MATTY Holmes has warned Wimborne Town must improve dramatically their defensive efforts if they are to avoid a Dorset Senior Cup shock against Gillingham Town tomorrow.

Magpies were shell-shocked after conceding five first-half goals against Thame United on Saturday, the ruthless bombardment effectively ending the Cowgrove Road club's FA Trophy hopes inside 27 minutes.

But Holmes's men have an immediate chance for redemption at home to Dorset Premier League side Gillingham, who were beaten finalists in the Dorset Senior Cup last season.

Gillingham hammered Wimborne 5-1 on Cuthbury turf in the first round of the competition two years ago.

Speaking ahead of his team's ninth match in 32 days, Holmes told the Daily Echo: "After the last game, I think the boys need to get back on the pitch and put in a better defensive display, to say the least.

"Our possession game against Thame was okay at times and we moved the ball well. But you aren't going to win any games of football unless you defend as a team.

"Although we look at the back four, you have got to stop the ball from going long from defensive areas, so it's up to the forwards to put a shift in and make sure they work hard as well.

"This is a Dorset Senior Cup game and there is a big incentive to get through the tie so we can test ourselves against a team from a higher league in Dorchester.

"Gillingham will be no pushovers. They beat Wimborne a couple of years ago when Steve Cuss was in charge. No game is easy and the players will have to have the right mentality."

Holmes will be without the services of defender Scott Arnold, the inspirational captain having been substituted during the first half against Thame due to injury.

"After the game against Paulton, we knew Scotty had tweaked his groin," added Holmes.

"When Thame's fourth goal went in after they played a one-two around him, I felt he was not moving very well.

"Scotty wouldn't tell you it was a problem, he just wants to play and he had the hump when he came off. But as a manager you have to look at it, it's about the team and not an individual.

"We felt he was carrying it and I had to make the decision. We are hoping he will be back to 100 per cent in the next week or so."

Holmes had hoped to select development players Robbie Bradley and Rob Okumu against Gillingham but both will miss out due to knocks.

Elsewhere, Verwood Town lock horns with Sherborne Town at Potterne Park with the winner earning a trip to Portland United.

On Wednesday, Swanage Town & Herston take on visitors Shaftesbury Town, the victors entertaining either Bridport or Weymouth in the last eight.

Poole Town face a quarter-final clash with Hamworthy United at the County Ground at the end of next month.