SWINDON Supermarine chief Lee Spalding is immensely proud of a season that has taken his club to their highest position in the footballing pyramid.

The Southern League might have ended early and the records been expunged from history to start afresh next season courtesy of the coronavirus outbreak, but that won't take away the fact Spalding guided Marine to fourth in the table and right in the Premier South play-off mixer before everything was abruptly halted.

Their previous best finish to date was tenth in the old Southern League Premier nine seasons ago.

And this term's successes have beaten Spalding’s expectations.

“The players have been outstanding,” he said. “At the start of the season we said our aim was progression on last season.

“We brought three or four players in but I kept the squad mostly the same, to be honest.

“When I look throughout the season we haven’t used that many players, we’ve pretty much stuck with the squad we had at the start of the season. There have been a couple of changes, but overall the effort from the players has been fantastic.

“I would say we’ve overachieved this season with everything that we’ve got, and when you look at the clubs in and around us in the league position we are in, they’re all big clubs, they’re all clubs that have played at higher levels and have probably got bigger budgets.

“What we’ve achieved up to this point was fantastic. That’s the disappointing thing about the season coming to the end; we’ve managed to compete, we’ve managed to overachieve and do really well.

“On lots of levels it’s very pleasing, because all the players and everyone involved with the football club deserve a big pat on the back for how well we did this season.”

All of non-league football will now end early after the National League became the last to agree with the standpoint of their counterparts.

Though gutted Marine will not get the chance to compete for a spot in National League South, Spalding says the coronavirus pandemic puts on-pitch matters into a different light.

“From a football perspective it is disappointing, especially when you see that we had ten games left and we’re in a good position fourth in the league,” he said.

“You look at the remaining fixtures we had for the season, it looked like we were in a good position to really press home, have a good end and be challenging for one of the play-off spots.

“From that perspective it’s massively disappointing when you look at all the effort that goes into the season; what the players have put in, the staff have put in, the fans and the people at the football club that have put into it.

“But when you look at what’s going on outside of football it hits home and makes you realise that it is football.

“At the end of the day everyone’s health and wellbeing is more important than finishing the football league, as much as we all live it – and it is a way of living for a lot of people.”