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SOUTHERN LEAGUE: Supermarine boss Webb expects goals galore
SUPERMARINE boss Dave Webb feels the new ball being used in Division One South & West the season will result in plenty of repeats of the goalfests that dominated the opening weekend.
On Saturday 54 goals were scored across 11 matches with the Mitre Sansome Elite, which has been manufactured specifically for the Southern League.
While Supermarine’s 2-0 home win over Clevedon was well below the near five-a-game average, Webb feels that blockbusters will be a regular occurrence based on the new equipment.
“The new ball seems much lighter than the old one we used last season,” said Webb.
“It really does go and is great for goals.
“It’s unusual to see so many scored, I can’t remember a weekend like it.
“When we played Newport and Gloucester (in pre-season friendlies) they wanted us to us the balls they use in their leagues and this one was much the same.
“It was very quick through the air and maybe that’s the way things are going.
“It’s good for passing football and good for entertainment.
“If you can pass then you can play with that football.”
Supermarine forward Ben Whitehead showed what could be done with the Mitre when he unleashed a glorious opener from range after 42 minutes on Saturday, adding a second to seal the win moments before the break.
And Webb underlined the importance of a variety of squad members chipping in with goals to help Supermarine challenge at the top end of the table.
“Ash Edenborough and Josh Parsons (the latter now departed for Hungerford) had 50 goals between them last season, but when you start looking at the other positions, I don’t think we had anyone above seven,” said Webb.
“It’s important that players who are in midfield chip in with a few goals and the way we’re playing, there’s always a midfielder up there. That will be key.”
Marine make the trip to Didcot this evening to take on a side that were beaten 4-1 at Shortwood on the opening day.
Webb is wary that boss Andy Wallbridge will have inside knowledge on a number of Marine’s players - such as ex-Highworth players Rob Dean and Craig Curtis - courtesy of his time in charge at Hellenic League Wantage.
“Andy Wallbridge has gone in there from Wantage and he will know a bit about some of our players from when they were at Highworth,” said Webb.
“They lost at Shortwood, but Shortwood are much-improved and it won’t be an easy game by any means.
“Andy will want his side to get that first home win.
“We’ve got to make sure our players don’t think they can just turn up and win.
“My focus will firmly be on treating them with respect.”
Marine are missing a number of personnel in centre midfield tonight with Jordan Roberts and Harry Etheridge suspended, while Eddie Stevens is on holiday, so Dean and Sam Morris are likely to continue in the middle.
Newly-signed striker Luke Abrahart will probably be out with an ankle complaint while Mani Randhawa (pelvis) remains sidelined.
Also in action tonight are Cirencester, who entertain Evesham at the Corinium.
In the Southern Premier, Chippenham face league new boys Poole at Hardenhuish Park.
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