LEE Spalding has warned Swindon Supermarine to expect a reaction from Salisbury when the Evo-Stik League South West big-hitters visit the Webbswood Stadium tomorrow.

Marine’s interim boss was an interested spectator as Steve Claridge’s side went down 3-1 at Didcot Town on Tuesday night. They remain second in the table, well clear of a congested play-off chasing pack that includes Marine, but now trail leaders Taunton Town by nine points having played two games more.

A new-found defensive resolve earned Marine a goalless draw against Didcot at the same venue four days earlier and Spalding says more of the same is needed this weekend.

“I’d expect Salisbury to come to us looking to put that result at Didcot right,” said Spalding.

“The manager will be looking for a reaction. He’s got a good side there, as you’d expect, and they are a massive club in our league. The expectation is huge.

“They are very good going forward and, in an attacking sense, probably the best in the league.

“We’ll need to be on our mettle defensively, for sure, but we do have the ability to cause havoc because they aren’t the strongest at the back and we have to look to try and exploit that.”

Marine’s physio was due to assess the fitness of both top-scorer Josh Parsons and Ryan Campbell last night, with Spalding labelling both “big players” in the context of the hosts’ bid to complete a league double following their 2-0 success in south Wiltshire back in August.

The match will come too soon for Zak Westlake, who fractured an eye socket last month and has only just returned to training. The skipper could make his comeback away to pace-setters Taunton tomorrow week.

Spalding, who is at the helm until the end of the season, has yet to taste defeat during a tenure that began in the wake of Dave Webb’s departure on January 16 but knows that record will face the sternest of examinations over the next eight days.

“Since I’ve been in charge it seems to be one tough game after another, but I think it’s a good thing,” said Spalding, whose team sit eighth but only three points behind third-placed Bristol Manor Farm.

“The results show an improvement defensively over the last three matches but I was disappointed we didn’t score at Didcot last Saturday and we need a bit more quality in the final third.

“Two bad results in this league will see you drop down to 10th or 11th but we aren’t looking too far ahead.

“We’re not going to be negative in any game and are just looking to win games of football and see where it takes us.”