Report: Poole promotion party as Dolphins win Southern Premier

Killick carried by his charges (Photo Credit: Andy Orman)

Killick carried by his charges (Photo Credit: Andy Orman)

Originally published 16/04/16 on South Coast Journalism

Poole Town FC capped off a fantastic season by putting the title race to bed with two games to spare.

With second placed Redditch’s game postponed, only a win on the day would have seen the Dolphins crowned champions – and they did it emphatically.

All 11 players that started today were at the club 12 months ago, all experiencing the hurt and heartache of losing on the final day. However, those bad memories will be all but forgotten after Poole put three past a weakened Dunstable side.

Richard Gillespie was given his tenth start in an injury hit season, but it was the more frequently played players that got the game off to a flying start after exactly three minutes.

Marvin Brooks played an immaculate through ball with the outside of the boot to Roberts, who beat his man. However, his run was ended by the keeper – Roberts just about managing to get an effort, which fall to the feet of Brooks, who fired home into an empty net for his 14th goal of the season.

With an almost immediate impact, Poole swiftly took control of the game, and looked dangerous every time they went forward. Their next best chance would fall to Gillespie, who was given the ball at a tight angle from a Devlin ball. However, the angle was too tight, and he couldn’t convert.

It wasn’t all one-way traffic, however, as David Keenleyside fired the visitors’ first real chance past Nick Hutchings post.

However, Poole soon returned to their offensive duties when it appeared Gillespie had been brought down by Adam Pepera outside the box, but the hosts received no free kick.

When presented with his first true chance of the game, Gillespie could only place the ball high over the bar, after some good play from the Dolphins set their striker up.

Luke Roberts thought he had bagged another important goal for the home side, but his low drive was held by Bartosz Pedrycz in the Dunstable goal.

The Blues were now pinned in their own half, with Poole generating numerous chances.

Brooks aimed for a finessed finish into the top right corner, but only found the space above the bar, which was followed by a cheeky chip from Devlin, which took Pedrycz two attempts to save.

Even captain Jamie Whisken tried to get some of the action, when his low rasping effort was just about saved by the shotstopper, who was a stand-in for his injured counterpart, Jamie Head.

The second half was slightly more even, before Brooks popped up to bag his 15th goal of the season.

With around half an hour left, the attacking midfielder rounded off a well worked more by caressing the ball into the bottom left corner.

Carl Pettefer begun the move by slipping in Burbidge, who in turned moved the ball on towards Brooks, who bagged his third brace in April.

And everytime the midfield stalwart has scored twice, he has had plenty of time to grab a third – and his first ever senior hat-trick.

In both those previous games, he hit the woodwork in his quest for a treble – but he got even closer when he sent his next effort towards the top left corner – only to be palmed away by Keenleyside, who received a red for his troubles.

With the perfect opportunity to score his third, Brooks was all set to take the penalty awarded – but the Poole Town bench instructed regular penalty taker Steve Devlin to carry out his duty. With everything else going right on Poole’s perfect day, many expected Devlin to convert – but Pedrycz guessed the right way to push away, and keep the score line the same.

But Brooks would get his chance from the spot, when striker Gillespie was poleaxed by the onrushing ‘keeper.

It was an obvious decision for match official Martin Underhay, with the Polish goalie dismissed and another spotkick awarded.

Defender Mark Smith took over ‘keeping duties, but no goalkeeper would have saved the following penalty. Brooks had obviously picked out the top right before the spot kick, and coolly slotted it there for his hat-trick.

Even Lewis Tallack tried to get on the fun – his long-range effort awkwardly dealt with by makeshift ‘keeper Smith, who then made the best save of the game to deny substitute Tony Lee.

The game had other chances inside the last ten for another Poole goal, but the game was effectively over as the carnival atmosphere grew inside the ground.

On the final whistle, the cheers were finally let out, as Poole clinched promotion to the 6th tier of English football.

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