A RELIEVED Phil Simkin was toasting a well overdue Magpies’ win last night after Ashley Nicholls’ strike saw off 10-man Dover Athletic.
Dorchester’s victory was their first in five Blue Square Bet South matches as they condemned a poor Dover side to a fifth defeat on the bounce.
Magpies’ manager Simkin made the bold move of putting centre half Charlie Clough up front and gave keeper Alan Walker-Harris a first start in nearly a year after a nasty leg break.
And his selection paid off with Clough giving a man of the match performance and Walker-Harris keeping a clean sheet on his return.
“That is a relief,” said Simkin. “I thought we thoroughly deserved the win and we wanted it more than they did.
“I thought our back four were excellent and I was very pleased for Alan Walker-Harris.
“I’m just relieved to get three points and to see the players getting back to what they were doing in August and September in terms of organisation and work rate.
“Ben Watson never stopped running – I don’t know how he does it quite frankly.
“Everyone raised their eyebrows when I put Alan back in goal and Charlie Clough further forward.
“But Charlie is a very accomplished footballer and he proved that. He thoroughly deserved the man of the match award.
“By his own volition he’s not been playing very well in the last four to six weeks, not by his standards, but I thought he was awesome.
“It was a really good all-round performance. Three points in this league this season is massive.
“That result is massive and it sets us up for the games to come.”
Simkin felt referee Adrian Quelch was right to send off Dover’s Danny Webb for a second bookable offence with a little under 20 minutes to go.
While after the match he did raise concerns about the state of the pitch at the Avenue which is not coping well under the wet and cold weather.
However, that could not detract from a great day at the office for Simkin’s men, who will now look forward to an away clash against Weston-Super-Mare on Saturday, another side with dreams of promotion.