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Non-league: Poole can purr on perfect pitch claims Killick
MANAGER Tom Killick welcomed the opportunity for promotion-chasing Poole to turn on the style on one of the division’s slickest surfaces at St Neots.
Having had four of their past five league matches washed out, Killick was confident Dolphins would finally have a taste of the action tomorrow (3pm) after the Cambridgeshire club’s facilities received a professional seal of approval.
Spurs legend Steve Perryman, now director of football at Exeter City, gave the Rowley Park pitch the thumbs up with the Tatnam boss hopeful his side’s enforced lay-off would come to an end.
The weather-hit schedule has seen Dolphins drop out of the Southern Premier play-off places but Killick’s men could jump back into the top five should they extend their five-match winning streak in the league.
And while Killick does not believe Poole will have things all their own way against Saints, he thinks his side can utilise the rare treat of playing on a stellar surface.
Killick told the Daily Echo: “Steve Perryman said Exeter had trained there in advance of one of their matches and commented on how good the pitch was.
"Apparently, it held up really well despite a lot of wet weather so, hopefully, we should get a game on this weekend.
“In this league, it is quite rare to have a very good pitch and that favours the home side because they are comfortable playing on it.
"Our pitch is very big and we use that to our advantage, so while we are looking forward to it, they frequently play and prepare on an immaculate surface.
“If a pitch has any unusual characteristics, whether it is very bumpy or near perfect, it tends to benefit the home side but we do have some very good footballers and one of our great strengths is the flexibility to our approach.
“We can be quite direct and physical when we need to be but the likes of Carl Pettefer and Steve Devlin, in particular, are very good technically and even our defenders are comfortable on the ball.
"The lads don’t get the opportunity to play on a nice pitch very often and I am sure they will relish it.”
Left-back Neil Martin serves a one-match ban, while goalkeeper Dan Thomas (shoulder) remains on the sidelines alongside striker Richard Gillespie.
Jon Davies and Sam Clarke are set to return while Keith Emmerson is available. Cherries loanee Benji Buchel will play in goal.
Dolphins: (from) Buchel, Clarke, Emmerson, Spetch, Whisken, Pettefer, Davies, Elliott, Devlin, Brooks, Preston, Charles, Cann, Byerley, Dibba, Lowes, Davis.
- In Southern South & West, Wimborne travel to Stratford without Jamie Davidson (injured) and James Stokoe (suspended).
Magpies: (from) Harvell, Arnold, Wilson, Oliver, Costello, Middleton, Blake, Sainsbury, Maybury, Webb, Kemble, Gamble, Griffin, Burton-Hemmings, Donachy, Roast, Ackerman.
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