Marine to soldier on

Mark Flanagan is expected to return to the Marine squad

Mark Flanagan is expected to return to the Marine squad

First published in Sport Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

SWINDON Supermarine chief Dave Webb reckons his patched-up back line will need to be at their best if they want to shut out Fleet Town this weekend.

Webb’s side make the trip to Hampshire in the Southern League Division One South & West without central defenders Dave Bampton, who is serving the second match of a three-game ban for his red card against Yate Town last month, and Ross Adams, who is unavailable.

But full-back Mark Flanagan is expected to make his long-awaited return to the fold following a knee injury and the Webb’s Wood chief is hoping that his side can garner some confidence from notching up back-to-back victories in their last two outings.

“Dave Bampton has got two games left to serve of his suspension.

“He’ll be back for the FA Cup game at Totton (on September 13) and Ross Adams is unavailable for Saturday,” said Webb.

“It looks like Mark Flanagan should finally be fit enough to be involved this weekend and we’ve also had Marcus Johnson-Schuster, who’s been doing very well for us since coming over on a dual-registration from Basingstoke.

“But if you look at it, I haven’t been able to field my first-choice back five yet – that’s the back four and the goalkeeper.

“It’s not been easy but whatever system we play on Saturday, we’ve got to be prepared to deal without Dave and Ross.

“We have won back-to-back games though and hopefully we can get a bit of confidence from that. Saturday (a 1-0 FA Cup win over Hallen) was our first clean sheet too and I think that’ll be good for (goalkeeper) Sam Warrell.”

Marine slipped to a disappointing 3-0 defeat in the corresponding fixture last term and Webb is certain that Fleet present a major test for his team.

He said: “People might think that it’s going to be an easy game but I know that it’s definitely not going to be.

“They had a good win in the FA Cup (a 3-1 victory at Cheltenham Saracens) last weekend and they’re going to come at us.

“We lost down there last year and with this game and Tuesday’s game against Larkhall, who have done really well since getting promoted, we’ve got two tough matches coming up.

“To be honest, it’s going to be about going down to Fleet and grinding out a result.”

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