ASSISTANT Taffy Richardson refused to use missing personnel as an excuse following Poole Town’s 5-1 defeat at Chesham.

Without boss Tom Killick, who served the first of a six-game stadium ban, Dolphins crashed to a second straight away defeat in Southern League South.

As well as their manager, Poole were without key figures on the field.

Defender Will Spetch was suspended, goalkeeper Luke Cairney was away and star striker Luke Roberts and midfielder Corby Moore missed out due to injury.

“It would be nice to have your full squad but I’m not interested in that as an excuse,” said non-league stalwart Richardson, who took charge in Killick’s absence.

“It’s football – it’s not unusual to have that many players missing. There’s no excuse for that. The lads who came in did well – everyone contributed.

“I don’t think myself or Tom would ever hide behind that excuse of personnel missing. Other teams have it and so do we.”

Three Cherries loan aces started the game, with goalkeeper Tom Parker-Trott making his first appearance for Poole, alongside youngsters Jake Scrimshaw and James Boote.

Dolphins found themselves a goal down at the break after the hosts opeed the scoring through Dave Pearce on 13 minutes.

And the visitors saw their chances of a comeback suffer a body blow shortly after the interval.

Keeper Parker-Trott seemingly had the ball kicked out of his hands by Chesham’s Ryan Blake, who slotted home despite protests from Dolphins players.

Pearce then struck home a fine free kick from 25 yards to make it 3-0 but Poole were given a lifeline when substitute Sam House was felled in the box.

James Constable stepped up to score his second penalty in two games.

In pursuit of a point, Dolphins were hit on the counter twice – with Luke Warner-Ely and veteran striker Jefferson Louis putting the game out of sight.

Richardson added: “It sounds bad that we were beaten 5-1 but I thought there were very small margins in the game.

“It was never a 5-1 – it was a much closer game than the scoreline suggests.

“At 2-0 down, I thought we would still come back. It was pleasing to see that even at 3-0, the players were asking how long they had, as they believed they could come back.

“I think the deciding point was at 3-1. Sam Griffin had a chance from about 12 yards. He scuffed his shot, which I haven’t got a problem with because he had got himself into a good position.

“But it went out for a throw, which somehow ended up in our box with another goal scored. Suddenly, when it should have been 3-2, it was 4-1.

“I think if we had got that second goal, that would have made it reasonably interesting. But that’s just the way it is.”