POOLE Town are just two wins away from an immediate return to National League South after a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory at Taunton Town in the Southern League South play-offs.

The game was locked at 1-1 after 120 minutes and Dolphins looked well-placed after successful spot kicks from Corby Moore, Jack Dickson, Marvin Brooks and Jake Smeeton.

Goalkeeper Luke Cairney then stepped up to try and send Poole through, but smashed against the crossbar.

However, Shane White, looking to send the shoot-out into sudden death, also struck the woodwork for Taunton as Dolphins progressed 4-3 on penalties.

Poole were the better side in the opening 45 minutes and deservedly led at the break thanks to Dickson’s fierce strike.

But the hosts improved after the restart, equalising through Ryan Brett and while Taunton pushed hard for a winner, Dolphins held firm to send the game into extra time.

Both sides came close to grabbing a goal during a nervy additional 30 minutes but spot kicks were required and Poole progress to face Met Police in the divisional play-off final on Monday afternoon.

Tom Killick made just one change to the starting XI which cruised past Staines 7-0 to seal a play-off spot on Saturday with Moore replacing Tom Hanfrey. Cherries loanee Jake Scrimshaw was not risked after suffering two recent head injuries.

Dolphins finished three places and 15 points below Taunton in the league standings, but they got off to a lively start at Viridor Stadium with James Constable and Sam Griffin going close.

Dickson was beginning to cause real problems from right-back and he produced a moment of magic just before the end of the first half. Driving down the flank he took on and beat Lewis Hall and slammed a shot into the bottom corner past goalkeeper Lloyd Irish at his near post to notch a rare goal.

However, Taunton came flying out of the traps after the restart and quickly equalised.

As impressive as Dickson’s effort was, Ryan Brett responded in kind, firing in from 20 yards after Poole could only half clear a corner.

Clearly buoyed by their goal, the Peacocks ramped up the pressure and had a penalty claim waved away when Rocky Neal went down after feeling a shove in the back following a corner.

Poole regrouped with Dickson sending Constable through one-on-one, but the striker lobbed an effort wide of the post.

But Taunton continued to look the stronger side, going close twice through Dan Sullivan and Matt Buse. Dolphins almost snatched victory in stoppage time when a goalmouth scramble was cleared off the line by Adelsbury, so extra time beckoned.

Chances were few and far between but a big opportunity did fall to Neal, the third highest scorer in Southern League South this season, but he turned wide from close range.

Dolphins themselves had one final chance to nick the win with substitutes Tyrique Clark and Sam House combining, but the latter nodded just wide.

It took penalties to separate the sides with successful kicks from Moore, Dickson, Brooks and Smeeton enough for victory.

Dolphins: Cairney, Dickson, Spetch, Whisken, Leslie-Smith, Smeeton, Moore, Bedford (Grange, 84), Brooks, Griffin (Clarke, 105), Constable (House, 74). Unused subs: Hanfrey, Boote.