DORCHESTER Town will not take anything for granted when they go to rock-bottom Truro City on Boxing Day (3pm), according to Magpies’ assistant-manager Stuart Heath.
The Cornish outfit might be propping up the Blue Square Bet South table but Heath insists they will provide just as tough a test as the teams at the top.
Wednesday’s match is the first of two meetings between the clubs in the space of six days with the return fixture set for the Avenue on New Year’s Day.
The postponement of Saturday’s home clash with Farnborough gave the squad the chance to get in an extra training session before Boxing Day’s trip to Truro.
There, boss Phil Simkin, back after a period of personal leave, gets the opportunity to look at his players for the first time since defeat to Sutton more than a fortnight ago.
And Heath, who has looked after the squad in Simkin’s absence, knows their opponents are better than the league standings suggest.
Truro have endured a terrible year with administration resulting in a 10-point deduction, a transfer embargo and the very real threat of liquidation before a last-ditch takeover saved the club on December 15.
Now looking at a more stable future, the club has added former Fulham striker Barry Hayles to its ranks.
“I’d much rather have played Truro at the start of the season,” said Heath. “They are a better side now than they were then, on and off the pitch.
“They are a good side and have got a big attacking threat with Andy Watkins and Barry Hayles up front.
“It will be more of a challenge for us now than it would have been before they signed a new keeper (Luke McCormick) and striker (Hayles) and sorted things out with the ownership of the club.
“But we accept the challenges we face in this league and Truro will be no different. They’ve had some fantastic results and every credit to them for that.
“We’ve got to go there expecting a really tough game and make sure we are up to it. They’re bottom of the table but that’s not a true reflection of how good they are.
“They’ve gone through the season with a transfer embargo and used only 13 or 14 players so it’s been a fantastic effort on their part and the supporters and community down there.”
Heath reckons the Magpies need to focus on their own performance rather than concentrating on someone like veteran Hayles.
“We’ve got to start performing and if we do we’ll pick up points, no doubt about that,” he added. “Someone like Barry Hayles is always going to influence a game but we’ve got to start focusing on ourselves more.
“Our individual and collective performance has got to be better. The squad realise how important this period is and how crucial the need for points is.
“We need to start playing to our potential because we’re a match for anyone in this league.
“We’ve beaten the top teams so the potential for results is there – we’ve got to make sure it happens.”
Defender Arran Pugh is still waiting to serve a one-match ban while Simkin will stick with the same squad named for the postponed Farnborough game.
Magpies: (from) Matthews, Jermyn, Martin, Walker, Clough, Crittenden, Nicholls, Gleeson, Gosling, Colson, Watson, Logan, Smeeton, Symes, Way, Brooks, Walker-Harris.