RELIABLE defender Nathan Walker could miss his first match in almost a year this weekend.

The towering figure is currently nursing a hamstring injury and Magpies’ manager Phil Simkin insists he will take no risks in Saturday’s FA Cup clash with Bury Town.

Should he fail to prove his fitness for the fourth qualifying round tie, which carries a £12,500 prize for the victors, it will be the first time Walker has sat out a competitive fixture since November 1 – when Dorchester Town defeated rivals Weymouth 1-0 in the second round of the Dorset Senior Cup.

Simkin told Echosport: “Nathan is struggling with a hamstring problem, which isn’t ideal, and if he had to play today he wouldn’t be able to.

“I’m not used to him being injured but he will have intensive treatment tonight and we will monitor the situation right up to kick-off.

“I have got no intention of risking him and his hamstring going and him being out for six to eight weeks because whatever happens on Saturday, life goes on afterwards.

“We have got Arran Pugh and Charlie Clough but the bottom line is that Nathan is a key player for us and we’re not used to being without him.”

The county town chief revealed in Monday’s Echosport that he was on the lookout for a new striker as he bids to maintain the Magpies’ place in the higher echelons of the Blue Square Bet South table.

One potential new face was on show last night as the reserves won 4-0 against Alton Town.

Former Weymouth skipper Warren Byerley, most recently at crisis-club Kettering, lined up for the county town outfit and scored on his return to the Avenue.