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Dorset Premier League: Cherrett feels champion after Merley's magic
NEW Merley boss Ollie Cherrett reckons he will have to reassess his club’s targets after their blistering start to the campaign.
The former Poole Town, Bournemouth Poppies and Dorchester Town defender shifted across from Dorset League outfit Kingston Lacy over the summer and has inspired the Merley Park outfit’s rise from the lower reaches of the DPL.
This latest success, their eighth win in nine league matches, fired Cherrett’s charges to within goal difference of the summit with 26 points from 12 games – just three fewer than last season’s final total.
And despite admitting he was as surprised as anyone by the swift turnaround, Cherrett deflected the plaudits towards his new-look squad before playing down talk of a shock title tilt.
Merley’s manager told the Daily Echo: “Our target was a top-10 finish to be honest, but it looks like we might have to look at that again.
“Credit must go to the lads because they have taken on board our new ideas from the off.
“There has been a massive turnover of players – about four stayed on from last season – and the change has done us good. The club needed it.
“It always takes time to settle and pre-season was tough, but we have started really well.”
Simon Dyer’s early strike came as no surprise as Sports dominated the opening half at Turlin Moor, but Borough hit back through half-time substitute Ashley Ayley’s cool finish.
However, Cherrett’s own change proved pivotal as the pacy Aaron Atkinson snaffled a 2-1 victory for Merley with five minutes to play and left his gaffer a very happy man.
Cherrett added: “It was a typical derby and we got off to a flying start.
“They came out all guns blazing in the second half and we had a bit of a wobble, but once we got back on the front foot we always looked in control. They couldn’t live with Aaron’s pace and he broke through to score right at the end.”
Hornets boss Craig Shanley said: “A draw would have been a fair result as they dominated the first half and we dominated the second.
“It was an end-to-end game and a great advert for the DPL. It could have gone either way and I was proud of how my boys played.”
Poole Borough: Johnson, Janes, Light, Merredew (Burnett, h-t), Blake, D Pidgley, L Pidgley (Ayley, h-t), Scadding, Jevon (Franklin, 85), Waring, Zanin.
Merley Cobham Sports: J Park, Shering, Cormack (C Park, 65), Pritchard, Mills, McCormick, Lever, Barnett (McGilchrist, 75), Elliott, Dyer, Rose (Atkinson, 82).
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