PROMOTER Matt Ford finally landed top reserve target Benji Compton and then backed Poole Pirates' fearsome form to halt Kings Lynn's title juggernaut.
Compton has been drafted in to replace Brendan Johnson ahead of tomorrow's home meeting with Swindon Robins (7.30pm) with Ford revealing he had failed with two previous swoops for the 27-year-old this season.
The change, made possible after Compton dropped to 25th on the fast track draft grade list following a spell on the sidelines, came less than 24 hours after Pirates yesterday registered an emphatic 59-36 victory at Wolverhampton.
That rip-roaring display at Monmore Green will sow seeds of doubt in the minds of Poole's Norfolk rivals according to Ford who, armed with their first-choice reserve pairing, reckons Poole can become the team to beat.
Ford told the Daily Echo: “We haven't had the best of seasons but here we are sat in second place on the back of, in my opinion, the away performance of the season in the Elite League and probably the best since Neil (Middleditch, team manager) and I came to the club.
“We're showing our intent now. We have arrived at the party and let's just hope we haven't peaked too early because at the moment, we would be a match for anyone. I have no doubt that if Kings Lynn were picking an opponent, it wouldn't be Poole.
“The biggest plus for us has been the resurgence of Kyle Newman. The way he has stepped up a gear has made a huge difference.
“I have always felt that from one to five, we were quite well matched but in the earlier part of the season, Kings Lynn's dominance at reserve was probably their biggest asset.
“We always felt we had strength in depth with Kyle. Perhaps it didn't work quite as well as we had imagined at the start of the year and we sat down for a good chat a couple of times but now, at the business end of the season, he has really kicked on.
“The whole team is in top form but we have to continue that against a very strong Swindon side who I believe, along with Coventry, will be real contenders for the play-offs as the season draws to a close.”
On Compton's addition, Ford added: “Benji has that bit of extra experience which I felt would give us an extra edge. I have known him for some time and have always admired his willingness to battle.
“We have been on the verge of signing him twice before but encountered problems with injury and the grading system.
“I made it abundantly clear to Brendan Johnson that it was only a short-term position and that there was a good chance that I would make a change this month.
"He has done a good job and put himself in the shop window for the future but at this point I felt Benji's experience would serve us better.”
Pirates: (from) Ward, Milik, Pawlicki, Grajczonek, Janowski, Newman, Compton. Team manager: Neil Middleditch.
Robins: (from) Kildemand, North, R Worrall (guest), Morris, Batchelor, Greaves, S Worrall. Team manager: Alun Rossiter.