TOM Killick insisted Poole Town had to be considered “contenders” for the Southern League South play-offs.

Cherries loan ace Jake Scrimshaw fired a late leveller to earn Dolphins a 1-1 draw at Swindon Supermarine, moving them into the play-off spots for the first time this season.

Poole’s rise was aided by Dorset rivals Dorchester, who beat Harrow Borough 3-2 to shake up the promotion picture.

Boss Killick told the Daily Echo: “We’re in the play-offs now, so we have to be considered contenders.

“There are teams below us with games in hand. We’ve got a home match (against Tiverton) on Tuesday. If we win that, we cement our place in that final spot.

“To put ourselves in that position has been a brilliant effort from the players over the past month. Now, we have to keep going.”

Killick had been forced into making two changes at Supermarine.

With attacking duo James Constable and Luke Roberts ruled out by injury, youngster Scrimshaw led the line.

While Poole fell behind to a 18th-minute Conor McDonagh strike, Marine only threatened on the counter.

It seemed as if it would not be Poole’s day when they entered the final 10 minutes a goal down, despite heavy pressure on the home side's goal.

But Scrimshaw popped up six minutes from time, latching on to substitute Will Spetch’s pass before poking through the legs of keeper Will Henry.

Killick said: “I thought we controlled the game. It was fairly even but we had the better of it both in terms of possession and chances created.

“It was just complete domination from start to finish. Although we were pleased with scoring late on to secure a draw, I felt it was a game we had deserved to win.

“But that’s not a negative in terms of the players – I thought they were brilliant.”

With forward options stretched, defender Spetch was brought on in place of Sam House after 81 minutes to boost Dolphins’ firepower.

Explaining the switch, Killick added: “Will was only fit enough for the bench. He has played up front for us before to good effect.

"We started the game off with two forwards but we didn’t really have a natural forward on the bench with Constable and Roberts missing.

"So, bringing him on was the logical thing to do. Luckily, it paid off.

“I thought every player on the pitch did very well. Scrimshaw and House played well up top. We created 12 chances away from home and just had a bit of bad luck in terms of converting.”

Dolphins: Cairney, Dickson, Smeeton, Leslie-Smith, Whisken, House (Spetch, 81), Griffin, Moore, Scrimshaw, Brooks, Bedford (Grange, 65). Unused subs: Boote, Hubbard, O’Connor (g/k).