DORCHESTER Town captain Gary Bowles conceded he is “puzzled” by the Magpies’ struggles away from home this season.

Boss Steve Thompson’s side have won just once on their travels this season – a 1-0 win at Dunstable Town in Thompson’s first game in charge in September.

As a result, the Magpies’ recent 3-3 draw against Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division basement club Gosport Borough extended their woeful run to just one win in 16 away league games this campaign.

And Bowles was upfront with his assessment of Dorchester’s away form, insisting that his team seems to “hide” on the road.

He told Echosport: “I’m puzzled by it. At home I can’t see anybody beating us. As soon as we go away I don’t know what it is, we just seem to hide.

“A few players are not playing their games as they would do at home. We need to start picking up points away.

“There’s a lot of youngsters but it’s not as if we’re going to play in front of 10,000 people – something’s got to change. We can’t be doing this next season.”

Dorchester salvaged a point from their trip to Gosport as Bowles himself stepped up with a last-minute leveller, a bittersweet moment for the Magpies’ skipper, who last scored in a 7-2 thrashing of the same opponents in October.

He said: “A few players took (Gosport) lightly I think, and we went in 2-2 at half-time, then they went 3-2 up. We should be beating teams like that. I wasn’t happy and the manager wasn’t happy.

“It’s always nice to get a goal. I was still gutted that we came away with a draw, but it’s nice to get on the scoresheet.

“I think my last was Gosport at home, they must be my lucky team!”

Bowles was appointed captain by former manager Craig Laird in the summer, and feels he has taken the extra responsibility in his stride.

He said: “I’m enjoying it. I see myself as one of the older players now. I like to talk to the younger players and they know they can come and talk to me.

“I’ve taken it in my stride. Pressure doesn’t really get to me – I’m good at blocking it out.”

And the Magpies’ leader was quick to praise Thompson for his impact at the club since taking the reins from Laird.

He said: “He’s got players playing for him whereas previous managers didn’t. He’s made it a lot more professional, and with our home form and goals conceded.

“We’ve conceded one in our last five (at home). That’s good for a team playing to the standard we are.”

With the form of Callum Rose, who this week extended his loan deal from Plymouth Argyle to the end of the season, and Ross Carmichael, Bowles is happy to stay in his central defensive midfield role rather than centre-back.

“When (Thompson) first put me there I was puzzled. The job Callum and Ross have done is great. As long as they’re doing their job I can’t argue.

“I feel fit in midfield and enjoy breaking up the play with my size, making tackles and winning the headers.

“Anything on top of that with goals is a bonus. Obviously I’m there to protect the back four – hopefully I’m doing that well,” he said.