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Dorchester boss hails Mr Versatile
THE talents of Dorchester Town’s Mr Versatile, Charlie Clough, must be utilised to the full before his upcoming four-match ban kicks in.
That is the message from Magpies manager Phil Simkin, whose defender turned attacker has scored five goals in the last eight games.
Clough, the fans’ player of the month for December and January, has starred in his new role for Simkin’s side.
He netted a brace in the 6-1 rout of Billericay on Tuesday and could be asked to try and do the same tomorrow when the Magpies visit Bromley (3pm).
That is because there are still doubts over the fitness of striker Kieffer Moore, who Simkin wants to have a clean bill of health for when Clough’s suspension starts the following Saturday.
Moore (thigh) will have a fitness test before kick-off tomorrow while Clough has shaken off a knock to his ankle and could partner Ben Watson up front if Moore doesn’t make it.
“Charlie is likely to be fit for Saturday, his ankle is not as bad as we thought,” said Simkin.
“Kieffer is going to have a test before the game so he’s still touch and go.
“We want to get it right and with Charlie’s suspension coming up we need to be certain that Kieffer is fit to play.
“He is doing exercises and getting massage on a deep knot in his thigh which is gradually getting better.”
Clough was brought in as a defender when he signed from Bristol Rovers last summer, but injuries and departures from the Avenue forced Simkin to move him into a more attacking position after the turn of the year.
And it is a change that has clearly worked with the county town side now on the cusp of the play-offs.
“Charlie is a good all round footballer who can play any position on the pitch,” added Simkin. “He has done very well for us this season whatever position he has played in.
“The goals he has scored show his effectiveness up front too but I didn’t know he could play in an attacking role when I signed him.
“He was a defender but in training and different situations I realised that he is an all round player who is very talented and a great signing for us.
“I see him, and he sees himself, as a defender but he can play up front as well so he’s a terrific player to have at the club because he can do so many jobs.
“We’ve got to make the most of him and get the best out of him before his suspension starts.”
Simkin reiterated his feeling that the 4-0 defeat to tomorrow’s opponents in early January was a watershed moment in his team’s season.
Now sitting seventh in the table with five wins in the last six, Dorchester will be aiming to keep their good run going.
Simkin continued: “We were top of this league in the middle of September before the cup run and the bad weather.
“It doesn’t surprise me where we are now but it does that we had such a bad slump after Christmas.
“I realised after Bromley at home that we were going down at a rate of knots and we had to pull it in and we did.
“All credit to the players. They took it all on board and started defending properly.
“Bromley are a good side and it’s always difficult up there. We are just looking to keep our run going.”
According to the FA, Clough will miss the games against Boreham Wood, Farnborough, AFC Hornchurch and Hayes & Yeading.
Magpies (from): Buchel, Jermyn, Smeeton, Pugh, N Walker, Gleeson, Nicholls, Malsom, Martin, Clough, Watson, Moore, Morgan, Bell, Crittenden, S Walker, Matthews.
* Alex Godfrey netted a brace as Dorchester Reserves secured a 3-0 win at Fleet Town. Josh Tennant was also on target.