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Poole boss Killick hails staying power of players
Dolphins seemed set for a frustrating share of the spoils from an open and often ragged clash with Redditch United before Carl Preston popped up with a composed finish to snatch victory at the death.
It was the fourth time this season that Poole had plundered a result-changing goal in the 90th-minute with the quartet of strikes adding seven points to their Southern Premier tally.
And while the Tatnam boss stopped short of drawing comparisons with Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson, he insisted Poole’s late shows had little to do with Lady Luck.
Killick told the Daily Echo: “Mentally, the squad is very strong and you have to hand it to the players because they do keep going. When you have a group who regularly win games late on like that, it is no fluke.
“Whatever level you play at, a lot of games are won or lost in the last few minutes and you have to make sure you are on the right end of those close calls. It comes down to perseverance, fitness and mental strength.
“It was another hard-fought win and one of those afternoons where we didn’t think it would quite happen for us. But I have never had reason to doubt the players’ belief and it came through for us again so the lads deserve all the credit.”
The hosts threatened to overrun United during the opening exchanges and it came as no surprise when Michael Charles headed home Steve Devlin’s corner at the far post midway through the first half.
However, Poole suffered a sudden setback two minutes later when tricky Reds winger Omari Sterling-James tied in knots Dolphins full-back Sam Clarke to win a penalty which Sam Youngs duly converted.
The bulk of the chances continued to come Poole’s way but both teams were guilty of squandering opportunities before Preston caressed the ball round Redditch keeper Sam Hornby with his effort cannoning in off the post during the final throes.
But despite feeling his side deserved the victory, Killick confessed the game had been on a knife edge in the second half.
“I thought we did really well until they scored. We looked quite dominant and I thought we would go on to win the game quite convincingly,” he added.
“Their goal was a real lapse in concentration for us and it made life difficult because they grew in confidence and had a right go.
“We had to think about whether to go for broke or settle for a point because we were wary of the threat they carried on the break. In the end, we decided to go for it and, while it made us more vulnerable, it paid off.”
Dolphins: Thomas, Clarke (Davis, 70), Spetch, Martin (Byerley, 85), Whisken, Pettefer, Davies (Elliott, 78), Devlin, Charles, Preston, Cann. Unused subs: Richardson, Lowes.
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