CARETAKER manager Lee Spalding says whoever replaces Dave Webb in the Swindon Supermarine hotseat will inherit a side with a real chance of success this season, WRITES NEAL BECK.

Marine parted company with the long-serving boss after a 5-0 home defeat to Bideford last Saturday, yet remain firmly in the Southern League South West play-off hunt and could climb as high as fourth spot with victory at home to Yate Town tomorrow.

Spalding, Webb’s former assistant, will be in charge for that game after overseeing a battling 3-3 draw at Evesham United on Wednesday but expects chairman Jez Webb to move closer to the appointment of a permanent manager next week.

“It’s been a difficult time, for obvious reasons,” said Spalding, who joined Marine in 2012 and was also Webb’s second-in-command at previous club Highworth Town.

“Dave leaving was very sudden and I was firstly asked to stand in on Wednesday night and then again for Saturday’s game, which I agreed to do.

“It’s on a game-by-game basis and I’m under no illusions. The club are taking applications for the job and will be doing interviews in the near future. I’ve just got to do the best I can do and try and win some football matches.

“Dave has left the club in a great position in the league and whoever takes the club on will have a squad of very good players to work with.”

Josh Parsons continued his brilliant run of form in front of goal with a double at Evesham, including a 66th-minute free-kick for a share of the spoils.

Spalding added: “They (Evesham) are a strong outfit on their own patch and it was a great result in horrific conditions. The lads showed togetherness and it was one of those games you can take a lot of positives from.”

Last Saturday’s result was a blot on an otherwise impressive home record for Marine this term, who have the chance to put things right against Yate and struggling Slimbridge in the space of four days.

Yate sit on the fringes of the play-off race themselves, having beaten Marine 2-0 in November.

“We’ll be looking to return the favour,” said Spalding. “Yate have picked up recently and brought a few players in. We’ll look to be more attack-minded than we were on Wednesday.”

Spalding was due to assess the fitness of those members of his squad who took knocks at Evesham at last night’s training session but hopes Ryan Campbell will return from an ankle injury. Key defenders Ash Taylor and Zak Westlake remain on the sidelines until next month.

He added: “They are a big miss. If I had more scope in terms of time then I would probably look to bring people in but I have to work with what’s available.”