MORE than 500 people witnessed Taffy Richardson’s send off as Poole Town produced a professional second-half display in a 2-0 win against Cherries’ youngsters at Tatnam tonight.
The 47-year-old maestro put the disappointment of son George being unable to play due to his age to one side and charged round the pitch with his customary verve and gusto.
Having encapsulated his deter-mination by wrestling Cherries Irish prospect Josh O’Hanlon to the ground early on, the Tatnam legend frequently peeled into the channels to put his team on the front foot in an evenly-matched, if slightly tepid, first half.
Cherries livewire Mason Walsh darted down the right and might have done better with his early shot from the edge of the area which sailed comfortably into the arms of Poole keeper Nick Hutchings.
Visiting full-back Jon Muleba’s low centre was laid off for Matt Butcher to sting Hutchings’s palms with a low 20-yard effort after 15 minutes but while Cherries probed, Poole steadily warmed to their task.
Guest Warren Cummings wound back the clock with a driving run forward but Carl Preston’s touch from the Scot’s crisp first-time ball was heavy with the subsequent shot drifting wide of the far post.
Moments later, Cherries left-back Ollie Harfield showed the type of composure you might have expected from the experienced Cummings as he snuffed out the danger with Luke Burbidge loitering with intent.
Darren Anderton was as silky as ever in possession but left his shooting boots at home when he cleared the stand with a 25-yard free kick that the crowd had called for Richard-son to take.
Josh Carmichael started to run the game from deep for Cherries and saw a couple of efforts from set pieces drift wide, while Hutchings had to be alert to tip over Brandon Goodship’s floated free kick just before the break.
Richardson left the stage to a warm reception on the cusp of half-time, fittingly replaced by Poole’s emerging talent Billy Lowes, a tenacious youngster who played in the mould of the grand old master.
Both bosses rang the changes at the break and it was Poole who settled quickest with Marvin Brooks bursting onto a loose touch by Cherries defender Josh Kaye but Jordan Holmes raced off his line to snuff out the danger.
But the deadlock was broken on 54 minutes when referee Ben Cobb spotted an infringement from a routine looking corner and awarded Poole a penalty which Steve Devlin rifled home with aplomb.
Chances were still few and far between until Dolphins grabbed their second 11 minutes later when Ekow Elliott collected a deep from the left beautifully before crossing for Morgan Turner to slide past Holmes.
Turner nearly turned provider moments later with a delicious delivery for Brooks whose downward header bounced narrowly wide before the match petered out in the final 20 minutes.
Dolphins (first half): Hutchings, Cummings, Cooper, Walker, Tallack, Anderton, Richardson (Lowes, 45), Pettefer, Preston, Burbidge, Elliott.
Dolphins (second half): Manley, Davis, Whisken, Dibba, Tallack, Brooks, Hubbard, Devlin, Lowes, Turner, Elliott.
Cherries (first half): O’Flaherty, Muleba, Harfield, Addison, Butcher, Carmichael, Walsh, Worthington, O’Hanlon, Goodship, Mbenza.
Cherries (second half): Holmes (O’Flaherty, 75), Buckley, Kaye, Zubar, Jordan, Bassele, A Coulibaly, Whitfield, Gilkes, Murphy, Stockley.