The Peacocks begin a crucial sequence of BetVictor Southern League games when they travel to fellow promotion hopefuls Swindon Supermarine tomorrow afternoon (8th February), kick-off 3.00pm.
Since losing to Yate a month ago which was their third defeat in four games, Town have steadied the ship with two home wins over Wimborne Town and Harrow Borough sandwiching a hard-earned point at second placed Chesham United. Their upturn in fortunes though will be put to a severe test tomorrow with the trip to Wiltshire. Fourth placed Supermarine sit one spot and three points above the Peacocks who have at least one game in hand on all the clubs in the top four. However immediately below Town three other sides are also within shouting distance of forcing themselves into the play-off positions so every point will be vital as the campaign enters its final three months.
From the start of November Supermarine enjoyed a run of 11 league games undefeated which included victory at Salisbury, but that sequence was ended with two defeats on the spin, a 3-1 home loss to Truro City a fortnight ago followed by a 2-0 reverse at Poole Town. Marine returned to winning ways in midweek with a 5-2 success against Chippenham Town in the Wiltshire Premier Shield, however their primary focus will be on bouncing back in the league and from previous experience Town know they will have a job on their hands tomorrow. The first meeting between the sides this season ended in a 1-1 draw, Town having the better of the first half before the visitors got on top in the second.
Head of Football Rob Dray is able to name a virtually full strength squad apart from the injured Andrew Neal and Bristol City loanee Ryley Towler who has tonsillitis. New signing Dan Demkiv is included while absentees from the Somerset Premier Cup tie with Bath City on Wednesday also return. Dray remarked:” It’s another tough away day tomorrow and we will need to be on it from the start to ensure we get the right result. With a strong squad we’ve set ourselves targets but realise it will be difficult tomorrow. Our away form has to be better but after two wins in a week we are in a good place.”
On The Road – Swindon Supermarine
Ground: The Webbswood Stadium, Supermarine Road, Swindon, Wiltshire SN3 4BZ
Directions: From M4 junction 15, take A419 to Swindon, Cirencester and Gloucester. Continue on the A419 until the 4th exit signposted Highworth, Lechlade and Burford. After 397 yards on the slip road, take the first exit left onto the A361 (Highworth Road). At the first roundabout take second left (Honda entrance will be on your right). Take the second exit at the next roundabout (South Marston Industrial Estate is on the right hand side). At the next roundabout take the second left into Supermarine Road and then first left after 50 yards into the Supermarine Sports Complex. The car park is immediately on your left. On leaving the car park the entrance to the ground is approximately 40 yards on the right hand side. From M5 junction 11A, take A417, then A419 signposted Cirencester and Swindon. Take the A361 signposted Highworth, Lechlade and Burford, then as above. From A420 – Take A419 from A420 to Gloucester, then first exit as above.
Admission: Adults £10, Concessions £6, Under 12’s Free
Most recent meetings: The sides fought out a 1-1 draw at the Cygnet Health Care Stadium in the earlier fixture in September, Dan Sullivan giving Town the lead before Stuart Fleetwood equalised for the visitors after the break. Last season the Peacocks gained the points at the Webbswood Stadium courtesy of a thunderbolt strike from Ben Adelsbury while it was honours even again in the return game, Andrew Neal scoring for Town which was cancelled out by Matt Liddiard’s late leveller.