DAVE Webb has challenged his Swindon Supermarine side to use the busy festive fixture programme to cement their top-five position in the Evo-Stik League South West table.

Marine climbed into the play-off places thanks to a 3-1 victory away to lowly Barnstaple Town on Tuesday night and now sit just a point behind second-placed AFC Totton with games in hand on all of the sides above them.

They welcome Cinderford Town to the Webbswood Stadium tomorrow before making the short journey to Cirencester Town on Boxing Day and manager Webb is in good heart following a lengthy but profitable midweek trip to Devon.

“Tuesday night was exactly what we needed and we’re in a good place,” said Webb.

“We hadn’t played for two weeks due to postponements and the pitch was wet and difficult to play football on but, credit to the players, they played when they could and the margin of victory might have been even wider in the end. Having said that, I’d have taken 3-1 all day long.

“The Christmas period is always difficult with local derbies to contend with but it’s great for players, management and supporters alike. I always loved it when I was a player but if you don’t prepare properly then you’ll get caught out.”

Webb is far from fooled by the fact Marine’s next two opponents both sit in the bottom half of the table.

He saw his side held to a 1-1 draw at Cinderford on the opening day of the campaign and pointed to a recent upturn in form for Cirencester, who have won their last two league matches.

“Cinderford have drawn eight times – more than any other side in the division – and I think that suggests their league position will improve,” said Webb.

“Ciren are coming into a bit of form and it’s a derby. They have an artificial pitch there but we train on one in the Dome, so we should be okay with that.

“We’re just really looking forward to Saturday. We’re at home to Kidlington on New Year’s Day as well and over the next three matches we really want to cement our position in the top five.

“We know every team in the league is capable of beating another on their day. The number of defeats for each of the sides below Taunton shows you that. They are the only ones who have shown any real consistency and that’s why they’re at the top.”

Webb is hoping to add a new face to his squad ahead of the weekend but is otherwise happy with his options. Ash Taylor has had a foot operation and should be back by late January, while Connor Thompson, Jack Alexander and Jon Else are all unavailable for Cinderford’s visit.