Goals from Gray and Tustain get Webb’s side another victory as they cement their play-off spot
5:30am Monday 7th April 2014 in By Tom Bassam, Chief sports writer
DAVE Webb’s Supermarine picked up their third win in a row as they beat lowly Thatcham Town in Berkshire.
It was a doubly good weekend for Webb as fellow play-off chasers Paulton Rovers could only manage a draw at home to Didcot Town. Marine’s win and that other result mean that even if Tiverton, Shortwood and Paulton all win their games in-hand Webb’s men will still retain their place in the Southern League South & West play-off zone.
The away side’s win came courtesy of goals from Joey Tustain and Bradley Gray in a game that was deprived of quality at times due to a playing surface that was not in peak condition.
The first half at Waterside Park was scoreless, with Supermarine trying out a five-man midfield. After the break Webb made the switch to a 4-3-3, which brought about more chances for the visitors.
This eventually led to Gray’s opener, when the forward nodded in from a Josh Morse cross. Chris Taylor’s wonderful pass made the second for Tustain who added an exclamation point to the move with slick turn and powerful finish.
Marine boss Webb was chuffed that his second-half roll of the dice had come off.
“I’m really pleased, just trying to deal with every game as it comes. Thankfully we’ve got a week off now, the last three have been big games, three clean sheets and scoring goals,” said Webb.
“We were playing five-man midfield, we decided to take Sam Morris off and bring Danny Hilder, to go 4-3-3.
“It doesn’t always come off but we felt it wasn’t working. It’s probably the first time Josh Parsons and Ashley Edenborough haven’t scored in a while, we thought we’d change it and bring on Danny to give us something else.
“I’m pleased for Brad to be fair, he fitted in great deserved his goal. What’s been pleasing recently is that we’ve been doing well without Dave Bampton, who’s been out for the last three games where we’ve kept clean sheets.”
Webb’s side now have a week off before they travel to Stratford Town. It is their first week without an evening game since February and offers the chance for Marine to rest up ahead of their run-in and potential play-off fixtures.
“No we’ll have a restful week and the lads will know they’ve given themselves a fantastic opportunity to reach the play-offs again.”