Poole Town kick-off their FA Cup campaign with the visit of league rivals Swindon Supermarine.
With boss Tom Killick labelling the match-up as a “tough draw”, Dolphins will certainly need to be at their best to advance.
Supermarine come into this game on a roll, with their 5-2 victory over Farnborough on Monday their third win on the bounce.
Apart from an opening day defeat to Hayes & Yeading, Supermarine have made a strong start to the season, currently sitting one place above the Dolphins in fifth place.
Fixtures between the two sides have produced goalfests before, with Swindon putting five past Poole on two seperate occasions.
Whilst neither fixture between the two sides was played in the curtailed 2020/21 season, the two teams last met in the first cancelled season.
Poole won both fixtures in the 2019/20 campaign, beating Supermarine away 1-0 thanks to a late Corby Moore strike.
The home fixture saw Will Spetch deployed as a stand-in striker, with the centrehalf grabbing the first in a 2-0 win.
In the last completed campaign Supermarine came out on top – holding Poole to a 1-1 draw at the Black Gold after smacking Dolphins 5-2 at home.
The sides first met in the Southern League South & Western during Poole’s title winning season of 2012/13. Due to a fixture pile-up, both games were played within a four day span at the end of April.
Dolphins were victorious on the Tuesday at home, before Swindon ran out 5-1 winners in the reverse game on the Thursday.
They wore both shirts
Only one player has featured for both clubs – Ashan Holgate started his career at Swindon Town, before bouncing around the West Country. He signed for Supermarine in the 2010/11 season, and joined Poole right at the end of their title winning season in 2016.
One half of a front-line Tom Killick described as the best in the league, David Pratt comes into this fixture with three goals in his previous two games.
A striker with over 500 appearances in England’s 6th tier, Dolphins fans might remember Pratt best for his spells at Chippenham Town.
Pratt has even grabbed an FA Cup goal against the Dolphins, way back in 2016 in Chippenham’s 4-1 win over Poole.
Scored 22 goals the last time he played a full campaign at this level.
Thorn in our side
With three goals in his previous encounters against the Dolphins, Conor McDonagh is certainly a known threat to the Dolphins.
Top goalscorer every season he has been with Supermarine, McDonagh could have easily been named as Swindon’s dangerman. In his last full season at this level, McDonagh plundered 24 goals.
With a strike rate better than a goal every other game, the former Oxford United trainee hasn’t scored in his previous two games – meaning he is overdue.
42 years-old, Matt Coupe technically retired two years ago – but is still registered to Swindon Supermarine ahead of the new season.
After a two-decades long career it is only natural a player would pick up a few clubs on his travels, with Coupe boasting 10 different employers apart from Supermarine.
With the club since October 2017, Coupe has made just under 100 appearances for Supermarine, but is now largely signed on as defensive cover in case of injuries.
Despite coming through nearby Cirencester Town’s academy to make a century of appearances for the Centurions, Brad Hooper has been a loyal servant to Supermarine since joining in 2016.
Has since made the central midfield role his own, picking up over 160 appearances in Supermarine colours.
Keen to keep the ball on the deck, a perfect fit for Supermarine’s passing style.
One for the future
A tough choice between brothers Louis and Henry Spalding – who are the sons of manager Lee. With only a year seperating the pair, Supermarine have two fine players for the future.
After his hat-trick against Farnborough last time out, and the fact he has made more appearances, elder brother Henry is our pick.
Still only 23, the older Spalding brother started his career at Bristol City. Currently in his second spell at the club, has grabbed 17 goals from midfield in just 71 appearances.
With numerous star strikers to finish off moves, left-footed Spalding is more than capable of supplying Supermarine’s front line.