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New-look strike partnership on the cards for Magpies
SAM Malsom could be in line to form a new strike partnership with Kieffer Moore on Saturday as the Magpies play the first of three home games in the space of eight days.
Blue Square Bet South play-off contenders Boreham Wood provide the opposition at the Avenue (3pm) with the hosts sweating on the fitness of centre-forward Ben Watson.
The 10-goal ace is attempting to shake off a calf problem which caused him to come off during Dorchester’s 0-0 draw with East-bourne on Tuesday.
He was being assessed by the club’s medical staff tonight as was Moore who is still feeling a thigh injury sustained at former club Truro.
Magpies’ boss Phil Simkin has been trying to bring in a new striker on loan and if nothing materialises in that department, and Watson is not fit, then Malsom will partner Moore up front.
Reserve team goalkeeper Dan Floyd is on the bench as cover for Jason Matthews while Charlie Clough starts his four-match suspension.
Arran Pugh’s two-game ban for his red card against Eastbourne won’t kick in until March 19 when the Magpies visit Weston-super-Mare.
“There are doubts about Ben but Kieffer should be okay,” said Simkin. “He came through with a bit of discomfort on Tuesday but I spoke to him yesterday and it was feeling much better.
“I’ve been trying to bring in a player on loan and if I can’t Sam will partner Kieffer up front.
“Jason continues in goal after his man-of-the-match performance on Tuesday night. He was exceptional and it just showed what a great keeper he is.”
Meanwhile, the news regarding Benjamin Büchel, on loan at the club before a horrific knee injury against Bromley, is about as bad as it could get.
Simkin continued: “Bournemouth have said it’s the whole package – cartilage, medial and cruciate ligaments.
“He’s not going to play for some considerable time.”
Boreham Wood are fifth in the table, five points and three places above the Magpies, and if the county town side harbour any ambitions of being in the play-off mix at the end of the season their run of three home games will be crucial.
“All games are crucial and the play-offs are there to be got at,” Simkin added.
“It’s going to be a big test for us but one we’re looking forward to because playing at home has been good for us this season.”
Meanwhile, in a bid to swell the crowd for the matches against Boreham Wood this Saturday, Farnborough next Tuesday and AFC Hornchurch the following Saturday, the club is giving children the chance to see all three fixtures for free.
When accompanied by a paying adult (£10 terrace, £11 stand) one child will be admitted free of charge.
Also, road works close to the ground are taking place until March 16 and could affect supporters’ journeys to and from the Avenue for the Farnborough game. Full details to follow in the build-up to the match.
Magpies: (from) Matthews, Jermyn, Martin, Smeeton, Pugh, N Walker, Gleeson, Nicholls, Malsom, Crittenden, Morgan, Watson, Moore, Floyd, Bell, Brooks