LOWLY Basingstoke Town will present Swindon Supermarine with a stiff away task on Saturday if they play to their full potential, according to manager Lee Spalding.

Marine remain outsiders to poach a late Southern League Premier Division South play-off spot, but they certainly won’t turn down the opportunity to move within six points of fifth-placed Poole Town by recording a win tomorrow.

Draws against table-topping Taunton Town and in-form Chesham United stand the Webbswood Stadium outfit in good stead for their latest assignment, especially when taking into account Marine’s 5-2 win over Saturday’s opponents in December.

But that success means little to boss Spalding, who wants to see his men build on what he considers to be positive draws in recent weeks.

He said: “They’re fourth from bottom at the moment, so they’re scrapping for their lives.

“It’s going to be a tough game. We beat them at home quite convincingly, but that doesn’t mean anything, to be honest.

“It’s going to be about how we perform on the day and who wants it the most.

“We’ve been in good form, even though we haven’t had wins. We had a good away result against Taunton and picked up a point against Chesham with 10 men.

“We’ve showed some fighting spirit and character, we will need that on Saturday.”

Spring rain has saturated many pitches across Hampshire, and Basingstoke’s surface will be no exception.

Spalding anticipates a scrappy affair – admitting that adapting to conditions will prove key with regards to who walks away from the game with points in the bag.

“I don’t expect the pitch to be great, and it’s obviously been very wet,” said Spalding.

“It’s going to be one of those games where we’ll have to roll our sleeves up and not give anything away.

“You have to be able to adapt in conditions like what we are going to be faced with.

“If the pitch isn’t great, it will make it difficult to play the football that we want to play.

“At the end of the day, we have got players that can fight, scrap and enable us to compete all over the pitch.

“That will be massively important.

“Chesham were in form, and it was always going to be tough game.

“We go into this game with good momentum, and we’ll be looking to take that into Saturday.”