PHIL Simkin has been given food for thought ahead of tonight’s journey to Staines Town (7.45pm).

Substitutes Lewis Morgan, Sam Malsom and Elliot Ward all played major roles in helping the Magpies come from behind to defeat Eastbourne Borough in Saturday’s curtain-raiser.

The latter converted an 87th-minute free-kick, won by Malsom, to level proceedings before on-loan striker Jamie Reid raised the roof with a stoppage-time winner.

And with midfielder Jamie Gleeson, who missed out through illness, hoping to make a return to action, Dorchester ’s manager has plenty to ponder.

He said: “The subs made quite a big impact on Saturday so they are pushing hard for a place in the side, which is how it should be.

“Elliot’s free-kick was top quality and Lewis did a really tidy job when he came on. He has never played at this level before and last season he was playing in the Dorset Premier League with Westland Sports.

“Sam looked lively when he came on and he won the free-kick which Elliot scored from, so all three did well.

“Stuart Heath and I will have a chat and decide which way we want to go.

“There is every chance Jamie will be back. I spoke to him on Sunday and he is on his feet, so we’re hoping he will be okay.

“Nick Crittenden is feeling his ankle a bit though, so there is a doubt over him. We will see how he is but we don’t want to make it worse. I would rather rest him for Saturday.”

Tonight’s hosts, bossed by ex-Wimbledon striker Marcus Gayle, played out a goalless draw at Bromley in the opening round of Blue Square Bet South fixtures.

The Magpies recorded a 2-0 victory on their last visit to Wheatsheaf Park but Simkin expects to face a much-changed outfit this time around.

He said: “Tonight will be a different type of game to Saturday. They are big, strong and very direct so our back four will have to be on their best behaviour in the air, but I’m sure Jason Matthews will be a big help behind them.

“It will be a different test to Saturday but the boys are very confident after the weekend and we will go there tonight and try to get something from the game.

“We won 2-0 at their place last season but they are a completely different side now and will be somewhat of an unknown entity. We will give it our best shot.”

Saturday’s triumph was Dorchester’s first opening-day success since 2009.

And after seeing the Magpies endure disappointing starts to the previous two campaigns, Simkin was understandably delighted to get his first win of the season at the very first attempt.

He said: “I remember when we went eight games without a win at the start of the 2010/11 season and the pressure just built up, so to get three points on the board already is massive. Three down, 37 to go.”

Magpies (from): Matthews, Bell, Wannell, Clough, Walker, Jermyn, Gleeson, Nicholls, Crittenden, Martin, Symes, Morgan, Ward, Malsom, Watson, Reid.