POOLE Town’s promotion hopes suffered a setback on the pitch – just hours after they had received a major boost off it.

Vice-chairman Chris Reeves saw Dolphins draw with lowly Hamble but then revealed his club had put in place a potential ground share proposal with an unnamed club.

The agreement, which could pave the way for Poole to finally regain their Southern League status, is the club’s second choice, but would provide them with a venue that meets with step four grading regulations.

Having been turned down by Wimborne Town and Hamworthy United, Reeves reported that he and chairman Clive Robbins struck a deal on Saturday to share with a mystery club – should their bid to finalise an “outside-the-box” option not come to fruition.

While Reeves was remaining tight-lipped on the ground-share location, local clubs with suitable facilities include Bashley, New Milton Town and Dorchester Town.

Poole will turn to that proposal if their secret preferred choice does not come off. It is believed the other option could involve Bournemouth Athletic Club’s home, but Reeves declined to disclose details of the potential venue.

He did reveal that a Football Association representative had informally cast his eye over the first-choice ground on Friday and that Dolphins were planning to prepare a detailed proposal to submit to the FA.

Reeves told the Echo: “We are now really optimistic that at least one of the two options that we are pursuing will come good.

“We now have a definite offer of a ground-share, which is our second choice.

“We have told them they are our second choice and our first choice is the option that I have referred to as being the ‘outside-the-box’ option.”

Poole need to win the Wessex League for a third consecutive year to give themselves an opportunity to be promoted.

They looked on course for victory on Saturday after Lamin Dibba’s second-minute opener and an early double from Kevin Gill put them 3-1 up at the break. But Richard Gregory’s brace and a Lloyd Webber strike earned a point for Hamble at 3-3.

The result left unbeaten Dolphins eight points behind leaders Winchester City, but the reigning champions have six games in hand.