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SOUTHERN LEAGUE: Swindon Supermarine boss relishing Merthyr clash
SWINDON Supermarine go head-to-head with old adversaries Merthyr tomorrow and boss Dave Webb says the South Marston side are ideally placed to gain revenge over their title rivals.
Marine’s promotion hopes were left in tatters in April when they were defeated by the Welsh side in the Division One South & West play-off semi-final on penalties.
Now, just over four months on, times have changed with Marine top of the division and optimistic of achieving promotion at the second attempt under Webb’s leadership.
And when the teams step out at the Causeway - Cinderford’s ground and Merthyr’s temporary home - Webb is confident that his players have learned the lessons of last April.
“It was disappointing to lose in the play-off semi-final but the performance of the team was absolutely fantastic.
“Even when we went down to nine players they were still giving it their all,” he said.
“We have to refer back to that night and hopefully some of the players have learned a lot about themselves.
“This weekend is what it’s all about, making a good start and then going to one of the candidates to win the league.
“Merthyr are a big football club and I always look forward to playing them. It’s a game I look for when the fixtures come out to see when we’re playing.
“In my opinion they will be one of the sides that are trying to win this league and it will be a good test for us to see where we are in relation to them.
“Looking at the players they have signed, they have definitely strengthened and are better-equipped to challenge for the title.”
Tomorrow marks the fourth annual Non-League Day, which was set up in 2010 to highlight lower levels of the game.
And Webb backed the scheme, saying: “Non-League Day is a brilliant thing and I think the game at this level is thriving.
“I think anything that highlights that is great.
“It would have been nice to be at home because then we could have got people involved in our associated youth teams down, but it was not to be. It’s important we get kids into the game that way because they are the future.”
Midfielder Harry Etheridge and full-backs Danny Allen and Dan Wallington are all away tomorrow, while centre-half Craig Curtis (groin) and striker Ash Edenborough (knee) face late fitness tests.
Marine were last night set to secure the signing of Jake Johns, the young midfielder who has been training with the club for several weeks.
With the dual-registered Jordan Roberts now effectively a Wootton Bassett player and Rob Dean facing an imminent suspension, Webb has hinted that Johns has a chance of involvement.
“Jake has been with us for three weeks and he knows we have options in that area,” said Webb.
“Rob Dean will be going out on a three-game suspension after the weekend so there will be a chance for someone there.
“We have some talented players in that area but he can certainly play a bit, and it’s an opportunity to show what he can do.”
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