Clarke believes sides will reduce down

STEVEN Clark's experience of the Blue Square South leads him to believe the number of sides capable of a promotion push will quickly reduce, Chelmsford City's right-back claiming “I don't think there will be ten teams involved” ahead of his team's Monday night clash with Dorchester Town at Melbourne.

STEVEN Clark's experience of the Blue Square South leads him to believe the number of sides capable of a promotion push will quickly reduce, Chelmsford City's right-back claiming “I don't think there will be ten teams involved” ahead of his team's Monday night clash with Dorchester Town at Melbourne.

Clark knows the 7.45pm kick-off is of great importance to the future shape of the Clarets' season and, with up to eleven sides currently within sight of a top-five finish, the former Eastleigh, Bromley and Fisher Athletic man thinks a leading pack will shortly begin to form.

“I know this league having played in it for four or five years and I don't think there will be ten teams involved in the play-off chase,” he explained.

Chelmsford haven't won in the League since January 16, but Clark is confident the team will find their feet again soon, adding: “We'll be in the hunt for sure but it is very difficult to stay there once you're there, as we are finding out along with other teams.


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“It would be a massive shame if we didn't make the play-offs as anything else would be seen as a failure. We have some brilliant players here like Ricky Holmes and Skip [Dave Rainford] and if we all stick together there's no reason why we can't be in there.”

Marlon Patterson is unavailable as he serves the one-match ban he obtained when sent-off against Staines Town a fortnight ago. Elsewhere, head coach Glenn Pennyfather could face a defensive selection concern if centre-halves Mark Haines (foot) and Steve Ward (hip) don't recover in time. Simon Glover remains in recovery from a broken ankle and young striker Lewis Smith is likely to miss out once more with a calf strain.

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Dorchester are struggling in 17th position in the table but take comfort from the nine-point gap they have above the relegation zone two places below them.

Their recent form has also seen them lose just twice since December 5, one of those being to runaway leaders Newport County. February's win at home to high-flying Thurrock and a creditable point against Bromley have forced Pennyfather to take note.

“Our application has got to be spot-on and I said that to the players [after Saturday's Eastleigh game],” Glenn reassured.

“You can have all the ability in the world but you need to have desire married to that. We've got to make sure we're right physically and mentally as this isn't going to be easy. They've had some good results and they're fighting for their lives. You've got to earn what you get as there are no gimmes.”

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