SOUTHERN LEAGUE: Webb launches defender raid

Swindon Advertiser: Supermarine manager Dave Webb Supermarine manager Dave Webb

SWINDON Supermarine boss Dave Webb has launched a seven-day approach for a mystery defender as he looks to cover Mani Randhawa’s departure.

Randhawa elected to pull out of the Webb’s Wood Stadium setup and Webb immediately moved to plug the gap by approaching a Hellenic League player on Wednesday.

The player in question can play either at full-back or centre-half and would therefore be a straight swap for Randhawa in a positional sense.

“We’re looking to bring in another defender because we’re looking to fill the void left by Mani,” said Webb.

“In midfield we have a lot of talent and strength-in-depth and we certainly have that in attack.

“We’ve got numbers in the wide areas but the one area we don’t is in defence so that’s an area we need to strengthen. I don’t know if he’ll come, but we’ll see.”

Marine travel to Gloucestershire to take on Bishops Cleeve in Southern League Division One South & West tomorrow, as they look to reinvigorate their play-off drive.

After this weekend, Marine clash with Didcot, Cirencester and Paulton, with the latter two of these teams occupying top-three spots in the table.

Webb continued: “This month before Christmas is absolutely key. Since we’ve had a little bit of a bad run we need to pick up points and it doesn’t matter who it’s against.

“It’s never an easy period and there’s lots of football to be played, but it’s the same for everyone. As you go into the new year everyone is starting to look where they are as the league will start to take a bit of shape.

“The top 10 are all in with a shout at the moment and we’re one of those teams.”

Missing for Marine this weekend will be Kyle Lapham (ankle) while Joe Tustain is very doubtful after pulling up with a hamstring problem in training.

Skipper Dave Bampton (hip) and Sam Morris (flu) should recover, but Harry Etheridge may be ineligible due to a paperwork glitch.

Etheridge moved back to Marine from Thatcham last week but the Southern League require a hard copy of his signed form before he is allowed to play tomorrow, even though he made a substitute appearance in the 5-0 win over Thatcham on Saturday.

On Lapham, who has not played for Marine since the 2-1 defeat to Yate on November 2, Webb added: “He may have to have a scan and he will be a definite miss.

“It’s improving but it’s certainly not at the stage where he’s fit to play, which is a real shame for him and everybody.”

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