CHRIS Reeves is convinced Poole Town will be ready for the next level if they can complete their fairytale journey back up the non-league ladder.

Dolphins are one game away from ending two decades of hurt – with Gosport Borough the final obstacle blocking their path to the Southern Premier.

Poole defeated Hungerford 2-1 in Tuesday’s Division One South & West play-off semi-final to earn a shot at reclaiming their place in the Southern League top flight after a painstaking 20-year rebuilding mission.

Tom Killick’s team will now host Gosport at Tatnam on Monday with promotion to step three up for grabs.

After losing their Poole Stadium home in 1994 and dropping to Hampshire Division One soon after, Dolphins led a nomadic existence until settling at Tatnam and working their way back up. They are now raising funds for a new ground at Bearwood.

Alongside chairman Clive Robbins, vice-chairman Reeves has been a key figure during the rise and has been associated with the club since 1977.

Asked whether he felt Poole would be ready to make another step up, Reeves told the Daily Echo: “I think we are absolutely ready for it.

“If we were to get promotion into the Southern Premier then I would certainly not expect us to struggle. I would expect us to compete. The club is really well set up.

“It is no secret that we struggle with certain aspects of our facilities at Tatnam and that is an ongoing problem which we have got to resolve.

“But notwithstanding the millstones with which we have to deal by virtue of the constraints at Tatnam, we are well prepared.”

Reeves added: “When we lost our place in the Southern League all those years ago – through no fault of our own, through the ground situation – the psychological problem of that, speaking personally, was immense.

“I couldn’t look at the Southern League results for years and years because it just hurt me so much that we had to lose that status.

“We were playing at Haskells Rec in Hampshire Division One – below the Hampshire Premier – but we kept going and now we have a chance of getting promotion to the Southern Premier. It is absolutely awesome.

“If we do get promotion on Monday – and it will be an extremely difficult game and it could go either way – then we would be back at the same level we were at when we lost the stadium. We would have completed the journey.”

• Advance tickets for the play-off final are on sale at three venues in Poole – the A-Plan office, Soccer Locker and Jacobs and Reeves (between 10am and 4pm). Ticket prices: Adults £10, OAPs £5, under-16s £2.