Simkin looks to shore up Magpies' defence

DORCHESTER WALL: The Magpies with Jamie Gleeson, second right, who has signed a two-year contract, defending a free-kick at Luton in the FA Cup

DORCHESTER WALL: The Magpies with Jamie Gleeson, second right, who has signed a two-year contract, defending a free-kick at Luton in the FA Cup

First published in Local Sport Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

DORCHESTER Town’s poor defending away from home this season is mystifying boss Phil Simkin.

But it is something he hopes to put right for today’s away clash with second-placed Welling United (3pm).

Simkin is thinking of changing the Magpies’ defensive approach in an attempt to shore up the back four.

The hosts are chasing a record-breaking 11th successive Blue Square Bet South victory and with the county town side suffering injury worries they are clear favourites for the game.

Even during Monday’s 4-0 thrashing by Chelmsford City the Magpies’ chief was upbeat about some of the play his side produced in attack – but at the other end he wasn’t so enamoured.

“We played some really good football at times but defended poorly,” said Simkin.

“We’ve done that a lot this season and I can’t understand why.

“It really has been our Achilles heel.

“We don’t seem to have as much of a problem at home but away it’s different – it can only be a mental thing.

“Playing away from home you don’t have the comfortable surroundings and you have to adapt to that.

“It’s something we’ve got to sort out and maybe we will change our shape to deal with that.

“We’ll try and look at keeping it tighter at the back.”

Injuries in the camp have forced Simkin to hunt for back-up with Mark Jermyn having been ruled out with an ankle injury and Charlie Clough facing a late fitness test.

But whatever side he picks, Dorchester won’t make Well-ing’s history bid a straight forward one.
“We are underdogs,” added Simkin.

“But we normally acquit ourselves well at Welling and beat them at home earlier in the season, albeit in the last few seconds. Not many sides have done that to them.

“It won’t be any easy game for them regardless of what side we put out.”

In other news, Portland United ace Carl Mutch has been signed on dual registration terms as potential cover over the coming weeks, while midfielder Jamie Gleeson has put pen to paper on a new two-year deal, which includes a testimonial.

Finally, Nick Crittenden has been ruled out for at least 10 days with a hamstring injury.
* Weymouth Reserves have been drawn against Portland United in the semi-finals of the Magna Dorset Premier League Cup.

The other tie will see Holt United take on either Chick-erell United or Hamworthy Recreation. The date and venue of each game has yet to be decided.

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