SWINDON Supermarine manager Lee Spalding has urged some of the lesser lights in his squad to stake their claim for a regular starting spot when they host Larkhall Athletic in the Southern League Challenge Cup this evening.

Marine began the new campaign in flying fashion, claiming back-to-back wins in their first two Premier Division South fixtures.

However, that early promise stalled following four league games without a win – a run that yielded just one additional point.

The Webbswood Stadium side got back to form on Saturday with a 3-0 win at lower league opponents Wantage Town in the FA Cup first qualifying round.

A break from league fixtures has presented Spalding with the opportunity to rotate his starting XI, and the Marine manager has urged every member of his squad to force him into a selection dilemma.

“These games are a good opportunity for me to look at a few different players as there are some lads that haven’t played as many minutes as they would probably have liked so far this season,” said Spalding.

“That doesn’t mean they aren’t going to play a lot of minutes by the time the end of the season comes around. It is a long season with a lot of games.

“They will be looking to stake their claims for being in the starting XI when the league comes back around on Saturday.

“We have got a big squad and we have got a lot of good players. This is an opportunity for some of them to turn all of our heads and say: ‘Look, I should be playing more’.”

Although this evening’s match against Larkhall represents a third different competition in consecutive games for Marine, Spalding says the objective always remains the same.

After making progress in the FA Cup at the weekend, following suit in the Southern League Cup is now the order of the day.

“It is important we go into every game focussed. We want to win every game we play,” said Spalding.

“We want to take what we did on Saturday into Tuesday and hope for the same again. We want to put in a good performance and hopefully get another win.”

Supermarine’s reward for their FA Cup victory over Wantage is a home tie in the second qualifying round, with National League South side Bath City visiting the Webbswood on Saturday, September 21.

Southern League Division One South side Highworth Town made FA Cup progress as well at the weekend and will be on the road at lower league opposition next.

They have been draw against the winners of the clash between Shepton Mallet and Tavistock.

The Worthians also have an impending midweek Southern League Challenge Cup match, although that is not until Wednesday night.

Jeff Roberts’ side host Mangotsfield United at the Save on Tyres Stadium.

However, there is more Tuesday night action in the Hellenic League as the Floodlit Challenge Cup begins.

Premier Division sides Royal Wootton Bassett Town, Shrivenham and Fairford Town are all on home turf.

Bassett host Malvern Town, Shrivvy entertain Wantage Town Development and Fairford welcome Bourton Rovers.

Swindon New College had a league match in Division One West on Monday night and were beaten 5-0 at home by Stonehouse Town.