Interview: Lee a-head of the rest

Lee showcases his emotions after a last-gasp equaliser against Taunton (Photo Credit: Jon Ashworth/ Poole Town FC/ Side of the World)

Tony Lee sits alone atop of the Southern League goal standings after grabbing his fourth brace of the campaign against Taunton Town – with half of his goals this campaign coming from headers.

When quizzed upon his golden touch from his head, Lee told All Poole Aren’t We: “I started off as a centrehalf! To be fair, I’ve been a bit of a header on a stick this year.

“When you’ve got Burbs, Holmesy, Jez, JD, and the quality they can put into the box, plus Dec and Jacko from deep, you’re always going to get opportunities.

“At set-pieces you’ve got Whisk and Spetchy flying forward, so there’s always chances in the air.

“I’m a bit surprised myself to be fair – I thought I was better with my feet! I can’t complain when I’ve got 11 in eight games.”

No other striker in the Southern League’s four divisions can match Lee, who has plundered nine goals in his first seven league games.

That record is even better when you add his double over Southern League Premier South rivals Swindon Supermarine in the FA Cup, for a grand total of 11 goals in just eight appearances. And of course – one of those goals was nodded in.

Lee is merely continuing his fine form from the previous curtailed season. Despite playing only 11 games, Lee grabbed ten goals – only failing to score on two occasions.

And despite the majority of his goals coming from the penalty spot or his head, Lee remained calm and collected to slot home Poole’s equaliser in injury time on Tuesday night.

“I didn’t feel composed,” continued Lee. “It just fell to me, I swivelled and hit it. It’s nice to score from open play with my feet, after 10 goals either penalties or headers.

“In previous years, Taunton have come here, or we’ve gone to them, they’ve always been a big, horrible outfit.

“I think today, when we went down to 10 men, I thought we looked stronger. I think they backed off a bit – I don’t think they knew what to do.

“They had three lumps at centre half, but we kept on getting balls into the box and they didn’t really fancy it.

“I thought I started well against the two centrehalves, and then they went to a back three – it didn’t make them any stronger, it probably made them weaker.”

Lee started off his career in the youth system of National League Eastleigh, where he played a variety of positions – and for a variety of clubs on loan.

Poole was only one of eight different loan locations for Lee, who has played all across the South Coast and at five levels of the non-league ladder, from the National League down to the Wessex Premier.

Despite only being 24, Lee has turned out for 12 different clubs.

At some of those sides, Lee wasn’t even used as a striker – turning out as a right-back and right-winger for a few teams.

Now into his third spell with the Dolphins, he feels as if he has found his home, rejecting multiple approaches to remain at the Black Gold Stadium.

“It was well documented that I had quite a bit of interest in the summer, after 11 games of doing alright last year. I was probably the fittest I’ve been last year – I’ve done well, but I’m not as fit as I can be this year.

“I turned down a lot of clubs. It’s on my door step, the gaffer is unbelievable, and the players are unbelievable – it is such a good group. We’ve only got something like 18 signed on, the fewest in the league, but the boys are superb.

“Whisk, Spetchy, Corby, Schuey [Josh Carmichael] that have been here years, and then the young lads Dec, Will Fletcher, Jacko, Jez and Mark Childs –  it’s just solid. I wouldn’t change the group for any other in the league. I think we’ve got a good group to go forward with.”

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