LAWYER Tom Killick made the case for the defence after another miserly display saw Poole Town hold onto three precious points against 10-man Paulton Rovers.
Cherries striker Josh O’Hanlon bagged the first goal of his month-long loan spell at Tatnam, netting from Michael Walker’s short ball back across the box following a corner in first-half stoppage time.
The burly Irish youngster had earlier rattled the crossbar after a smart exchange with Luke Burbidge and Dolphins might have added to their lead as the second half progressed.
Burbidge had a low effort saved by Rovers custodian Kyle Phillips, while Steve Devlin’s 25-yard thunderbolt flew over the crossbar as the hosts sought the safety of a second strike.
With only a goal in it, the visitors threw caution to the wind following the dismissal of Brandon Barnes for an off-the-ball incident with 12 minutes to play but were unable to find a way through.
The shutout ensured Poole’s status as the only team in the Southern League Premier Division yet to concede a goal after three matches, a statistic that left boss Killick purring.
Killick told the Daily Echo: “We had the better of the game, we hit the crossbar and had a blatant penalty turned down but only having a one-goal advantage was always going to be a slight concern.
“Luke Burbidge was hauled down in the box when through on goal and that could have made things comfortable for us but as it was we had to endure a nervy finish.
“Paulton were good and as expected they had talented individuals who caused us plenty of problems, particularly late in the game when they had nothing to lose.
“Once they had a player sent off their mentality changed, they just threw everything at us but we stood up to it well and that was probably the most pleasing aspect.
“People who watched might have said it wasn’t a brilliant game but our defensive qualities were good under pressure and we have got the balance pretty much right at the moment.
“In all three of our games we possibly should have scored more goals but we have created enough opportunities while being defensively sound and the finishing will come.
“There is plenty of confidence in the dressing room, morale is good so we have to maintain this momentum and take full advantage of that.”
Dolphins: Hutchings, Jermyn, Martin, Walker, Whisken, Pettefer, Burbidge, Devlin, O’Hanlon (Lindsay, 90), Preston, Davis (Roberts, 77). Unused subs: Tallack, Lowes, Manley (g/k).