SWINDON Supermarine manager Lee Spalding is after a more resolute defensive display from his side as they return to Southern League Premier Division South action on Saturday away at Gosport Borough.

Marine have only kept four clean sheets all season, with their last coming against all-but-relegated Staines Town on January 12.

Even in the midweek semi-final success against Westbury United in the Wiltshire Senior Cup, Marine conceded late on and were lucky to have rescued extra time as a combination of a 90th minute penalty and several stops from Will Henry saved them the embarrassment of exiting to a team two divisions below them.

Spalding knows his side are one of the most potent attacking threats in the division, but says if they are to progress as a team and pick up the vital wins that will allow them to qualify for the play-offs, they must improve their rear-guard action.

Spalding said: “Gosport are a team with two good forwards and a decent attacking threat. They look to use their two big lads up front, put balls into the box and put you under pressure, so it’s a day where we’re going to have to defend well.

“It’s going to be another test for the boys. Defensively can we keep a clean sheet? That’s one area where we’re struggling at the moment. Our main problem isn’t that we’re making individual errors, it’s our defending as a team.

“We need to make sure we’re working harder to keep clean sheets because, if we do, we’ve got a really good attacking threat – we’re scoring every game, but we’re also conceding in every game too.

“If we can get more clean sheets, I’m confident we will reach our target of wins for the season.”

Marine travel to Hampshire having edged Gosport out 2-1 earlier in the season, but with the majority of Borough’s points coming at home, Spalding knows it will be a tough ask to repeat the previous success.

Spalding said: “The best way for us to achieve a result is if we go there and put our game onto them. We played our best football when we get the ball down.

“If we invite pressure, then we’ll get into trouble. We need to be brave in possession, trust ourselves under pressure and play with that confidence and belief that we have had in recent weeks.”