FRUSTRATED Tom Killick described as “bewildering” the decision to award Met Police’s decisive goal in their Southern League South play-off final against Poole Town.

Dolphins slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Imber Court on Monday through Jack Mazzone’s header in the 72nd minute.

The Met Police frontman beat goalkeeper Luke Cairney in the air and sent an effort towards goal before Jack Dickson rushed back and believed he had successfully cleared.

However, to the bemusement of Killick, the assistant referee said the ball had crossed the line.

Killick told the Daily Echo: “When I saw Jack racing towards the line and clear the ball, I immediately looked towards the linesman because he is the one making the decision and when I saw the position he was in, from my memory a good 15 yards away from the goalline, I did not feel he could have a clear view and there is no way he could have been certain.

“It is a bewildering decision but there is no going back now. Even if we had clear footage it is not going to change anything.

“We have to try and accept it. When your whole season rests on it, it is not particularly pleasant.”

Poole, who missed out on a chance to face Tonbridge Angels in Saturday’s super play-off showdown, created opportunities in both halves but failed to deliver consistent pressure on Bertie Schotterl’s goal.

The Dolphins boss admitted the two sides looked nervous, which impaired the quality of the fixture.

Discussing his view of the goal, Killick said: “Our dugout was in the opposite half from where it happened, so I could not state clearly one way or the other but Jack Dickson had not made any type of mistake that he was trying to retrieve, which would mean he might have his own views for saying the ball had not crossed the line.

“He was making a genuine attempt to clear the ball and he was absolutely adamant that not only did it not cross the line, it wasn’t even close to doing so.

“What is galling is their lad who headed the ball told us afterwards it had not gone anywhere near to crossing the line.”

Killick added: “I feel desperately sorry for the players. To lose a game when there is so much at stake is always difficult to come to terms with but to lose a game to a goal that isn’t a goal just makes it fairly unbearable.

“My huge issue is there is absolutely no way the linesman, in the position he was in, could be certain the ball had crossed the line and yet he flagged to say he was certain. For me that takes it on another level because that makes it more significant but it is not going to help us now.

“We feel we have been deprived an opportunity of promotion and all the huge consequences that can bring for players and the football club by a decision that is not only wrong but you also question the thought process behind it.”