By Will Burton
Poole Town’s play-off chances took a sizeable blow as they were beaten 3-1 at home by bottom of the table Bedford Town yesterday.
“After the efforts of midweek it was back to square one” said Poole boss Tom Killick.
“With all the sides around us winning it was a disastrous outcome for us.”
Prior to the game the Dolphins found themselves 6th in the table, just three points off the play-off places with three games in hand.
Conversely the Eagles had been without a league win for over six months and had lost their last 19 games on the bounce.
Despite losing 5-1 in the reverse fixture at home, Bedford found themselves 1-0 up inside five minutes after Kerran Birch converted from the penalty spot after a handball in the area.
Their lead was doubled in the 23rd minute when Stefan Powell fired home from inside the box.
A miserable first half for Poole was compounded when Dan Cann was dismissed for the use of an elbow two minutes before the interval. It was the striker’s third red card of the season.
The Dolphin’s boss had no complaints with the officials, “I can see why the referee made the decision.”
After passing a pre-game fitness test on an injured left knee, Jordan Chiedoze was introduced by Killick in the 56th minute.
The striker was immediately involved in the action as a through ball intended for him was chipped into his own net in bizarre fashion by Eagle’s full-back Ben Grant.
In the 70th minute, Sam MaCrae was shown a second yellow card for a late tackle leaving both sides with just ten men.
Momentum then swung into the home side’s favour as they pushed for an equaliser but a string of smart saves from Bedford goalkeeper Lee Crocket kept Poole at bay.
The game was then put beyond doubt when Kelvin Osei-Addo, on loan from MK Dons, scored in stoppage time as Poole were left stretched looking for an equaliser.
“We were a bit lethargic but we still should have had enough to win the game” Killick reflected.
“The goals we conceded were terrible and our defending leading up to the handball was very poor.”
“You shouldn’t get yourself in those situations in the first place and once you have the only thing you can do it fight.
“We are asking a lot of the players but there is a lot at stake so it’s worth all the effort.”
One bright spark for the Dolphins was full back Luke Burbidge who was threatening throughout the second half.
“In the second half he [Burbridge] had a real go. He’s played as much football as anyone and he managed to find energy levels that the others didn’t” said Killick.
“If we can beat Bambury and then Stourbridge, we will be back in a strong position, that’s how quickly things can change.”
Poole Town’s next game is at home to Banbury United on Tuesday evening (1 April), kick-off 7.45pm.