REVENGE will be on Phil Simkin’s mind tomorrow when the Magpies lock horns with Staines Town in another massive Skrill South fixture for the county town side.
Former Wimbledon striker Marcus Gayle brings his Swans to the Avenue (3pm) having got the better of Dorchester on the opening day of the season thanks to a solitary late penalty.
Magpies’ boss Simkin thought his side should have had that game sewn up by half-time, but the final outcome ultimately set the tone for their campaign from that point on.
However, after three victories in their last four outings, there is now a real belief around the Avenue that escaping relegation can be achieved.
And three more points tomorrow would be another huge boost to the team’s chances of survival.
“I would imagine it will be a very tight game,” said Simkin. “Staines are a decent side but we owe them one after the first game of the season.
“We should have had it won by half-time, but didn’t, and five minutes from the end Tim Sandercombe came off his line and wiped their lad out.
“We played exceptionally well and missed so many chances, it was unbelievable.
“That was gut-wrenching, so we will be seeking revenge tomorrow.”
He went on to add: “Three points are precious in this league and to get nine from 12 is a tremendous effort from everybody concerned.
“But now we want to get 12 out of 15 and keep this run going. There is no reason why we can’t do that but I have to make sure the players keep their feet on the ground and don’t get over-confident.
“The weight of expectation can sometimes be in people’s minds. Nobody expected us to beat Eastbourne, Bromley and Tonbridge, but we did and people will be expecting us to win games now.
“Football isn’t quite like that and it’s my job to keep their feet planted on the floor.”
A big factor in the Magpies’ turnaround has been the loan signings Simkin has made since Christmas.
And two of those, Charlie Losasso and Jake McCarthy, have just had their deals extended by another month, providing the club with a further shot in the arm ahead of the Staines clash.
Simkin added: “The two lads from Bournemouth have had their loans extended for another month which I’m delighted with.
“I know Bournemouth are delighted with the progress of Charlie Losasso. He has been outstanding in the last few weeks and long may that continue.
“Without loan players and the help of Bournemouth, and recently Torquay, we would be in real trouble.
“The two Torquay boys, especially Nathan Craig in midfield, have brought the best out of the rest of the lads.
“Nathan and Ashley Yeoman have done very well for us and it shows what type of lads they are when they drive up from Torquay for training with us.”
Staines are 11th in the league and have lost their last three matches, all away from home, without scoring a goal.
Magpies (from): Walker-Harris, Case, Smeeton, Jermyn, N Walker, S Walker, Lanahan, Gleeson, Crittenden, Twyford, Makoni, Craig, Losasso, Yeoman, Byerley, McCarthy, Bell, Munday
*Dorchester reserves lost 3-2 at AFC Portchester in the Wyvern Premier League on Wednesday night.