MAGPIES: Victory essential for Dorchester

Dorset Echo: SET TO RETURN: Warren Byerley SET TO RETURN: Warren Byerley

ANYTHING less than a win against Maidenhead United tonight simply won’t do for the Magpies if they want to play Conference South football next season, according to assistant-manager Stuart Heath.

Last Saturday’s heartbreaking loss at Basingstoke left Dorchester four points adrift of Tonbridge Angels at the foot of the table with only seven games remaining.

Maidenhead are in danger of going down themselves so the result of this evening’s clash at the Avenue (7.45pm) could have major repercussions for both clubs.

And Heath has made abundantly clear the importance of tonight’s match, and Saturday’s at Hayes & Yeading, stating: “We are getting into the realms of the last chance saloon now.

“We’ve got two huge games coming up against teams around us that we have to win – draws are not good enough.

“Tonight’s game is the biggest we have played so far this season. Every game has been important but anything less than three points tonight won’t do.

“A draw or defeat will probably send us down and I’m pretty sure everyone associated with the club knows that.

“We’ve got to start well tonight and get the supporters behind us, everyone has got a part to play, and if we all pull together we are capable of winning.

“We have to play with energy, drive and a positive mindset, and make sure we get on the front foot.”

Nick Crittenden is back for the game after suspension and both Jamie Gleeson and Warren Byerley are set to return to the squad having missed last weekend’s loss through injury.

However, captain Mark Jermyn will only be able to watch from the stands as he serves the first of a two-game ban.

“We’re going to need leadership out there, whether someone has played 600 games or it’s their first season,” added Heath. “We’ve got to show confidence and belief that we can produce performances in a pressure situation.”

Dorchester are without a win in eight but did beat Maidenhead 3-1 when the sides met in October – they will be hoping that is a good omen for tonight when no-one wants to be the fall guy on April Fool’s Day.

Magpies (from): Walker-Harris, Case, McCarthy, N Walker, S Walker, Smeeton, Gleeson, Crittenden, Lanahan, Way, Twyford, Losasso, Byerley, Chamberlain, Makoni, Munday

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