SWINDON Supermarine are facing an injury crisis ahead of tonight’s big Southern League Division One South and West play-off clash at Merthyr Town.
Manager Dave Webb said that he could be without up to five players for the trip to South Wales.
Eddie Stevens has been ruled out for the Penydarren Park clash with a broken metarsal, while Harry Etheridge also misses out after sustaining ankle ligament damage in the 5-3 win over Bishops Cleeve on Saturday.
The Webbs Wood Stadium chief also has doubts over Kyle Lapham (ankle), Mark Flanagan (knee) and the match-winner from when Supermarine defeated the Martyrs nine days ago, Josh Morse, is struggling with an ankle problem.
“It’s not ideal preparation is it?” Webb said. “To be honest it is a bit of crisis.
“But I’m confident that the players who do play will have enough quality to do the job.”
Webb is hoping that the heartbreaking defeat to the Welshmen in last year’s play-off semi-final will help give them that extra edge.
An injury-time spot-kick from Ryan Prosser denied Supermarine a stunning success in South Wales and the Martyrs went on to win the tie in a penalty shoot-out.
“Hopefully, the players who played last year will be able to use that experience,” Webb said.
“This is a one-off match, it is an opportunity to reach the final and a chance to gain promotion.
“It is going to be a cracking atmosphere. There are going to be around 1,000 people there, they are passionate - everything is going to in Merthyr’s favour.
“But if we can play to our ability and catch them out, then we can do it.”
Another concern that Webb has ahead of tonight’s clash is the number of goals his side have been conceding of late.
But the Marine chief feels that he has the answer to that problem.
“When we have played a back three we haven’t been conceding - it is when we’ve played four at the back that has been the problem,” Webb said.
“We were without Josh Morse on Saturday so we had no natural width and I had to revert to a back four.
“We have the firepower to cause anyone problems, Ash (Edenborough) and Josh Parsons scored five between them on Saturday.
“We just not to tighten things up at the back.”
Should Supermarine defeat the side that were pipped to the title on Saturday, they would face either Tiverton Town or Paulton Rovers on Bank Holiday Monday next week.