EXPECTATION couldn’t quite be turned into reality by Swindon Supermarine at the weekend as Southern League Premier Division strugglers Beaconsfield held the third tier’s in-form team to a goalless draw.

Manager Lee Spalding admitted himself that three points were expected to be added to Marine’s outstanding tally so far this season when travelling to Buckinghamshire.

But the visitors’ usual clinical flair in front of goal lacked. In saying that, Saturday’s game saw Spalding’s side record a third successive clean sheet.

So a goalless draw against the division’s bottom club might not be the doom and gloom many would associate with the at a glance score.

Spalding said: “When you play a team at the bottom of the table off the back of a good run, you expect to take three points.

“But Beaconsfield defended really well, and so did we to be honest. Beaconsfield were strong on the ball going forward, and we stood up to that task well.

“We had a couple of good opportunities, and on another day we would’ve taken those chances – that’s the biggest frustration.

“We just weren’t clinical enough in front of goal. We’ve been strong of late and have taken those chances when they’ve been presented to us.

“We can play better than we did on Saturday. It’s one of those where the expectation was there for us to win, but we couldn’t manage it.”

Taunton’s postponed game at Hartley Wintney meant Marine remained fourth in the table with well over a third of the season completed.

Thirty-one points have been accumulated by the club from their first 17 games.

A run such as the above makes it hard for Spalding to weigh his frustration on Saturday’s result too much on his players.

Instead, focus will quickly be switched to next weekend’s visit of former National League club Weston-Super-Mare.

“We’ll take the positives from it – we got a clean sheet and continued the unbeaten run,” said Spalding.

“That’s without mentioning the point, that point could be very important come the end of the season. It’s not all negative.