TAFFY Richardson hopes Poole Town’s dominant Dorset Senior Cup final victory against Wimborne Town will boost their push for the Southern League South play-offs, writes Jack Tanner.

Dolphins cruised to a comfortable win against Magpies at Dorchester’s Avenue Stadium to clinch the trophy for a fourth time with Tom Killick at the helm.

First-half efforts from Jez Bedford, Marvin Brooks and Luke Roberts put Dolphins in control before strikes from Jake Smeeton and Sam Griffin capped off the triumph.

Assistant boss Richardson, who took charge with Killick still serving a stadium ban, admitted the margin of victory had been a surprise.

Richardson told the Daily Echo: “I thought we would come out as winners but I wasn’t expecting it to be as convincing as that to be honest.

“It will give us confidence. Sometimes you just need to get on a run. The way we’re playing at the moment, the games are coming quickly for us, we just want to play while we’re playing like this.

“Wimborne are a good side with a great manager and it shows what we can do if we apply ourselves against any team. It wasn’t a case of Wimborne not being at their best but more that we were very good.”

Despite their push for a top-five finish, Poole selected a strong line-up, starting Roberts who had just returned from injury.

Magpies were forced into changes due to cup-tied players and injury fears with one eye on league survival.

It took Dolphins just four minutes to break the deadlock when Bedford converted Brooks’s scuffed shot.

Poole quickly raced away from Wimborne inside a quarter of an hour thanks to a quickfire double from Brooks and Roberts.

A piledriver from Jake Smeeton seven minutes into the second half and a final effort from Sam Griffin just after the hour mark put further gloss on a resounding Dolphins victory.

On the other side of the Stour and other end of the league table, Matty Holmes called for Magpies to regroup quickly ahead of their final push against the drop.

“We had to rotate,” said boss Holmes. “Toby Holmes has an ankle injury, we didn’t want to play him and risk losing him for Saturday. James Stokoe had to be rested, Carl Pettefer and Sam Bayston were both cup-tied and Matt Oldring is unavailable for midweek games.

“It was just about putting a team out there that had done well in previous rounds, while bearing in mind the game on Saturday as well because we’re only a few points above the last relegation place.

“You look at Poole’s starting line-up and you can tell they’re a very strong outfit. I think they’ll get into the play-offs. Players like Marvin Brooks, Will Spetch, Jamie Whisken, Jake Smeeton and Luke Roberts are all National South quality.

“When we play them, we have to have our full starting XI to even compete. All I can say is the boys did their best and young lads gained some much-needed experience against top-level players.”

On Saturday, Magpies turn their attention to a vital league fixture at Harrow Borough as they attempt to avoid relegation. Poole continue their pursuit of a play-off spot when they host Basingstoke Town (both 3pm).

Dolphins: Cairney, Bedford (Turner, 65), Leslie-Smith, Spetch, Whisken, Smeeton, Griffin, Moore, Constable (House, 60), Brooks, Roberts (Boote, 45). Unused subs: Grange, Rolleston (g/k).

Magpies: Benfield, Lee, Penny, Douglas (Hall, 75), Maybury, Francis, Davidson, Holmes, Shepherd, Burbidge, Owen (Tilsed, 90). Unused subs: Stokoe, Walsh (g/k).