WITH Sam Malsom on the verge of sealing a move to arch-rivals Dorchester Town, the Terras have vowed to fight tooth and nail to convince Stephen Reed not to make the same move.

Magpies’ chairman Shaun Hearn told Echosport yesterday that he has agreed terms with both players, but the Weymouth board is set to counter the county town outfit’s bid to sign Reed by offering the midfielder a permanent contract.

Dorchester have also allowed Andrew White to return to Eastleigh and let Steve Devlin join Poole Town while the Terras have drafted in Yeovil Town youngster Lewis Clarke on loan and are close to agreeing a similar deal with AFC Totton for James Coutts.

Magpies’ boss Alan Knight, whose side are without a fixture today, said: “As far as I know talks with the two Weymouth players are still ongoing.

“They are both quality players that will certainly give us a boost but more importantly they are both keen to join us and want to be a part of what we are doing here.

“As for Steve Devlin, without wanting to talk out of turn, he asked to leave.

“He has some personal stuff he needs to address work-wise and at the end of the day he has to put himself and his family first.

“I am disappointed to see him go and I know he is disappointed too but these things happen. “He has been fantastic since I have been here but it is purely down to work commitments and nothing else.

“In regards to Andrew White, he has had some injuries and I could not guarantee him a start so it has been deemed best for him to return to Eastleigh.”

On the other side of the Ridgeway, Brendon King appears to have conceded in his bid to keep hold of Malsom but he remains confident Reed will stay put.

He said: “Having spoken to Sam several times, his one and only desire is to play at the highest level he can.

“Dorchester have offered him that opportunity and although we do not want him to leave, we feel we cannot hold him back either despite the fact he is under contract until the end of the season.

“He has enjoyed his time here but he wants to push on and all we can do is wish him all the best. I have also spoken to Reedy and I am confident he will stay.

“He will definitely be available this afternoon at Oxford City (3pm) and again at Stourbridge on Tuesday when we are also hoping to have James Coutts in on loan as well. We have also signed Lewis Clarke on loan from Yeovil Town.

“He had a loan spell here last season and as long as all the paperwork goes through in time he will be in the squad at Oxford too, along with Alex Jeannin, who is fit again and raring to go.”

Commenting further on Reed, George Rolls added: “We will fight tooth and nail to keep hold of him.

“Sam wants to play at a higher level so we will not stand in his way but we are hopeful that Reedy will stay on.

“Everyone knows we have had a love-hate relationship over the years but he has really buckled down this season and been fantastic.

“He realised this could be his last chance and we feel he owes the club to stay on with us, particularly with Brendon having shown so much faith in him.

“He is on non-contract at the moment but we are confident we can get him tied down to a deal and that is what we will be trying to do to help convince him not to leave.”

Meanwhile, this afternoon’s clash against City could bring the curtain down on Byron Napper’s stay at the Terras. The Crawley Town midfielder’s current loan deal ends tonight but there is still a possibility he could return.

Napper said: “I am not sure what is happening yet, it is just a waiting game.”