BOSS Tom Killick was as pleased as punch after Poole Town’s shuffled pack executed his Dorset Senior Cup masterplan against Hamworthy United.
Eight Dolphins, weary from the exertions of 15 league and cup fixtures over the past five weeks, were rested for the county showpiece but a strong squad supplemented by three youngsters produced a commanding display in last night's 2-0 win at Cuthbury.
Poole largely controlled proceedings and hit the woodwork three times through Marvin Brooks, Charlie Davis and Carl Preston before Dan Cann struck the opener on 34 minutes.
During a tame second half, Hammers tried in vain to breach a resolute defence before Preston made the result safe with a late breakaway goal.
Within seconds, United were awarded a penalty when Lamin Dibba tangled with Russell Cook but Dominic Allen’s spot kick was saved by Nick Hutchings.
“We were really pleased with the outcome and managed to achieve everything we set out to,” said Killick.
“Jamie Whisken and Carl Pettefer probably played for longer than we would have liked but credit to Hamworthy because they kept alive the game until the very end.”
Hammers counterpart Graham Kemp said: “We had no qualms with the result. After being off the pace in the first half, we got to grips with it and made Poole play for 90 minutes.
“We didn’t throw in the towel and I couldn’t ask any more than that.”
Poole return to action tomorrow with Killick admitting his side “must not lose” their crunch clash with in-form play-off rivals Hungerford (7.45pm).
Dolphins, who have seven league matches remaining, trail the top five by seven points and sit four behind sixth-placed Crusaders.
Killick added: “From having an endless run of fixtures, suddenly we are in danger of running out of games.
"We know we have to win the vast majority now and possibly hope a couple of other results go our way.”
Bashley fielded joint-boss Paul Gazzard in goal for Tuesday’s 6-0 home league defeat to Cambridge City with Nic Jones unavailable and dual-registered Monty George on the bench for parent club Salisbury City at Hyde.
In the Wessex Premier, Verwood Town, who lost 3-1 at Moneyfields last night, travel to Fareham tomorrow (7.45pm).