Simkin: Keeping Magpies up would be great achievement

Dorset Echo: ON A MISSION: Phil Simkin ON A MISSION: Phil Simkin

KEEPING the Magpies up this term would better the record-breaking achievements of last season in the eyes of manager Phil Simkin.

The Dorchester Town chief is facing arguably his toughest test as a manager with the county town club trying desperately to avoid the drop.

And, given what has happened at the Avenue already this campaign, saving his side from relegation to the Southern League would be extra special for Simkin.

Speaking ahead of the Magpies’ game at Eastleigh today (3pm), he said: “Staying up would be a bigger achievement than last season given the situation we are in.

“I’ve never been in charge of a team that has been relegated and I would be absolutely delighted if we could stay up.

“All we can do is keep giving it our best and, as I’ve said before, I’ve never worked as hard as I have this season.

“The club is now more stable than it was and we’ve got some really good people running it so it would be a huge achievement if we could finish outside the bottom three.

“We are halfway through the season and there is still a chance, we haven’t been cut adrift yet.”

A big question mark hangs over whether today’s game will get the go ahead after all the recent heavy rain.

Whatever happens, Dorchester no longer have Josh Wakefield to call on after he returned to parent club Bournemouth following a successful loan spell.

However, Simkin has confirmed that a replacement or two could be on their way to the Avenue soon.

“It’s unfortunate Josh has had to go back and I’m desperately sorry to see him go,” added Simkin. “He is a great lad who was very popular in the dressing room and did a great job for the club.

“He has gone back a better player than he was when he came here and I’d like to thank Bournemouth for what they have done for us.

“It says a lot about the standing of this club that we can get the likes of Bournemouth and Southampton to help us out and with their support we can hopefully get out of this.”

The Magpies only met Eastleigh last on Boxing Day and certainly gave the side in second a big scare before going down to a 2-1 defeat.

Magpies: (from) Walker-Harris, Case, Colmer, Jermyn, Walker, Smeeton, Gleeson, Crittenden, Lanahan, Twyford, Tennant, Makoni, Brooks, Munday, Godfrey, Rolls

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