MAGPIES: Festive relief for Simkin

Dorset Echo: BOXING DAY FOCUS: Phil Simkin BOXING DAY FOCUS: Phil Simkin

PHIL Simkin has admitted there was a point earlier this season when he thought his Dorchester Town side would be down and out come Christmas time.

One point from the first 21 set the alarm bells ringing for Simkin as the Magpies’ Skrill South campaign looked to be over almost before it had begun.

But two wins and as many draws in their last five league outings has seen the county town outfit reel in the teams above them and earn a fighting chance of survival.

After their fixture at Farnborough on Saturday was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch, the focus immediately turned to the visit of high-flying Eastleigh to the Avenue on Boxing Day (3pm).

That is the first of two meetings with the Hampshire side in the space of six days, with a trip to Weston-super-Mare in between on Saturday.

Simkin insists he has not set his men a points target for the busy festive period – he is just thankful they are still in with a chance of saving themselves from falling through the Skrill South trap door.

“I haven’t set a points target for this period,” he said. “To still be in with a chance of staying up at this time of the year is a bonus.

“There was a stage earlier this season when we weren’t picking up any points and I thought we might be cut adrift.

“But that hasn’t happened and we have given ourselves a chance of getting out of it, and it’s up to us to take it.

“If the boys put in the same effort that they have been recently then we stand a chance, and it’s absolutely vital we get something out of these next few games.”

He added: “At this level of football and above everybody knows how to look after themselves when it comes to this time of the season.

“If you don’t look after yourself properly at this time of year you stick out like a sore thumb.

“My lads know that and I haven’t even had to remind them because I trust every one of them to do their job.”

Last week’s heavy rain put paid to the Magpies’ hopes of taking something from their encounter with Farnborough at the weekend.

The decision to postpone the match, which is now set to take place on February 4 (7.45pm), means new signings Clive Makoni and Fraser Colmer will have to wait until Boxing Day to make their Dorchester debuts.

As a result of the postponement, captain Mark Jermyn’s one-game suspension is now carried over to that first clash with Eastleigh.

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