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MAGPIES: Simkin looks for smooth reunion with Hammers
PHIL Simkin is praying things run smoothly tonight when he takes the Magpies back to his old stamping ground for a Dorset Senior Cup quarter-final (7.45pm).
Dorchester travel to Hamworthy United with Simkin returning to the club he worked at for four years before moving to the Avenue.
And while he is looking forward to meeting up with former acquaintances, the Magpies’ boss is eager to see his players get through the tie in one piece – and a win wouldn’t go amiss too.
On-loan Bournemouth duo Brandon Goodship and Josh Wakefield won’t be risked ahead of the trip to Havant & Waterlooville in the league on Saturday.
And Harry Reynolds will deputise in goal for first-choice keeper Alan Walker-Harris, who Simkin is keen to protect with crucial Skrill South fixtures to come.
“There will be a lot of young lads and first-team fringe players in the squad, and a couple of senior lads as well,” said Simkin.
“With a squad the size of ours we can’t risk injuries and at the end of the day the league has to be our priority.
“But we will be fielding a competitive side and giving lads with first-team potential the chance to play.
“We still want to win the game, no two ways about it, but we have to think about Havant on Saturday.”
Midfielder Jamie Beasley will also be involved in tonight’s last-eight clash.
He has been working on his fitness in the last few weeks by playing for Dorset League side Kangaroos.
Meanwhile, Simkin, who has tasted success in the competition before, has fond memories of his time at the County Ground.
He added: “It will be nice to go back to Hamworthy and see a lot of old friends.
“I had some great times at the club and there are some good people at Hamworthy.”
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