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Magpies out to make memories
PHIL Simkin is hoping to create his first meaningful FA Cup memory tomorrow by leading the Magpies to the first round proper – and a potential date with the likes of Portsmouth, Coventry and Sheffield United.
The 59-year-old admits the most famous of domestic cup competitions has never been a lucky occasion for him but remains quietly confident heading into tomorrow’s fourth qualifying round tie with lower-league Bury Town (3pm).
Not only will there be £12,500 up for grabs at the Avenue, but the winner will be joined in the hat for round one by all 48 clubs from Npower League One and Two.
And Dorchester’s boss hopes to record his own bit of history by gaining victory over the Ryman Premier League high-fliers.
He said: “I have never really done well in the cup, both as a player and a manager.
“I have never really been involved in a run of any sort, which over the years is quite unusual.
“I’d like to think that can change as it’s still a big competition and it still raises the hairs on the back of your neck.
“We are desperate to do well for the club but we are also desperate to do well for ourselves.
“On paper Bury will come as underdogs as they are in the league below. But if they continue the way they are they will be in our league next season.
“They come here with nothing to lose while we have everything to lose. But we have got a 100 per cent home record and we are difficult to beat.
“I have had several reports on them and I have seen some video clips of them, so we will be prepared.”
Defender Nathan Walker (hamstring) and winger Sam Malsom (ankle) are both rated as doubtful for tomorrow’s encounter.
Simkin added: “I’m sure Nathan will be desperate to play but we will have to guard against that because I don’t want him out for six to eight weeks – I can’t afford to take that risk.
“Sam is also a doubt after turning his ankle at Billericay. We didn’t realise how bad it was so we will look at him for tomorrow.
“It’s a shame because he has been doing well recently and he has shown some consistency.”
Wednesday night saw ex-Weymouth striker Warren Byerley make a goalscoring return to the Avenue as the reserves won 4-0 against Alton Town.
Asked if the former Kettering Town man is likely to rejoin the county town club, Simkin replied: “Warren is a free agent and he is a long standing friend of mine.
“We gave him some match practice with the reserves and he is welcome to train with us.
“I don’t know what his plans are as we haven’t spoken about that yet. We have an arrangement and we will see where it goes.
“I’m not ruling anything out but I haven’t spoken to him about signing.”
One man Simkin already has his eye on is Truro City forward Stewart Yetton.
The Magpies’ chief admitted: “I would be interested in him and no doubt many people would also be interested in him.
“But there is a situation at Truro that is a bit of a one-off. Nobody wants to see them go out of business but it needs to be resolved as soon as possible as other clubs need to be taken into consideration.”
Magpies (from): Matthews, Jer-myn, Bell, Martin, Smeeton, Clough, Walker, Pugh, Gleeson, Nicholls, Morgan, Symes, Critten-den, Malsom, Gosling, Garcia, Reid, Watson.
* Midfielder Elliot Ward has joined Bournemouth Poppies following his release by the Magpies.
* Ticket prices for tomorrow’s match, which is all-pay, are as follows: Adults £11/£10, concessions £7.50/£6.50, 12 to 16-year-olds £5, under-12s £3.