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SOUTHERN LEAGUE: Marine set for local(ish) derby
THERE might be in excess of 40 road miles between Supermarine and Yate, but the boss of the former, Dave Webb, feels that Saturday’s clash between the sides will be ‘played like a local derby’.
Both teams are in the thick of the promotion race in Division One South & West and will be desperate to take victory, or at least avoid defeat, at Lodge Road tomorrow.
Yate struggled at the start of the season but have vastly improved since, and Webb, who has always rated the Bluebells, expects a competitive clash.
“They are a good side with a lot of good players,” he said. “We beat them in the league and the (FA) Trophy earlier in the season, but that counts for nothing on Saturday.
“It’s not a local derby but I think it will be played like a local derby because the reward on offer is huge. It will help us close the gap on the top two or take Yate away from the teams in sixth and seventh.
“Saturday is in my opinion, bigger than Tuesday (when Marine travel to league leaders Poole).”
Craig Curtis will miss out (ankle) while striker Josh Parsons is rated 50-50 with a calf problem. Midfielder Harry Etheridge is back from suspension.
Meanwhile, Supermarine chairman Jez Webb has spoken out in support of the FA’s decision to donate defibrillators to non-league and women’s Super League teams.
The FA and British Heart Foundation will make more than 900 defibrillators available, which teams in the Southern League and Hellenic League will be able to receive.
The scheme comes one year after Fabrice Muamba suffered an on-pitch cardiac arrest while playing for Bolton during their FA Cup quarter-final with Tottenham.
Defibrillators give the heart a controlled electrical shock during cardiac arrest and can save someone’s life.
Webb said: “You don’t think it’s going to be an issue, but when you see something like the Muamba incident you realise how important it is to have the necessary equipment.”
The chairman also revealed that the Marine board had discussed the possibility of buying a defibrillator in the past.
Marine’s local rivals Cirencester will aim to make it seven games unbeaten when they travel to Bishops Cleeve this weekend.
In the Southern Premier, relegation-threatened Chippenham travel to Totton.
Bluebirds assistant boss Richard Fey is backing new boy Jack Allward to be a hit at Hardenhuish Park after the 25-year-old signed from Paulton last week.
“Jack is someone that we’ve been after all season,” said Fey.
“We’ve got to work on his fitness a bit but he loves to get forward and I think he could end up being a great left-back for Chippenham.
“It’s another signing for the future for us but, of course, we’ve had to bring in players to make sure that we stay in this league.”