CHAIRMAN Chris Reeves says Poole Town’s victory over Taunton has “given us a great opportunity” to seal an immediate return to National League South.

Dolphins finished 15 points behind Taunton in the Southern League South table, but knocked them out of the play-offs after a dramatic penalty shoot-out win following a 1-1 draw at Viridor Stadium.

That sets up a clash against Met Police, who finished third, tomorrow (3pm) with the winners progressing to the ‘super play-off’ final against either Tonbridge Angels or Merstham of the Bostik League for a place in step two.

And Reeves believes Poole may have already overcome their toughest challenge in their quest for promotion.

He told the Daily Echo: “The old cliché that you don’t play football on paper is perfectly true, but on paper Taunton was probably going to be the hardest of the three (play-off) games potentially.

“To get through that was a massive hurdle and it’s given us a great opportunity.

“Having tasted National League South, we do want it back very much.

“If we don’t get promotion through the play-offs then we will certainly start next season in a very good place.

“We’re aware that the start we had to the season has given us a little bit of a handicap. I would like to think that there won’t be any particular negativity if we do fail to get through the play-offs.

“I think that we’re finishing in a very, very good place in terms of our confidence and the way that we’re playing.

“The atmosphere among our supporters is back to every bit as good as it ever has been and that buoyancy we will carry into the start of next season, whatever league we’re in.”

Even if Poole don’t manage to make it all the way through the play-offs, their win at Taunton will live long in the memory.

Leading at half-time through Jack Dickson, Dolphins were pegged back early in the second period and the hosts, who lost just one league home game all season, piled on the pressure.

Poole held firm and took the game to penalties, where they triumphed 4-3 and the performance filled Reeves with pride.

He said: “It was great theatre. I was just immensely proud.

“Our players fought and put their bodies on the line constantly. The intensity, the fight and the commitment was just awesome.

“It was an incredibly satisfying, brilliant night.

“It’s one of those occasions when you realise why you do what you do.”

Focus now turns to the trip to face Met Police at Imber Court, a ground where Poole emerged victorious thanks to a Jake Scrimshaw winner just last month.

Striker Scrimshaw is set to return to the Dolphins squad having missed the Taunton clash due to concussion.

And Reeves says Poole are comfortable with another game on the road.

“It doesn’t bother our lads where they play,” he said.

“The fact they won at Met Police so recently will be a confidence factor for us.

“It’s just great to have the chance to go and perform in that game.”