Webb’s Wood Stadium, and there were plenty of positives to draw on.
Torquay loan keeper Conor Thompson kept a clean sheet on his debut, while stalwart right-back Kyle Lapham returned from seven weeks on the sidelines to a defence that was sometimes loose but battled gamely from the first minute to the last.
Marine seized the impetus after just seven minutes when Parsons set Dan Hilder free down the right flank and after he drove into the box and had his shot blocked by a defender, the ball was half-cleared to midfielder Taylor, whose deflected shot from the edge of the area rolled past the helpless Kyle Phillips.
Parsons could have doubled the tally almost immediately but scuffed wide of the left upright when clean through, and after that Paulton worked their way back into the game.
Right-winger Darren Jefferies twice went close, the second of these efforts being a stinging drive from the corner of the box that required Thompson to parry wide at his near post.
The stopper then got a crucial glove to a free kick and Marine survived a scramble from the resulting corner, before adding a second against the run of play in the final minute of the first half.
Taylor's top corner-bound free kick was saved by Phillips but Paulton were unable to clear, allowing Parsons to deliver a low ball in from the right that was beautifully swept into the left corner by his strike partner Edenborough.
There was still time for the visitors to go close before the break when a header from a Barnes corner bounced down off the bar but not over the line, despite Rovers' protests.
After the resumption, Edenborough was guilty of diverting wide from Hilder’s measured cross but the forward played a crucial role in a superb third goal for the home side.
The front man flicked on to Parsons who returned the ball back to him, and after Edenborough saw his 20-yard piledriver palmed onto the inside of the post by Phillips, Parsons rushed in to slide the loose ball into the empty net.
Marine were content to hit their opponents on the break throughout the second period and despite a number of opportunities, Paulton could not quite pick the lock.
Right-back Ryan Batten slammed just over and Josh Klein-Davies volleyed straight down the throat of Thompson on the spin, with Marine substitute Joe Tustain lashing off-target in between.
The dangerous Nick McCootie was as close as any Rovers player in the second half when he broke free with four minutes left and slid a matter of inches past the left post.
And in the closing stages, Klein-Davies forced Thompson to get down smartly to his fizzing low drive, but that was the last sight that the visitors had of goal.
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