DORCHESTER Sports’ boss Ashley James believes the Dorset Senior Trophy derby with Balti Sports tomorrow (2.30pm) is the “most important” in their rivalry.

James’ men welcome Marco Nott’s side to the Clayson Stadium after the two teams drew 1-1 at Weymouth College in the Dorset Premier League in August.

Since Dorchester Sports began playing at the Clayson, Balti have failed to register a win and lost 3-0 on their previous visit to the county town in August 2018.

With the added spice of cup competition thrown into the pot, James expects a big occasion.

“It’s a vitally important game for our season,” he told Echosport.

“Anything can happen in a cup game, whoever plays the best on the day will go through and I hope it will be us.

“If we’re not at our best, we know Balti are a top side and we’ll come unstuck, so we’ve got to be at our very best to beat them.

“We’ve been playing each other for about 10 years and this one is probably the most important.

“Both of us want to go deep in this competition and unfortunately one of us is going to go out.”

Adam Steele and Jamie Rawlings miss out but Dan Peart, Jamie West and Danny Critchell return.

For Balti, the Dorset Senior Trophy is the Weymouth-based side’s only cup focus after Holt beat Nott’s troops 2-1 in the League Cup preliminary round – their only defeat this season.

He said: “It’s a cup game and we’re out of one cup already – we want to try and do well in this cup if we can. Every time we play Dorch it’s always a big game.

“I jinx it every year by saying we want a cup run, because we never have one! Ideally, it keeps the interest going throughout the season so cup runs are important for us.

“It’s not far off the hardest tie in the draw and we haven’t ever won at the Clayson so we need to put that right quite quickly.

“It’s probably the first time we’ve played them on a Saturday – it’s usually a midweek game. But both teams have had a good start this season and it should be a good game.”

Balti welcome back Ricky Lane, Charlie Kenderdine, Sean Zima and Che Curran but Carl McClements and Stef Stavrianos are unavailable. Sanchez Baker is a long-term absentee with forces duty.


t: 01305 830990

e: neil.walton

twitter: @EchoSportNeil