DORCHESTER Town left-back Neil Martin expressed his fondness for the Magpies after chalking up his 300th appearance for the club against King’s Lynn last Saturday.

Martin, who was signed in August 2009 by then manager Roy O’Brien, made his competitive debut for the club in a 3-0 win over St Albans City, scoring the second goal in among an Ivan Forbes double.

Eight seasons on, Martin, 28, has reached a triple century of games for the county town side and told Echosport he feels “lucky” to have avoided serious injury so far in his career.

He said: “It’s nice to get to 300 and to play with a club that I love playing for. I’ve been lucky to have had no severe injuries.

“I’ve been lucky with that and I’ve been consistent in my performances and that’s down to enjoying my football. When I enjoy my football I play well.

“I went to Weymouth and had a little stint at Poole but I didn’t enjoy my football there so I didn’t play well. Dorchester is the place I belong, so it’s been good.”

Asked if he could remember his first game, Martin admitted he could scarcely believe “how quickly” time had passed since his Magpies’ bow.

“Roy signed me and I scored on my debut in a 3-0 win. Playing in front of the home fans and scoring on my debut was a dream for me. I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone.

“There’s a few low points but you get through them in football – there’s been a challenge in some parts.

“Dorchester have come through a lot and seem to be on the up. It’s one of those where you take each game as it comes. It could’ve been the other way round and I could’ve got a serious injury and not played another game,” he said.

But Martin’s landmark match didn’t go quite to plan as the Magpies suffered a 3-0 defeat away to new Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division leaders King’s Lynn, Martin

conceding the penalty for the Linnets’ third.

The result meant that Dorchester’s poor away league form stretched to just one win in 14 games.

Martin said: “King’s Lynn were a good, strong team. I would say they’re one of the favourites to go up. It’s not nice with having to travel. I left my house at eight in the morning and got home at 10.30.

“We haven’t been travelling well. We’ve been preparing well but it doesn’t make sense why we’ve got bad away form.

“We missed Phil (Ormrod) with a physical presence up front. They had two centre-halves that were eating the lot. It shows that we missed him.

“Hopefully (his injury) is not too severe and we can get him back as soon as possible.”

Martin added that a possible explanation may be the youthful age of Dorchester’s squad.

He said: “We’ve got a young team and they’ve got a lot of learning to do. Some of them haven’t done a lot of travelling through the leagues but they’ve got some potential.

“As a youngster it’s hard getting used to it and it’s hard getting around with the first team, getting your diet right.

“But it’s only positives to come. The fans are noticing as well. Before that we beat Tiverton 3-0 and they’re in the top five.

“It’s not a case of them being a rubbish team. We just need to get our away performances right and it will all be OK.”