POOLE Town burned another chance to arrest their slide down the Southern Premier League South, losing to play-off chasing Merthyr Town 3-1 at Dorchester Town’s Avenue stadium.

Toby Holmes’ first-half strike seemingly had Poole on their way to a desperately needed victory, but Merthyr had other ideas, scoring thrice in the second period through Ricardo Rees, Lewys Twamley, and Thomas Stokes.

With time running out to complete fixtures and wet conditions, Poole decided to rearrange their home fixture with Merthyr from Tatnam Farm to the Avenue to avoid another postponement.

Jake Scrimshaw missed out due to illness whilst goalkeeper Lloyd Thomas walked away from the club after being told he would start on the bench for Poole.

Tyler Forbes was handed a first league start of the season, with Poole lining up with a four-man defence after starting life under new boss Steve Tully with a back three.

Dolphins started brightly, calling Merthyr keeper Jaimie Cogman into some early saves.

However, there was nothing that the Aussie goalie could do to stop Holmes’ opener on eight minutes.

Cameron Murray’s corner found Holmes at the back stick, the striker unleashing a half-volley to open scores.

Poole continued the first half in much the same vain; but were unable to find another goal.

Ky Samadi’s solo run from his own half culminated in a shot saved by Cogman, Tyler Forbes then going close twice without joy.

At the other end Merthyr were getting shots off, only to fire them straight at Max Evans in the Poole goal.

Coming out of the break a goal to the good, two second-half minutes would turn the game on its head.

As the match approached the hour mark, Merthyr found an equaliser.

On 57 minutes Rees was unopposed as he drove through the Poole defence, bypassing his marker and cooly slotting home to restore parity.

And two minutes later Merthyr would be ahead.

Switching the play, the Welsh side poured forward, finding Twamley in acres of space inside the Poole box.

Just like Rees before him, Twamley’s finish was buried into the corner, giving Evans no chance.

Now chasing an equaliser, Poole were unable to muster up much of note heading into the final stages.

Their desperation for a goal gave Merthyr the opportunity to seal the result in stoppage time, Stokes smashing in off the post to secure the three points for the Martyrs.

Dolphins: Evans; Rose, Staunton, Whisken, Wright; Murray, Lowes (Fogden, 71), Slade; Samadi (Tshaka, 83), Forbes (Santos, 53), Holmes.

Unused subs:  Hutchinson.