SOUTHERN LEAGUE: Desperate times
SUPERMARINE will be missing a number of key players when they look to extend their unbeaten run in Division One South & West at Wimborne tomorrow.
Defence has been hit particularly hard with Tom Cole and Kyle Lapham absent, while Jon Beeden has a facial injury and Craig Curtis is doubtful with a hip and groin problem.
Skipper Dave Bampton is expected to soldier on despite a broken nose, while Rob Dean should have recovered from a whack in the face.
The division’s current top scorer, Ash Edenborough, is currently troubled by back problems.
“It’s a bit desperate at the minute, but this is why we’ve got the players we’ve got,” admitted boss Dave Webb.
“We managed to cope on Monday against Cirencester even though we lost Jon Beeden and Dave Bampton in the first 20 minutes.
“We’ll probably be three or four down but I’m hoping the others will be fine. There will be a number of enforced changes that you don’t want to make when you’re four unbeaten.
“We’ve been scoring goals but we just need to keep the ball out of the net, and hopefully we can do that on Saturday.
“We have other players that can play centre-back and fill the void, so we should be fine.”
There is an outside chance that Marine could have a new striker on board in time for tomorrow’s game, with a 19-year-old local front man on Webb’s radar.
The manager was hoping the youngster would train last night, as he looks to provide cover for his frontline.
“We’ve only got three strikers and we may be able to add one more, although I’m very happy with the ones I’ve got,” said Webb.
“This may help us through a spell with Ash struggling and TJ (Bohane) has not had a lot of football, we’re a bit thin in that area.”
Wimborne crashed out of the FA Cup to Fareham on Saturday and then were defeated by Poole on Monday. but Webb is well aware of the threat they will pose.
“I’ve had the rundown on them so I know what they are all about,” he said.
“They are very well-organised with a good work ethic, they play for each other and it’s not going to be easy by any means.
“I’d hope to get something from there and we really need to get something from it before we play Hungerford on Wednesday.”
He added: “This is the sort of league where everybody will be taking points of everyone else, and we have seen that already this season.
“I am lucky I have a great team helping me and we go into every game feeling well-prepared.
“There is a mixed amount of experience in the team becuase there are a few guys who have been there and done it and a few who are quite new to this level.
“They are a good bunch who are working hard, listening and doing their best for the club, and that is really all we can ask.”
Elsewhere in the division, Cirencester host Didcot, while Chippenham welcome Hitchin in the Southern Premier.