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SOUTHERN LEAGUE: Marine an irresistible force AND immovable object
DAVE Webb was left a happy man after Supermarine showed two sides to their game in winning 2-0 at Tiverton in Division One South & West.
Marine expressed themselves with the ball and coped with the physical challenge of the Devon side, with goals from Chris Taylor and Ash Edenborough seeing them take three points at Ladysmead.
Boss Webb, who has now guided his team to five straight league wins, said: “We should have finished the game a lot earlier than we did, but they have not lost many games at home and to go down there and score two goals and get a clean sheet is a fantastic result. I’m certainly not going to be critical of anyone.
“We played some really good football in the first half. Tiverton are a good footballing side themselves but the way we played, we never let them get going and completely controlled the game.
“In the second half it started to get a bit tasty and there were challenges flying in, but we dealt with that. They tried to get about us to see if we could stand up to that and we did.
“Not only can we play, we’re more than a match if teams want to try and take it the other way. It’s good to have that in our locker.”
The win allowed promotion-chasing Marine to close the gap on Hungerford - who have now dropped to second - to just nine points and the South Marston side have six games in hand.
Top spot is still not out of the question with Webb’s troops still having to play league leaders Poole twice, which could tilt the balance slightly towards them if they get the better of the Dolphins.
Josh Parsons blew the chance to get Marine off to the ideal start against Tiverton when his weak penalty was stopped by keeper Chris Wright after a defender had handled Jamie Prictor’s cross.
Parsons, who has 15 league goals to his name this season, must have wondered what he had to do to score when he fired against the bar with barely a quarter of an hour played.
Ash Edenborough also tested Wright before midfielder Chris Taylor lashed low into the bottom corner from long range following good work from Rob Dean.
After the break Parsons continued to be frustrated in front of goal with his volley going straight into the arms of the goalkeeper, while Ben Whitehead hit the side-netting when well-placed.
Dean nodded off-target before Edenborough pounced with eight minutes left, rounding Wright who had looked virtually unbeatable until that point.
Cirencester took their unbeaten run in Division One South & West to six league games after winning 2-0 at Abingdon.
The Centurions’ play-off charge has been reinvigorated of late and they are now on the fringes of the top five.
Brian Hughes’ men forged ahead on seven minutes when the diminutive Ben Wells nodded into the top corner from Shane Bumphrey’s cross.
Sam Collier doubled the advantage against his former club with a terrific long-range strike and Bumphrey then came agonisingly close when he hit the post.
There were no further goals after the break as Ciren kept their opponents at arm’s length.
Meanwhile, in the Southern Premier, Chippenham’s relegation fears increased as they were thrashed 4-0 at midtable Arlesey on Saturday.
Nathan Rudge’s men, without a league win since December 1, collapsed in Bedfordshire to leave themselves just two points outside of the drop zone with nine games remaining.
The Bluebirds put in a solid first half away from home - they have not won on the road since late November - to go in at the interval all square at 0-0.
But within a minute of the restart it all went wrong for the Wiltshire men, when Drew Roberts scored the home side’s opener.
Things went from bad to worse for the visitors four minutes later as Roberts fired home his - and his side’s - second to double the advantage.
Arlesey ended any hopes of a visiting comeback on the hour mark as striker Chris Dillon scored the third.
And a miserable away day was compounded for Rudge’s men in the dying moments as Kim Forsythe scored the fourth.
Despite Chippenham’s poor form in the last three months, midfielder Adie Harris is convinced that his side will survive.
“I know the cliche says that you are not too good to go down, but we won’t go down, I have no doubt about it,’’ said the Welshman.
“I know you can’t keep blaming luck, but I’ve never played in a team that has had so much bad luck. It’s unbelievable.
“We’ve had so many draws and you look at those matches and we should have won every one. We could easily be stood here in a play-off position. Then we had the snow and injuries and suspensions and it’s totally disrupted the team.”