Race for ace Nicholls
Midfield maestro Ashley Nicholls remains a major doubt for tomorrow’s
visit of relegation-threatened Staines Town (3pm).
The 30-year-old missed Monday’s 3-2 defeat to Truro City
through illness and the Magpies are once again sweating on Nicholls’
fitness ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with the Swans.
Manager Phil Simkin said: “We are absolutely down to the
bare bones at the moment with Tom Nichols having gone back to Exeter
and Ash’s illness.
“He has had a stomach bug which has really knocked him for
six. He has been back on his feet but whether he is in contention
for tomorrow I do not know. He is our main concern.
“He gets us playing and for the last few months he has been
on top form. When he is on top form he runs games for us.
“Obviously you miss a player of that calibre and the same
goes for Tom, but we knew his loan would finish just short of the
end of the season.”
Despite hovering just one point clear of the Blue Square Bet South
drop-zone, Staines visit the Avenue Stadium on the back of a four-match
But with several teams scrapping it out to avoid finishing in the
last two relegation spots – the fate of rock-bottom Thurrock
having already been decided – the Massive are in desperate
need of a positive result tomorrow.
Simkin, whose side lie eighth in the table, added: “It’s
going to be a particularly hard game for us as they are fighting
for their lives and have been on a decent run of late, including
going to Dover and winning 4-0, which is one hell of a result.
“We certainly won’t be taking Staines lightly but we
have nine points left to play for and I want to try and win all
“I was disappointed with the result on Monday and the manner
of the goals we conceded.
“Tomorrow we will be looking to do what we normally do, which
is pass it and create some openings. Hopefully we can also cut out
the individual mistakes.”
Simkin, who was named the permanent successor to Alan Knight last
week, also hopes to be joined in dugout by his new assistant –
former player and caretaker-manager Gary Bor-thwick.
The county town boss said: “I have spoken to Gary and he
is feeling better. Hopefully he will be there tomorrow.”
Following tomorrow’s game, the Magpies do battle with Wimborne
Town in the Dorset Senior Cup final at the County Ground on Tuesday
Magpies (from): Jones, Critchell, Bell, Smeeton, Martin, Jermyn,
N Walker, S Walker, S Buckler, Nicholls, Gleeson, Symes, Crittenden,
Worsfold, Malsom, Dovell, Way, Godfrey, Carlile.