EVEN Steve Devlin's hat-trick and a five-star display from Poole Town couldn't cheer up manager Tom Killick who admitted he had gained little satisfaction from today's thumping of Bashley.
Despite being held right up to the half-time whistle, Dolphins put to the sword the Southern Premier's whipping boys and eventually ran out 5-0 winners thanks to Devlin's treble and a brace from Luke Burbidge.
Devlin nodded the hosts in front just before the interval, while Burbidge side-footed home from Jordan Chiedozie's centre and finished off a Jon Davies cross within five minutes of the restart to end the match as a contest.
Substitute Michael Charles made an immediate impact to set up Devlin's second before the all-action midfielder, who today moved to the top of the Tatnam scoring charts, netted from the penalty spot with 10 minutes to play.
However, the victory was a hollow one for Killick as Stourbridge, St Albans City and Cambridge City all won to confirm that Poole would finish outside the play-off places.
“The game was a bit flat and the first half was pretty low on quality,” said Killick. “Bashley worked very hard but got tired in the second half and we took control. Understandably, it was all very low-key and the atmosphere was a bit subdued throughout.
“One positive for us was that we managed to give our youngsters some game time and had five teenagers who have come through the ranks playing at the end.”
Rival boss Paul Gazzard, who was forced to play 90 minutes and introduce goalkeeper Nic Jones as an outfield substitute in the second half, was pleased to just get through the afternoon.
He said: “At about 12 o'clock we only had 10 players, so we were relieved to get enough lads together. This season has been the hardest I have ever experienced so credit to the players who have stuck with us.”
Dolphins: Hutchings, Davis, Martin, Swindlehurst, Whisken (Charles, 62), Lowes, Burbidge (Parrett, 85), Devlin, Chiedozie, Davies, Elliott (Dickson, 59). Unused subs: Brooks, Thomas (g/k).
Bash: George, Rolls, Ansell, Gazzard, Marden, Flint, Manders, Strickland, Joyce, Odam, Blackmore (Jones, 68).