SOUTHERN LEAGUE: Injuries threaten Supermarine's run
SUPERMARINE have a walking wounded look about them ahead of this weekend’s Division One South & West trip to Evesham.
Dave Webb’s side face an uphill battle to keep their impressive six-game winning run going, given that more than half Marine’s available players are carrying knocks.
The least likely of those players to be fit is Jon Steadman who is rated 50-50 after picking up a whack on the ankle in the midweek victory over Didcot.
Midfielder Rob Dean (foot) is out while Webb has been unable to call on Highworth loanee front man TJ Bohane as he is on holiday.
Wide man Matty Horsell has left the club for Wantage as he has found first-team football hard to come by of late.
“It’s more a question of who is fit than who isn’t going to be fit, but I’ll hopefully have 15 available,” said Webb.
“Eight of the 15 players I have have got knocks of varying degrees.
“Other than Jon Steedman the others I’d imagine will be OK, but we are carrying. I’m sure we’ll be alright.”
The South Marston boss admits his current injury problems have come at a bad time with Marine’s schedule being extremely busy in the lead-up to Christmas.
“Between now and January we’ve got a lot of games and it’s a massive test of what is now a small squad,” he said.
“OK we have some dual-signed players from New College, but what I’d call the first-team squad is down to 17.
“Hopefully everyone will make themselves available for these games and come Christmas we’ll have an indication of how far we’ve come.”
Webb admits Supermarine are now a side that teams are looking out for following their recent run of victories, and can no longer rely on going unnoticed.
“We were going along quietly about our business being seventh or eighth with games in hand, and ticking along nicely under the radar,” he said.
“This recent run has put us up to fourth, which is great. The players have got themselves there on merit and now they are there to be shot at.”
The Marine front pairing of Josh Parsons and Ash Edenborough have scored at least one goal between them in every one of the last six games, and will hope to continue that tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Adie Harris is in no doubt that Chippenham will soon start to claw their way up the Southern Premier table.
The Bluebirds are currently 16th in the table after Tuesday’s draw at Barwell and last weekend’s home stalemate against Bedworth United, and now travel to Redditch tomorrow.
Harris has been ever-present in Nathan Rudge’s starting line-up since his move from Bath City last month and the combative midfielder is certain that the Bluebirds are moving in the right direction.
“We’ve been starting to play some really good football and I’m 100 per cent positive that we’ll start to fly up the league once we start winning,” said Harris.
“I’ve been promoted from this league and I know what it takes so I’m sure that we’ll be fine.
“When you start winning in this league, when teams face you they start to drop off and that’ll come. “Everyone’s positive and pulling in the right direction. It’s a really good bunch of boys who are honest and training is good.
“I’ve got no doubt that we’ll be near the play-offs this season and then next year, with a couple of additions, we’ll be even closer.”
Meanwhile, Cirencester boss Brian Hughes has defensive problems ahead of the trip to Sholing in Division One South & West. Centre-back and captain Matt Sysum made the surprise switch to Evesham this week, citing the need for a ‘new challenge’.