DORCHESTER Town’s defensive shortcomings returned to haunt them on Saturday, leaving boss Phil Simkin frustrated with the way his side let their standards slip after a recent run of good form.

The Magpies were 3-0 down inside 20 minutes at home to Boreham Wood before going on to lose 4-1 to the team that had battered them 5-0 in January.

Saturday’s reverse came as a real shock to Simkin given that his men had won three of their five Skrill South fixtures going into the game.

Speaking to Echosport afterwards, the Dorchester manager made it clear where things went wrong.

“That was really disappointing,” he said. “I half expected it earlier in the season but not now.

“Every performance from every team is based on their back four. If the back four are operating properly you’ve always got a chance because they give you a base to work from.

“Unfortunately, our senior players let us down defensively. We were undone by power and pace, and we didn’t defend well enough to get anything out of the game.

“I knew it would be a really hard game because they’ve got strong and powerful players, and I thought we could deal with them, but we couldn’t.

“It was a day when anything that could go wrong went wrong. I thought those days had possibly gone but they obviously haven’t.

“The season from hell continues and it will do until the last kick of the ball in April.”

He added: “We were in charge of the game and should have scored in the first couple of minutes.

“I thought we were playing quite well and then it started.

“Jake McCarthy didn’t close the lad down quickly enough and he got his shot away, and then Jem got caught the wrong side of their guy and he was never going to get back.

“That was 2-0 and then there was the free-kick, which was a good strike, but it was never a free-kick.

“At 3-0 down you have to chase to get back into it and there’s always a chance they will get a fourth.”

To compound Dorchester’s woes, Jamie Gleeson, coming back from a pelvic injury, had to be substituted five minutes after half-time.

He is now likely to be a doubt for the trip to Bishop’s Stortford tomorrow night (7.45pm).

Warren Byerley should be okay to play despite leaving the Avenue with a dead leg after another bruising afternoon for the on-loan striker.

Meanwhile, the Magpies remain one from bottom in the league table, three points clear of Gosport and three behind Tonbridge, Whitehawk and Hayes & Yeading.