TOM Killick was left crestfallen after Poole Town “meekly surrendered” their unbeaten home league record to table-toppers Hemel Hempstead Town.
The Dolphins manager, pictured, blasted his side’s poor display as Ben Mackey’s brace sealed the points for the championship challengers at Tatnam.
Mackey netted the opener on the rebound after 13 minutes with matters made worse when a recurrence of a recent groin strain prematurely ended influential midfielder Carl Pettefer’s afternoon.
Poole briefly upped the ante after half-time but failed to make the most of a series of teasing balls from Luke Burbidge before Mackey grabbed the decisive second against the run of play on 72 minutes.
Hemel’s goal poacher effectively ended the contest when he latched on to a flick from keeper Laurie Walker’s long punt forward before rounding Dan Thomas to apply a simple finish.
After the match, Killick backed Poole’s promotion rivals to win the Southern League title, but was still left to wonder what might have been had his players found their usual form.
He told the Daily Echo: “What left us really frustrated was that we produced one of our worst performances of the season in front of what was a big crowd by our standards.
“I don’t know whether the midweek matches caught up with us but we were overpowered and did not show an awful lot of fight to scrap something out if it.
“Without doubt, I think Hemel will go on to win the league because they are a very powerful unit with quality individuals.
“But from our point of view, we accepted defeat too readily. It was a lacklustre display and we made it too comfortable for them.
“It was unlike us.”
Killick added that Pettefer’s injury should be short-term and that he hoped to have the former professional back by next weekend.
Dolphins: Thomas, Burbidge, Wannell, Dibba, Whisken, Pettefer (Preston, 19), Davies (Gillespie, 75), Devlin (Chiedoze, 56), Charles, Brooks, Elliott. Unused subs: Cann, Lowes.