DORCHESTER Town boss Callum Brooks believes the Magpies’ entertaining 5-3 pre-season friendly victory was ideal preparation ahead of the new BetVictor Southern Premier South campaign.

Brooks watched on as midfielder Charlie Davis played a starring role, scoring twice and laying on two assists from corners for Callum Rose and Dan Strugnell, before Tom Blair hit a fifth.

Winchester proved challenging opponents, taking the lead in the fourth minute through former Magpie Olly Balmer and recovering from 2-1 for a 3-2 half-time advantage with a Kieran Douglas header.

City were particularly game in the tackle and captain Jamie Barron’s heavy foul on Antonio Diaz sparked a brawl in which both men were sent off.

Speaking to Echosport following the encounter, Brooks said: “I said to my group afterwards ‘that is as close as you’re going to get to a league game’.

“We’ve had a real mixed bag this pre-season of different challenges and tests, which is exactly what you want.

“We’ve finished it off with one which, to all intents and purposes, did represent a league game.

“Then, with some of the incidents which took place, you could see there was a real desperation to win from both teams. It took a real path of its own, the game.

“We’ve got to be happy with the test that we received. It was far from perfect – that’s not always a bad thing – some of the things I’ve seen I don’t want to witness next week (against Beaconsfield).

“Half-time it wasn’t a great dressing room to be in, we were very disappointed in the way we conceded the goals.

“We got the reaction we wanted, the group overcame a challenging afternoon together and won convincingly in the end, so there’s plenty of positives to move forward with.”

Davis was arguably Dorchester’s stand-out player but Brooks was quick to highlight ways in which the former Gosport captain could have been even more effective.

He said: “(Davis) wears his heart on his sleeve. Actually, we said in the first half we were a little bit disappointed with some of his passes.

“His passes were complete, but they were going behind the player. We felt with his quality he could be inviting the player receiving to go forwards, so we got onto him a bit at half-time.

“But what you get with Charlie is you get a really good desire to win. I can’t just single Charlie out on that, the group’s very determined.

“That’s the kind of spirit we need. He’s taken the bull by the horns, started playing forward and he’s chipped in with two goals, two assists.

“He’s had a patchy pre-season – that’s the longest he’s played – and I thought there were a lot of positives. That’s another five goals we’ve scored and we didn’t score from set plays last year.

“What is disappointing is the manner in which we’ve conceded the goals. I’ve not seen a side win as many balls in our box as Winchester did.

“Let’s credit them a little bit. They came here and had a real go at us, made the game a good old scrap and if they show that spirit in their league they’ll be difficult to beat.

“I thought their shape was quite good and some of the football they played was quite bright as well.”