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Dropping top stopper Hutchings was an agonising decision says Poole boss
POOLE Town boss Tom Killick has spoken of the “agonising decision” to drop Nick Hutchings and admitted the non-league goalkeeper of the year “did not deserve” to lose his place.
Hutchings has been benched for Poole’s past two games after being sent off following a bizarre incident involving referee Mark Derrien during their August Bank Holiday draw with Weymouth.
The stopper, who had just been booked for time-wasting, received a second yellow card after he stunned the Tatnam crowd by clipping the official around the head.
Although Hutchings’s one-match ban will rule him out for the visit of Bideford on September 17, Killick opted to draft in Dan Thomas for the recent wins over Biggleswade and Frome.
Hutchings capped last season’s promotion to the top flight of the Southern League by winning the Non-League Paper’s goalkeeper-of-the-year award, a national accolade.
Killick told the Daily Echo: “It was harsh and one of those decisions you agonise over because Nick didn’t deserve to be left out. He made one mistake, and not even in terms of goalkeeping, but that wasn’t the reason he was left out.
“I just felt Dan deserved an opportunity. Hutch is an integral part of the squad and is not written off by any means. I know he will still have a big role to play.
“For what he has done for the club and how he has performed this season, he probably doesn’t deserve what has happened. But, sometimes, things happen that aren’t particularly fair.”
Former Cherries goalkeeper Thomas, 22, looks set to keep the shirt when leaders Poole put their unbeaten start on the line at Hitchin Town tomorrow (3pm).
Killick added: “He has done well since he has come in. His career hasn’t quite gone in the direction that people thought it might and as he would have hoped.
“In terms of his attributes, you do think he is capable of playing at a better level. Hopefully, he can become confident and enjoy himself and then things might happen for him.
“I feel sorry for people who find themselves in that position. One minute they are dreaming of the big time and a long career in the game and then, suddenly, it can all turn on its head.
“It must be very difficult for a player to come to terms with. I just hope Dan is one of the ones who can turn it back around and get himself back to a good level.”
Former Cherries star Warren Cummings and defender Lamin Dibba could return for the trip to Hitchin, while Sam Clarke is a major doubt due to an ankle injury. Midfielder Steve Devlin starts a three-match ban following the clash in Hertfordshire.
Dolphins: (from) Thomas, Clarke, Spetch, Oliver, Whisken, Pettefer, Jagger Cane, Devlin, Gillespie, Preston, Cann, Rowe, Elliott, Byerley, Ohameje, Cummings, Dibba, Hutchings.
- Bashley, bottom of the Southern Premier after collecting just two points from their first six games, travel to Corby Town tomorrow (3pm).
Bash: (from) Jones, Boultwood, Farren, Richardson, Middleton, Stephenson, Casey, Allen, Sills, Odam, Knight, Strickland, Brookes, Porter, Gazzard, Thomas.
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