(Photo Credit: League without Limits)
Poole Town travel to fellow playoff chasers Swindon Supermarine today with the memory of Dolphins’ 5-0 thrashing fresh in the memory – but no one associated with either club will expect a repeat.
That being said, Poole have shipped five goals in a prior visit to the Webbswood Stadium. Supermarine ran out 5-1 winners, but there were extenuating circumstances.
The match-up came at the end of the 2012-13 season, where a fixture pile-up caused Poole to play games without much rest.
In fact, they played Swindon Supermarine twice in the span of four days – winning at home before being thumped away.
And of course, Supermarine fans will point out they scored five at the Black Gold as well – in their last win over Poole, which came in the form of a 5-2 victory back in January 2019.
Dolphins are unbeaten in four against Supermarine, winning the previous three encounters. Corby Moore scored the sole goal in Poole’s last visit to the Webbswood Stadium, right at the start of the 2019/20 campaign.
Out of three visits to Wiltshire, Poole have won one, drawn one, and lost one – so it is hard to refer to history to predict a result.
Both sides are just below the playoffs but well within touching distance of the top five. Victory for Swindon would see them leapfrog the Dolphins, whilst Poole know a win would cancel out Supermarine’s game in hand and ensure they cannot be displaced until the next round of fixtures at least.
Supermarine, who already boasted a strong squad, have strengthened even further since the FA Cup tie. The strike partnership of David Pratt and Conor McDonagh is now supplemented by veteran striker Chris Zebroski.
However it hasn’t all been plain sailing, with Supermarine losing three defenders. Josiah Dunstan made his debut for ‘Marine against Poole, but has since moved on to Mangotsfield, whilst Louis Spalding, son of manager Lee, has taken a break from football.
Youngster Jack Stanley also departed, but it would be an exaggeration to suggest the three would be a massive loss to Supermarine – as between the trio, they only made five appearances this campaign.
The return of Michael Hopkins from Stratford Town would have offset those departures, so it is hard to imagine Poole will have an easier time of it at the weekend.
Corby Moore serves the last game of his ban whilst Mark Childs is absent, leading to Poole scrambling to bring in Alex Rutter between the sticks.
There are no other injury concerns for Poole, whilst Swindon are buoyed by the potential return of George Dowling, who had a strong game when the sides last met.
Both teams rested first teamers in the Southern League Cup in anticipation of this fixture.