POOLE Town manager Tom Killick admitted to feeling a pang of regret after Cherries prodigy Sam Matthews’ senior debut had been abruptly ended by injury.

The 17-year-old development squad midfielder was withdrawn after 29 minutes of yesterday's 4-0 FA Cup win over Bradford Town amid concerns he had damaged ligaments or fractured his ankle after being tackled by Jake Hiscocks.

Matthews, who joined Dolphins on a month-long youth loan on Wednesday, made his way back to the dressing room on crutches after being substituted and subsequently returned to Dean Court for assessment.

Killick told the Daily Echo: “I feel quite sad about it. On one hand, it was a good game to bring him in but now I wish I had held him back and waited for a league game. It wasn’t a particularly good challenge.

“He went back to Bournemouth for assessment and I understand he went to hospital for an X-ray.

It’s just a case of waiting and hoping it isn’t as bad as first feared.”

It marred what turned out to be a comfortable success for Poole, despite struggling to make headway against their stubborn Western League counterparts during the first half.

Bradford’s Hiscocks was dismissed for a second bookable offence just before the 60-minute mark and the introduction of Gosport loanee Mike Gosney added fresh impetus.

Michael Walker crashed home the opener from Gosney’s corner before Mark Jermyn repeated the trick eight minutes later.

Luke Burbidge added a quickfire third before on-loan Cherries striker Josh O’Hanlon rounded off the scoring with his seventh goal in Poole colours.

Killick continued: “The worry in games like that is that the goal you seem nailed on to score just doesn’t come.

“You know once you get one you’ll more than likely get three or four but it’s never easy to make the breakthrough, particularly when you’re playing a resilient side.

“We dominated possession in the first half without creating a lot, we weren’t quite at it but the first goal relieved that pressure and in the end it was just a question of how many it would be.”

The victory secured Dolphins £3,000 in prize money and a place in today’s second qualifying round draw alongside clubs from the Conference South, with Killick keen to avoid any big guns.

Asked what his ideal tie would be, Killick joked: “Corfe Castle at home! I don’t think they have entered but if they have, we’ll play them.

"Whoever you get, it will be tough but I would much rather avoid the top sides. Lower ranked teams can be banana skins but I trust our lads to be professional and show their quality.”

Dolphins: Hutchings, Tallack, Emmerson, Walker, Whisken, Pettefer, Burbidge, Matthews (Roberts, 29), O'Hanlon, Preston (Gosney, 60), Jermyn (Lindsay, 77). Unused subs: Martin, Munday, Lowes, Manley (g/k).