Smeeton set to step up his recovery

Dorset Echo: LONG LAY-OFF: Jake Smeeton LONG LAY-OFF: Jake Smeeton

JAKE Smeeton could tonight make his first outing in five months as Dorchester Town Reserves play host to their Wimborne counterparts (7.45pm).

The Magpies’ full-back has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since April but it is hoped the 24-year-old will step up his recovery in this evening’s Wyvern Premier League encounter.

And Smeeton could be joined in the second-string line-up by fellow first-team squad members Nick Crittenden, Harrison Bell and new signing Arran Pugh.

Reserve boss Dave Kiteley, whose side earned their first victory of the campaign last Thursday, said: “There will be a lot of changes tonight because I know Phil Simkin wants to involve some of the first-team players. Jake is coming back, he’s trained a few times and there is a possibility he will play. Arran could also play, as well as those who didn’t play at the weekend.

“It’s unfortunate for the lads who played last Thursday but that’s the nature of the reserves – this is what it’s there for.

“Those who are involved tonight need to take the opportunity to learn from the first-team players and enjoy the experience of playing alongside people like Nick and Arran.”

After four somewhat luckless displays, the Magpies ran out 2-1 winners at Bashley five days ago to get their season up and running.

And Kiteley believes there is more to come from his charges.

He added: “The actual performance on Thursday was no different to before but we made hard work of it.

“We had a nervous last five minutes but the game should have been buried by half-time with the number of chances we created and missed.

“Having said that, I would be more disappointed if we weren’t creating chances.

“Ninety per cent of our game has come together, we just need to start taking more of our chances.

“It was nice for the players to see some reward for their efforts on Thursday.”

On the subject of tonight’s opponents, Kiteley said: “I’m surprised to see they haven’t won yet as they were a decent team last year.

“We played them three times and they beat us three times.”

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