ASHLEY Vickers is ready to step into the breach for Dorchester Town once again this season with doubts over the fitness of on-loan defender Jake McCarthy ahead of tomorrow’s game at Boreham Wood (3pm).

McCarthy turned his ankle while training with parent club Bournemouth on Wednesday evening, but former player-manager Vickers has made himself available to Magpies boss Phil Simkin if needed.

Simkin is already short of options at centre-half with skipper Mark Jermyn and Steve Walker both suspended, as is attacking midfielder Clive Makoni.

If McCarthy does get the thumbs up to play he will make his debut alongside fellow Cherries’ loanee Charlie Losasso.

Simkin is hoping the former will be able to shake off his ankle knock but knows he has an able deputy to cover if required.

“I can’t see Bournemouth allowing Jake to play, but I could be wrong,” he said. “Nevertheless, we go there knowing full well that we are capable of getting a result.

“Ashley is a very good friend of mine and, as a friend, if I need him to play he will be there for me.

“When you are in the trenches you want Ashley next to you.”

On the players missing through suspension, he went on to add: “Jem’s influence on the pitch has been quite high in the last couple of months, and he has been outstanding since playing at centre-back.

“Clive has looked really sharp and I feel really sorry for the boy, he did very little to be sent off at Weston.

“I hate to say it, but Steve deserved to be sent off and now he is missing five games which he is devastated about.

“But it has happened and we have to deal with it. No doubt he will come back and play as well as he was before it happened.”

Boreham Wood manager Ian Allinson also has players banned for the match following the dismissals of Greg Morgan and Mark Jones during the 3-1 win over Bishop’s Stortford.

However, he has been boosted by the news that Arsenal duo Austin Lipman and Anthony Jeffrey have extended their loan deals at Meadow Park.

The Wood are six points ahead of Dorchester in Skrill South with two wins in their last three league outings taking them to 17th place.

“Boreham Wood are a very difficult side to play and Ian Allinson is a very good manager,” added Simkin.

“They’ve got two loan players from Arsenal which would account for their upsurge in form recently.”

Magpies: (from) Walker-Harris, Case, Colmer, Smeeton, McCarthy, Vickers, Lanahan, Lossaso, Gleeson, Crittenden, Twyford, Way, Tennant, Godfrey, Brooks, Rolls, Munday