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Swindon Supermarine face another testing road trip this Saturday as they head South East to take on struggling Basingstoke Town writes Nick Taylor.
With the hosts only one place above the final relegation position on goal difference, having played one game more than third-bottom Dorchester Town, Basingstoke will be desperate for all three points.
Marine enter the contest on a run of three games unbeaten, the most recent being the battling 0-0 draw last weekend at The Webbswood Stadium against in-form Chesham United, when they played for 63 minutes with only 10 men after striker Conor McDonagh was controversially sent-off.
Martin Kuhl’s side haven’t tasted victory since an impressive 3-0 home win to Kings Langley back on 16th February but have competed closely with both Salisbury and Chesham in recent defeats by the odd goal, whilst also losing away at Hendon last time out by 1-0.
Marine defeated Basingstoke by 5-2 back on Saturday 15th December at The Webbswood Stadium, though the flattering scoreline didn’t fully reflect the true story of the game, with the visitors pushing Marine all the way until the later stages, when just about everything Lee Spalding’s side hit goalward went in!
Having beaten high fliers Weymouth away by 2-1 in early February, Marine cannot take their opposition lightly, with Kuhl’s side achieving more points at The Camrose Stadium than away from Hampshire.
“We’ll need to dig in and aim for another clean sheet,” Marine Manager Lee Spalding commented on mid-week, we’ve only conceded one goal in three games and it’s massively important we go there aiming for a win. If we can get the three points then we can kick on to close on Kings Langley.”
When asked about the outside hope of making the playoffs, with the Swindon side moving up to eighth in the standings after last Saturday’s point gained, Spalding, understandably, is cautiously hopeful, “We can’t look any further than our next game. I don’t see why we can’t get near to the play-offs, but the aim this season has to be to keep league status.”
With Conor McDonagh expected to miss the trip due to suspension, Spalding will welcome Joe Shepherd back to the squad after injury. The ‘utility’ player having trained this week, although Connor Thompson is still ruled out with his recent injury.
Recent signing Calvin Dinsley impressed when he came on second half in the draw with Chesham and will be pushing for a starting place as Spalding and his assistant, Kevin Milsom, weigh up their options ahead of the game.
Admission Prices: Adults £12, £8 Concessions, U16’s £1 and £1 for a transfer to the stand.