DORCHESTER Town boss Phil Simkin felt his side showed some encouraging signs for the future during last night’s draw with Gosport Borough at the Avenue.
Alex Godfrey’s 58th-minute strike cancelled out Steve Ramsey’s first-half opener for the visitors, and Simkin reckons the performance his troops delivered can act as a real “confidence booster” going forward.
Simkin was particularly pleased with keeper Alan Walker-Harris, who pulled off a string of excellent saves to deny Gosport – the Magpies’ manager also hailed an “exceptional” defensive display by captain Nathan Walker.
Speaking to Echosport after the friendly game, Simkin, whose team lost 3-0 to Torquay last Saturday, said: “We showed signs of what is hopefully going to come.
“I didn’t want to get beaten again and I was quite happy to get a draw out of that because it gives the lads a bit of confidence.
“Gosport are an exceptionally good side and to get a draw against them is a confidence booster.
“I feel a bit happier last night because Saturday was difficult. It was our first game, we weren’t match fit and we weren’t sharp.
“We didn’t play well in the first half an hour tonight but we gradually got into the game.
“We gradually took off and were beginning to look like the side that I hoped we might look like when I brought these players in.”
He went on to add: “Nick Crittenden did really well in the middle of the pitch and in the second half we moved Ben Joyce closer up to Dan Cann which made a big difference.
“Alex Godfrey did very well and not just because of the goal, he tracked back and I thought he did alright.
“People have got to remember that we are playing in a league below the side we played, and at times we out-passed them.”
Former Dorchester defender Nathan Peprah-Annan, currently on trial at the club, came off the bench at half-time to replace Tony Rolls in the right-back berth.
Rolls had come on as a substitute for Sam Lanahan during the first period before being forced off with a thigh problem – Lanahan had taken a knock to his side.
Conference South side Gosport could well have won the game quite comfortably had it not been for Walker-Harris.
But Godfrey earned the Magpies a draw following Ramsey’s goal in the 19th minute, the Dorchester midfielder making the most of a howler by visiting keeper Nathan Ashmore.
He seemed to have Godfrey’s 20-yard effort covered but let the ball slip through his hands and just over the line.
Magpies: Walker-Harris, Lanahan (Rolls 26, Peprah-Annan 46), Smeeton, S Walker, N Walker, Godfrey (Alden 73), Crittenden, Cann, Joyce, Smith. Subs not used: Twyford, Brookes, Murray, Murphy