DAVE Webb has warned his Swindon Supermarine players to prepare properly or risk losing ground in the Southern League West promotion race ahead of their New Year’s Day clash at home to Kidlington (3pm), WRITES NEIL BECK.

The manager was far from pleased after Marine slipped up at Cirencester Town on Boxing Day, going down 4-2 despite goals from Joe Selman and Josh Parsons, and will repeat his pre-Christmas mantra to the squad when they gather for a training session today.

“Cirencester are a young side with a bit of experience and were better than us on the day,” admitted Webb.

“They deserved to win, there are no two ways about it. You make your own luck in football and we didn’t get near their level of desire so we got what we deserved – absolutely nothing.

“Too many players didn’t perform against a side who were up for it in a local derby.”

Asked whether overindulgence during the festive season might have had a hand in the loss, Webb replied: “We were nowhere near the level required, so people can read into that what they will. I have a view on it.

“I told them to prepare properly for a local derby against a talented Cirencester side and, if they didn’t, then they’ll have to live with it – as I will.”

Wins elsewhere for top-five rivals Salisbury and Wimborne Town rubbed salt into Webb’s wounds and Marine’s performance at the Corinium Stadium contrasted sharply with the one they produced en route to a 4-0 win over Cinderford Town last Saturday.

That result maintained an impressive record on home soil, where Marine have picked up 25 points from a possible 30 this term, and came courtesy of two goals from Parsons and one apiece from Aaron Woodley and Brad Gray.

Monday’s meeting with mid-table Kidlington kicks off a busy January for Marine, whose seven-match schedule includes rearranged fixtures away to Evesham United and North Leigh.

Webb will have Connor Thompson and Jack Alexander available for the visit of the Oxfordshire side, but George Kellow and Ash Taylor remain sidelined through injury.

Webb said: “It’s a big month for us. We need to try and stay in the top six positions if we can.

“There are two automatic promotion places on offer this year so the chance is there. We’re certainly capable of challenging for it but we need to find more consistency. At the moment, we’re winning one or two and then losing one.

“Kidlington are a decent side so we need to ensure we go about things in the right way on Monday.”