BOSS Phil Simkin believes Jamie Gleeson was the unsung hero in the Magpies’ dramatic late win over Eastleigh on Tuesday night.
Exeter City loanee Jamie Reid fired home a superb set-piece in injury-time to sink the Spitfires and maintain Dorchester ’s excellent start to the new season.
But after watching his side secure their third win on the spin in Blue Square Bet South, Simkin was quick to highlight the influence of midfielder Gleeson.
He said: “We beat one hell of a side. They are very experienced with excellent players. I knew the way they would play, I knew they would have three in the middle of midfield and I knew Daryl McMahon would run the game if we let him.
“We trusted Lewis Morgan, who was only playing in the Dorset Premier League last season, to go into the middle with Glees and Ash Nicholls.
“We detailed Glees to man-mark Daryl McMahon and he did it to the extent where McMahon ended up getting an injury and going off.
“He is one of the top midfield players in this league but Glees did an absolutely incredible job, one that a lot of people don’t see.
“He did as much to win us that game as anyone else.”
With Eastleigh piling on the pressure in the second half, the Magpies appeared content to settle for a point.
But substitute Reid was brought down 30 yards from goal in the final minute, and with dead-ball specialist Elliot Ward on the bench, the young striker took charge of the situation before finding the top-left corner in some style.
Simkin, who also handed a debut to fellow Exeter loan man Jake Gosling, added: “I did know that Reidy is good at free-kicks. I would have given it to Elliot had he been on the pitch but boy did Reidy hit it.
“You’ve always got a chance when you have people who can take free-kicks.
“To be honest, with the clock counting down, I was thinking I would be absolutely delighted to get a point but I’ll take the win. I thought we played very well in the first half but I felt we just had to stay in the game. The longer we stayed in it, the more chance we had of nicking it.
“Ben Watson ran himself to a stand-still. Every one of them did to be fair and we had people throwing their bodies in front of the ball.
“Jason Matthews again made some great saves and the two centre-halves (Nathan Walker and Charlie Clough) didn’t miss anything all night and they look comfortable together.
“It was a hard game to come into for Jake but he played his part and did very well.”
Dorchester’s third successive victory on home turf has lifted them to second in the table – level on 13 points with leaders Salisbury City.
But Simkin, whose men host Chelmsford on Saturday, said: “It doesn’t really matter, we’ve got another three points on the board so it’s 27 to go now until we’re safe.”