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UPDATED: Phil's fight for Dorchester
PHIL Simkin faces a race against time to find a solution to the Magpies’ injury worries ahead of their daunting trip to record-chasing Welling United tomorrow (3pm).
The county town side’s boss has been busy trying to call in favours from other managers in a bid to remedy the situation.
Monday night’s 4-0 defeat at Chelmsford had extra repercussions for the Magpies aside from the loss itself.
Nick Crittenden picked up a hamstring strain and misses the Welling game while Charlie Clough and Mark Jermyn both suffered ankle problems.
Simkin was assessing the fitness of Clough and Jermyn at training last night while the same went for Sam Malsom and Lewis Morgan.
The Dorchester manager will be working flat out to ensure his team has a fighting chance against a side that is on the brink of setting a new Blue Square Bet South record for consecutive wins.
Welling have won their last 10 matches, are unbeaten at home in the league this season and haven’t lost in the competition since October 27.
They have also lost the fewest games, have the best goal difference, hold the second best defensive record and sit six points behind leaders Salisbury with three fixtures in hand.
The Magpies did beat their opponents at the Avenue back in September but are currently the division’s lowest scorers with 21 in as many matches.
Simkin and his men already faced a tough test anyway but the injury problems have made their task even harder.
“We are racked with injuries at the moment,” he told Echosport. “It’s exactly what we knew was going to happen with two games in three days.
“I’m having to use all my contacts, local and further afield, so these are difficult times.
“I’ve been running around asking managers for favours and I’ll be ringing a few more before the game.
“I’ve made a lot of friends over the years so I’m hoping they can help me out.
“Between now and the game I’ll see who is available and play it by ear. You have to take these things on the chin though and deal with it. I’m managing as best I know how to and that’s all I can do.
“It’s no good crying and moaning about it, this is how it is.”
Simkin confirmed that Dan Way and Calvin Brooks are likely to play a more prominent role as Dorchester head to the league’s form team.
Situated as close to London as they are, Welling have been able to utilise the loan market well and that’s something Simkin recognises.
“Their position is ideal because they’ve got so many London clubs around them,” he added. “It’s a great position to be in and it wasn’t that long ago they had Carl Jenkinson on loan who then went on to Arsenal.
“I’ve always said Salisbury will win this league but Welling can push them close, there’s no doubt about that.”
Magpies: (from) Walker-Harris, Bell, Smeeton, Jermyn, Walker, Pugh, Nicholls, Watson, Clough, Martin, Way, Brooks, Malsom, Carlile, Matthews.
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