TOM Killick bemoaned the fortunes of his injury-plagued strikers after revealing Richard Gillespie would probably miss the rest of Poole Town’s push for the play-offs.
After aggravating a tight hamstring during his substitute appearance against Hitchin on Tuesday, Dolphins’ top scorer is likely to be sidelined for the run-in but may recover in time if Poole make the end-of-season shootout.
Despite being limited to just 13 league starts through heel and hamstring complaints, Gillespie rifled home no fewer than 15 Southern Premier strikes during his maiden campaign.
However, Poole’s push for back-to-back promotions has been hampered by a lack of goals, their total of 71 prior to tonight’s game with Chesham United dwarfed by top-five rivals Stourbridge (107), St Albans City (83) and third-placed Cambridge City (88), who visit Tatnam on Saturday (3pm).
And with the Lilywhites boasting the division’s top marksman, 40-goal striker Adam Marriott, Killick insists his side’s story would have been very different had their own marksmen not suffered so many setbacks.
“The huge disruption has been very detrimental to our season,” said Killick. “Both Richard Gillespie and Michael Charles would have played 30-plus games each and would have scored many more goals if they had been fit and flying.
“Warren Byerley has struggled for form and although Jordan Chiedozie arrived late, he has had his injury concerns too. We have struggled for goals but without those issues I have no doubt that we would be in a much stronger position.
“Teams have these problems throughout the season but not many would have had so many injuries to two of their top strikers.
“You could see the difference in the two games we played against AFC Totton recently.
"In the home match, we were not at our best but Justin Bennett scored twice and we saw out the game comfortably. In the away game, we started well enough but failed to take our chances and paid the price.
“That’s what top strikers give you. When there is a fine line between success and failure, the prolific strikers push you the right side of it.”
Keith Emmerson (ankle) is Poole’s only other absentee.
Dolphins: (from) Hutchings, Davis, Martin, Wannell, Whisken, Pettefer, Burbidge, Devlin, Davies, Elliott, Gillespie, Preston, Brooks, Chiedozie, Lowes, Thomas (g/k).