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MAGPIES: Watson and Pugh both exit the Avenue
THE first signs of a possible player exodus at Dorchester Town were evident yesterday with Ben Watson and Arran Pugh both leaving the club.
Southern League side Truro City swooped for the Magpies’ duo with defender Pugh returning to Treyew Road after leaving Cornwall for Dorset last September.
The pair’s departure would have been just the news Dorchester fans feared following the board’s announcement earlier in the week of further cuts to the playing budget.
County town boss Phil Simkin couldn’t hide his disappointment at losing Watson and Pugh – he had hoped to have them in his squad for today’s Skrill South game at Dover (3pm).
“It’s devastating, to be honest,” he told Echosport. “I can’t believe what’s happening – it’s almost surreal.
“They are two great lads and Watto is one of the best signings I’ve made at any level of football.
“He is hard working, scores goals and is among the most honest players I’ve ever worked with.
“Pughy is a steady-eddie at the back, always reliable and a nice lad – it’s very sad to see both of them go.”
Without Watson, the club’s top scorer last season, Pugh, the injured Jamie Gleeson and suspended Lewis Morgan, it remains to be seen what sort of squad Simkin will be able to take to Dover.
The Magpies’ chief has confirmed he will go to Kent with just one goalkeeper, Alan Walker-Harris, after Tim Sandercombe was released on Wednesday.
And for Simkin, today’s fixture could well be the end of an era at Dorchester with the squad likely to be broken up even more next week.
He added: “This has probably been the most difficult week I’ve ever had in football and a lot of things are still up in the air.
“The lads are devastated with what’s going on at the club, but I do know that they are professional enough that putting in a performance won’t be a problem.
“More moves will probably happen next week and I’m lucky that I’ve made friends in football who are out there scouring the area for anyone we can bring in.
“I’m looking for honest, fit and strong lads that want to have a go and can help get us off the bottom of the table.
“This league is unpredictable and it would be just like us to go and win at Dover.”
Dorchester beat Chelmsford in their last league outing but still sit at the foot of the table. Dover are 12th with four wins from nine games.
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