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UPDATE: Magpies' quartet in fight to be fit
THE fitness of four key Dorchester Town players was being assessed last night as Phil Simkin’s chances of signing a striker before tomorrow’s clash with Salisbury City were not looking promising.
Club captain Mark Jermyn and midfielders Lewis Morgan, Nick Crittenden and Ashley Nicholls all have injury concerns, leaving Magpies’ chief Simkin with yet more potential selection headaches.
Jermyn (ankle) and Crittenden (hamstring) have missed the last two games, Morgan (groin) was substituted in the first half of Tuesday’s draw with Basing-stoke while Nicholls (foot) had to come off towards the end.
Speaking to Echosport about the injury situation, Simkin said: “It’s not great. I don’t think Mark Jermyn or Nick Crittenden are going to make it, I’m not sure about Lewis Morgan but Ashley Nicholls has got a chance.
“I possibly won’t know until 1.30pm tomorrow which is not what you want when you’re about to play the league leaders.
“Saturday may be too soon for Jem and Critts and I don’t want to push them into it as things could get worse and then they would be out for weeks.
“I just want to see who is available and fit enough to play and what sort of shape we can go with.
“It’s just one of those things and it’s not ideal.”
The Magpies were having a light training session last night where Simkin was running the rule over his injured quartet.
Dual registered striker Carl Mutch made his Magpies’ debut when replacing Nicholls against Basingstoke but he will be back at parent club Portland United tomorrow.
That leaves Simkin with one less option up front but he has been talking to an unnamed player who he would like to sign in readiness for the visit of the Blue Square Bet South leaders to the Avenue.
“I’m talking to a front player but it’s going to be difficult to pull it off before the game,” he added.
“It’s very difficult to get all the legal stuff done by Saturday anyway.
“I’m still constantly looking for players but obviously we don’t have a great deal of resources to deal with.
“I’m always looking for players to strengthen the squad but it’s not easy so we have to use what we’ve got.”
Dorchester will be desperate to avoid a repeat of the reverse fixture back in October when the Magpies were thumped 4-0 by a side that has lost just one of their last 10 fixtures.
They also have the league’s top scorer in Jamie White and his 17 goals have helped Salisbury to a three-point lead over Welling United.
Magpies: (from) Matthews, Bell, Martin, Walker, Pugh, Morgan, Nicholls, Gleeson, Malsom, Clough, Watson, Smeeton, Brooks, Way, Walker-Harris
* A change to the fixture schedule means Dorchester Town Reserves are also playing tomorrow.
They are away to unbeaten Wyvern Premier League leaders Sholing (3pm).