Match Report: Stalemate after battle with Police

Metropolitan Police  1

Poole Town 1

Southern League Premier South | MD6| 11/09/21 | 

Poole Town picked up their first draw of the season after a keenly contested battle against Metropolitan Police.

Dolphins travelled to Surrey to face the unbeaten side, but were forced into making a change at the back with the absence of Jamie Whisken.

Manager Tom Killick also made the tactical decision to swap Jez Bedford out for Jack Dickson, but could only name four subs out of five allowed.

The first half followed the same trend of Poole’s last few games – a competitive first half that neither side truly controlled, but with the Dolphins largely second best.

In the previous three games where that has been the case, Poole have managed to turn a game on its head with a goal before the break – and whilst they certainly grew into the game five minutes before the half-time whistle, they could not trouble Liam Beach in the Met goal.

The major talking point was an absolutely bizarre error from Senior Assistant Referee Bogdan Caraghin.

A long throw in from Met captain Ollie Robinson flew out of play, with the linesman attempting to flag – before dropping his equipment. Now looking like a deer in the headlights, Caraghin fumbled the flag yet again, allowing play to continue.

Controversy followed as Met continued into the box, with a challenge coming in on the edge of the box. The hosts were convinced it was a penalty, Poole were incensed they did not receive a throw-in, and the linesman was miles behind and unable to offer any insight.

That was the last flashpoint of the first point, but the first major incident of the second half gave Poole the lead.

Beginning his move on the right hand flank, Jack Dickson pulled off a lovely roulette to break free of two pressing defenders, before playing a one-two with Luke Holmes to allow Dickson to advance into the box.

Sam de St Croix had tracked the winger’s run, but clumsily ran into Dickson – causing the referee to point to the spot.

Lee stepped up to emphatically power the ball past Beach, converting his third penalty of the season.

By now the game had devolved into a stop-start affair, with the match official awarding multiple soft nudges yet avoiding punishing blatant shoves in the back.

A set-piece would produce the equaliser for Met. Again, there were major complaints as Luke Holmes was bundled over by Rudy Allen, but the ref allowed play to continue, with a deflected strike from Allen beating Childs.

Chances throughout were at a premium, but both sides came close as the game came to an end.

Tony Lee smacked the bar from a free-kick, with the resultant goalmouth scramble almost generating another chance for Poole.

At the other end, Sam de St Croix almost atoned for his mistake at the back, and probably thought he had snatched it when he tapped the ball from less than a yard out.

However, Dan Bartlett was well placed to stab the ball off the line, with Childs assisting to ensure the match would finish one apiece.

A scrappy affair that threatened to boil over thanks to a lack of control from the officials, but a deserved point for both sides.

Dolphins remain in 6th place and a point outside of the playoffs, but face another tough test on Tuesday as they entertain Taunton.

Dolphins: Childs (g/k), Rose, Jackson, Wright, Spetch (c), Moore, Bartlett, Dickson, Holmes, Burbidge (Fletcher 70′), Lee

Unused: Bedford, Carmichael, Thiago Cazé

Met: Beach, Wickham, Fisher, Robinson (c), Tanner, Allen, Knight, Robertson, Mazzone, Ferdinand (Birch 72′) , de St Croix (Mather 84′)

Unused: Chislett, Vincent, Keeya

Goals: Allen 66′; Lee 53′ (P)

Bookings: Wickham, Allen, Robertson; Rose, Holmes, Moore

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