TOM Killick admitted his side’s FA Trophy exit at St Albans City had been “a bitter pill to swallow”.

Dolphins were rocked in a 3-1 defeat to the Saints at Clarence Park thanks to a double from substitute Rhys Murrell-Williamson.

The winger came off the bench to haunt Killick’s men for the second time this season.

He also netted the decisive goal when the teams met in National South in August.

Murrell-Williamson’s strikes came after the sides had traded converted penalties during the opening period.

Steve Devlin scored from the spot for Poole after home skipper David Noble had initially opened the scoring.

Defeat meant Dolphins fell at the first hurdle in their Trophy campaign and missed out on a considerable £5,000 in prize money for progressing in the competition.

Manager Killick told the Daily Echo: “To have that sort of money available for one game and see it slip away, from the club’s perspective, is a very bitter pill to swallow.

“It was upsetting really because their second goal came at a time where I thought we were having our best spell of the game.

“We started the second half really well and I thought we looked the most likely team to get the next goal.

“Despite being away from home we set up people in a more aggressive fashion in terms of trying to commit people forward and tried to create more. I thought we did that.

“But we were a little sloppy in our defending and then it was the old story that we were behind and we had to try to throw bodies forward to retrieve the situation.”

Poole have now lost three games in a row in all competitions, with previous league losses against Braintree Town and Hampton & Richmond adding to their misery.

And with his side 20th in National South, the Dolphins boss admitted his squad were falling short of expectations.

“With the group of players we have, I feel we are underachieving,” he added.

“We should be better and that is what we have to accept.

“Whatever the scorelines are we are not getting beaten comprehensively. We are just coming up a little bit short.

“We have to keep plugging away. There is no time to feel sorry for ourselves, we just have to try to fight our way out of it.

“I feel every player we have is honest in terms of the effort they produce week in, week out.

“Their desire to get us out of the position we are in I do not question at all.

“I look at the faces and there are people who have been with me a long time and experienced a lot of success. This period is proving very difficult to manage.”

Dolphins: Hutchings, Lindsay, Harfield, Spetch, Whisken, Pettefer (Gillespie), Neale (Dickson), Devlin, Bentley (Balmer), Brooks, Bedford. Unused subs: Moore, Rees (g/k).