BOSS Ian Chandler credited Poole Town with stifling his Whitley Bay side and admitted the holders needed to up their game for the second leg.

Chandler, a Vase winner as a player, has guided Bay to the trophy for the past two seasons.

His men emerged with a 2-1 advantage from Saturday’s semi-final first leg at Tatnam after scoring twice late on.

But Chandler praised Poole and confessed Bay had fallen short of their usual standards.

Speaking after the game, he said: “I felt we weren’t at our best. We were off the pace and doing daft things, but Poole probably forced us into that.

“We didn’t do it on purpose but we can play a lot better and, hopefully, we will on Saturday.

“It is a good feeling at the moment but we know we will have to do a lot better in the second leg.

“We were a shadow of what we had been playing like. That was our 15th win in a row but you would not have thought it.

“We have been playing really well and playing attacking football. Poole, with their style, stifled that quite easily.

“It is not going to be easy on Saturday and I will make sure nobody thinks it is going to be easy because we know what happens. You can get kicked in the teeth and you are out.”

Poole manager Tom Killick said: “If we had lost the game here, been outplayed and they had looked a long way ahead of us in terms of their players, I think it would be a really daunting trip north.

“But the way the game panned out, I am more than confident we can go there and get something.”

He added: “Credit to Whitley Bay. If you look through their statistics, they make a habit of scoring goals late on and when that is done consistently over a period of time, it is not down to luck, it is down to mental strength and physical determination.”