ASHLEY Nicholls is a major doubt for the Magpies ahead of tomorrow’s trip to New Lodge (3pm).

The influential midfielder has been struggling with illness this week and Phil Simkin is currently keeping his fingers crossed that he recovers in time.

Speaking ahead of the clash with Billericay Town, the Dorchester boss told Echosport: “It is never easy travelling away to these sides but hopefully we can go up there and get a result.

“We are feeling fairly confident at the moment but we do have concerns over Ashley Nicholls, who has not been well.

“Hopefully he will be okay because he is a very important player for us. Other than that we have a clean bill of health.”

Town have won seven of their last nine games in all competitions but they have faltered in their last two on the road where Simkin is keen to see improvements.

He added: “I will just be looking for a solid performance because our away form has been a bit of a concern.

“I do not count the last one at Salisbury City because that was a bit of a one-off but it is something I am aware of.

“If we came back with a point tomorrow it would be nice and if we came back with three I would be delighted – I just want us to keep the momentum going.”

Simkin also feels that two men in particular could be the key achieving that this weekend.

He went on to add: “We slotted Arran Pugh into the defence last week and we looked really solid.

“That and the form of Jason Matthews in goal are big factors for us.

“Jason has been absolutely outstanding. He is enjoying his football again and is a big influence both in the dressing room and out on the pitch.”

Dorchester currently sit second in Blue Square Bet South while Billericay lie 18th, having picked up just 11 points from their opening 10 games.

Magpies (from): Matthews, Jermyn, Bell, Martin, Smeeton, Clough, Walker, Pugh, Gleeson, Nicholls, Morgan, Crittenden, Symes, Ward, Gosling, Garcia, Malsom, Watson, Reid.