A SLUGGISH start proved costly for Poole Town as they fell to a 4-2 defeat away at Tiverton Town in the Southern League Premier South.

Dolphins trailed 3-0 at the break, Jack Rice opening scores for the hosts after three minutes before Joe Parker and Javen Wright’s goalscoring contributions.

The game was effectively over on 55 minutes as Parker bagged his second, although Poole showed signs of life beyond the 90th minute, an own goal and Harvey Slade’s effort restoring some pride.

Despite a stop-start schedule thanks to numerous postponements over the last few months, Poole entered the fixture unbeaten in five.

Fresh off the back of a 1-0 victory against Swindon Supermarine on Tuesday night, manager Matt Tubbs elected to name an unchanged XI.

Poole left it very late to conjury a winner in midweek, Tony Lee scoring in injury time, but their hosts on Saturday were off the mark in quick fashion.

Rice found himself one-on-one with Lloyd Thomas, keeping his cool to poke home and hand his side the lead.

The opening goal did not serve as a wake up call for Poole, who found themselves behind by two on nine minutes.

Tivvy debutant Parker found it too easy, slotting past Thomas to double the home side’s margin.

On 18 minutes later, the lead could have been extended further.

Alefe Santos, who started the season with Poole, slipped in Wright, but the attacker’s effort narrowly flew past the post.

Poole were still struggling to threaten the Tiverton goal, but their hosts did not share their attacking impotency.

On the half-hour mark Wright was released on goal, the Tivvy man scooping the ball over Thomas who could only get a glove to the effort.

Emerging out at the break 3-0 down, Poole’s fate was arguably sealed on 55 minutes.

Matt Britton’s ball split the Poole defence and allowed Parker to mark his first Tiverton game with a brace.

The game settled down, the home side content to see out their large winning margin.

It was not until added game that the game came back to life, a scramble inside the Tiverton box leading to a Poole goal.

In the chaos the final touch came of a Tiverton man, but there was little hope of an unlikely comeback.

Substitute Slade strengthened those odds with a goal a minute later, and with four minutes of added time remaining, a grandstand finish was threatened.

However, there would be no further goals, as Poole slipped to a 4-2 defeat.

Dolphins return to action on Tuesday night, when they host title contenders Salisbury at Tatnam Farm (7.45pm).

Despite defeat, Poole remain ninth in the league table, with 38 points from 22 games.

Dolphins: Thomas, Rose, Whisken, Wright, Tshaka (Nippard, 86); Murray, Fogden, Lowes (Samadi, 61); Pardoe (Slade, 61), Lee, Holmes.

Unused subs: Hutchinson, Monk.