POOLE Town’s return to action for the first time in two weeks ended in a 2-0 defeat away at Sholing.

A quickfire double early on in Hampshire condemned Dolphins to a seventh league loss of the season, Dan Mason and Brad Targett’s first-half strikes for Sholing a minute apart.

Despite the two-week break Dolphins would have still been riding high on their last outing, a 7-0 dismantling of Didcot Town away from home.

But the performance at Sholing could not have been any more different, Poole finding themselves two goals behind after 14 minutes.

The opener had only come on 13 minutes, Mason nodding the hosts ahead, before Targett doubled their lead seconds later.

Poole controlled possession throughout the encounter, but were unable to properly test their hosts.

A dreary afternoon for the Dolphins turned miserable in the closing stages, when Havant & Waterlooville loanee Brendan Willson saw red for a last-ditch tackle gone wrong.

The subsequent free-kick was sent goalwards, crashing onto the bar and out for a goal-kick.

Poole drop to ninth in the Southern League Premier South table.

Dolphins: Evans; Nippard (Rose, 81), Whisken, Willson, Wright; Lowes (Monk, 66), Murray, Fogden, Slade; Holmes (Samadi, 87), Lee.

Unused subs: Hutchinson, Ojo.