Magpies: Joyce set to miss clash with the Bluebirds

INJURED: Magpies' striker Ben Joyce

INJURED: Magpies' striker Ben Joyce

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

BACK-TO-BACK home wins will be Dorchester Town’s aim tonight when they take on Chippenham Town at the Avenue (7.45pm), though Phil Simkin’s men are to go into battle without Ben Joyce.

The forward left the field nursing a hamstring injury after just 14 minutes of Saturday’s victory over Hereford United, with his departure forcing the Magpies into a change of formation early on in the encounter.

However, switching to a 4-3-3 didn’t appear to have any negative effects on the county town outfit and they are likely to go with the same approach tonight.

Captain Nathan Walker, who replaced Joyce at the weekend, is expected to start at centre-back alongside younger brother Steve, while close season signing Ryan Woodford returns to the squad.

Dorchester have two wins from three in the Southern Premier League to date, and although he is pleased with how his charges have started the new campaign, Simkin is frustrated at his squad’s bad luck with injuries.

“I have been reasonably pleased with what we have done so far,” he said. “The only disappointing thing from Saturday was losing Ben Joyce.

“That was a blow for us because he is a quality player, no doubt about it.

“The physio will look at his hamstring tonight. It’s not a full blown pull, it’s more of a tweak, so hopefully it shouldn’t take that long.

“It’s been disappointing to pick up injuries so early.

“We haven’t got the resources of our neighbours and we can’t deal with injuries like they can.”

Sam Lanahan was having treatment on a bad back last night but loan signing Mason Walsh is going to be out for a while following a nasty ankle injury just minutes into his debut at Arlesey.

Chippenham also have six points from their first three fixtures this term and the Magpies’ boss knows they will be tough opponents tonight.

“Chippenham are a strong side with some good players like Alan Griffin and Lee Phillips,” he added.

“They are a robust side who are quite direct from what I have been told.

“They have had a decent start like ourselves and will provide a good test for us.”

Commenting further on the Hereford triumph, he said: “How long we keep the three points from Saturday remains to be seen.

“I’m not in the habit of getting upset about things I have no control over.

“If Hereford go out of business and we lose the points we’ll just have to deal with it.”

Magpies (from): Walker-Harris, Hanger, Buckley, N Walker, S Walker, Smeeton, Agbo, Gleeson, Crittenden, Cann, D Smith, S Smith, Godfrey, Brookes, Murphy

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