FAULTY air-conditioning meant Poole Town’s players were made to sweat before their season-opening Southern Premier clash with Banbury United had even started.
Boss Tom Killick and his squad suffered in stifling heat aboard the team coach during a nightmare four-hour journey to the Spencer Stadium.
Having arrived some 40 minutes before kick-off, matters worsened when Dolphins midfielder Carl Pettefer was sent off just before the half-hour mark for a late challenge on Jack Westbrook.
However, the visitors were thrown a lifeline when Marvin Brooks was brought down by Tanasheh Abrahams after the break and referee Matthew Buonassisi pointed to the spot.
Steve Devlin slotted past stopper Laurence Nuamah and, despite coming under pressure late on, Poole were able to keep their 1-0 advantage until the final whistle.
It was a satisfying end to a day that had begun in far from ideal fashion, according to manager Killick.
He told the Daily Echo: “The difficulty started before the game because we were stuck in traffic for an hour with no way of ventilating the coach.
“It didn’t work pretty much throughout the four-hour journey and conditions were at their worst when we were more or less stationary.
“People were sitting there without any shirts on but were still sweating. It was fairly horrendous and, at one point, we had to get out and have a walk to cool off.
“Everyone was very hot for a long period, we arrived late and it was just bad preparation.
“I thought it was going to be one of those days where everything that can go wrong, does go wrong.
“I thought the sending-off was a late tackle and definitely a yellow card but I didn’t think it was high or dangerous, so I was a bit surprised when he was red- carded.
“To bounce back from that and be as resolute as we were was very good.
“The players showed a real desire to make sure we got the right result.”
Lewis Tallack was forced off with an ankle injury and is a doubt for tomorrow’s trip to Hungerford Town (7.45pm).
Dolphins: Hutchings, Tallack (Martin, 70), Jermyn, Walker, Whisken, Pettefer, Burbidge, Devlin, O’Hanlon (Roberts, 86), Preston (Davis, 80), Brooks.