POOLE Town boss Tom Killick revealed injury-hit Jake Smeeton could remain sidelined for the rest of the season.

Defender Smeeton suffered a chest problem in training while competing for a header with striker Tony Lee a few weeks ago.

The former Dorchester Town man revealed this month he may have sustained cartilage damage, while a scan showed he could require surgery.

Smeeton has not featured for Poole since their win at Southern League West outfit Salisbury in the FA Cup in mid-September.

Killick told the Daily Echo: “Jake had a CT scan and has to go back to see a specialist.

“It does look as if it may end up meaning he would need surgery.

“I hope it’s not the case but the worst case scenario is he could be out for the whole season.

“I believe he has an appointment on Tuesday, so I think we will have a more definitive diagnosis once the specialist properly interprets the scan results.”

Having lost their past two games in National South, Poole are currently 20th.

And Killick admitted Smeeton’s absence had played a big part in his side’s difficult campaign.

He added: “Smeets, in a funny way, almost suits the situation we are in.

“He is a tenacious player with an awful lot of spirit and determination.

“He is just the sort of player who can really help you in this scenario. It has been a big blow to be without him.

“We have missed him in a big way and will continue to do so.”

Smeeton is expected to be present tomorrow when Dolphins make the trip to National South counterparts St Albans City in the third qualifying round of the FA Trophy (3pm).

Will Spetch is back from suspension for the contest which is worth a considerable £5,000 in prize money.

Having been dumped out of the FA Cup in the third qualifying round by Southern League Premier Slough Town, Killick is desperate to boost the club’s coffers with a Trophy run.

“There is quite a big emphasis on the game,” he added.

“We need to try to do well in the Trophy because the FA Cup was a disappointment and, apart from anything else, financially it is important.

“With a club in our position where, really, we live hand to mouth, anything you get in terms of prize money helps to bridge the gap between income and your outgoings.

“St Albans is a very difficult draw but we are desperately keen to try to progress.

“They have a very powerful squad and would always have been anticipated to be one of the big hitters in the league at the start of the season.”

Dolphins: (from) Hutchings, Moore, Gillespie, Harfield, Lindsay, Whisken, Pettefer, Dickson, Neale, Devlin, Bentley, Brooks, Bedford, Balmer, Leslie-Smith, Spetch, Rees.