Dorchester Town manager Callum Brooks defended his decision to leave star winger Tom Blair out of his starting line-up for the 3-2 BetVictor Southern Premier South loss to Hartley Wintney.

Blair, who is set to serve a one-game suspension for receiving a red card at Blackfield & Langley on Bank Holiday Monday, scored in the 80th minute after coming on at half-time.

Blair gave Magpies’ fans a timely reminder of his precocious talent with an impressive display off the bench on Saturday, leading some members of the home faithful questioning his demotion to the dugout.

But Brooks hinted his decision was disciplinary-based with the winger having been booked five times in four games prior to the contest.

Asked whether he regretted not starting Blair, Brooks told Echosport: “No, because it was the right thing for Tom and the group, which is always my primary focus.

“At the moment, Tom’s our match-winner and our biggest goal threat.

“No-one wants to start Tom more than myself, but his discipline issues this season haven’t been poor, they’ve been abnormally bad.”

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