POOLE Town chairman Chris Reeves insists the prospect of a return to the Southern League “does not bear contemplating”.

Reeves has overseen the club’s meteoric rise from the depths of the Hampshire League to the National League in the space of just 12 years.

Crowned Southern League champions in 2016 to secure a sixth promotion in 16 years, Poole enjoyed a fruitful first campaign in National South, finishing fifth.

However, a combination of factors – not least injury to key players – has seen them struggle this season with the Dolphins currently in the relegation zone.

But a stunning 1-0 win at high-flying Hemel Hempstead on Saturday breathed new life into their survival mission under long-serving manager Tom Killick and assistant Callum Brooks.

And Poole have the chance to climb out of the bottom three when they host fellow strugglers Chippenham Town at Black Gold Stadium tomorrow (Tuesday, 7.45pm).

Reeves told the Daily Echo: “There is a lot going on and there is a lot of positivity surrounding the club. We have worked so hard to get where we are, both on and off the pitch.

“We had a £300,000 upgrade on the ground four years ago and spent another £170,000 last season. Huge investment has gone into the facilities to enable us to play at this level.

“We have all enjoyed the experience so much that the thought of dropping back just does not bear contemplating.

“We don’t want the fantastic journey we have been on during the past few years to suddenly start going into reverse.

“Winning at Hemel on Saturday was an incredible statement from the players as to how much they care about the club and how much they respect the leadership of Tom and Callum.

“The victory has, hopefully, given us the platform to have real confidence that we can get away from the wretched relegation places.

“A tactical masterstroke from Tom played an important part in the win, especially as we were without the services of Steve Devlin and Carl Pettefer, two stalwarts of our midfield.

“Tom completely changed the shape of the team and had a full-scale practice match in training on Thursday. To say it worked would be an understatement.”

Boss Killick could welcome back both Devlin and Pettefer against Chippenham, while the club are also awaiting international clearance for striker Eder Batista to be involved.

Previewing the clash, Killick said: “Results were reasonably positive for us on Saturday and nobody around us won so that was a real boost.

“Confidence had been really low and it wasn’t just the fact we won but the fact we beat a very good side on their own patch.

“But positive results in isolation aren’t really good enough and we need to put together a run.

“We are very aware that how ever positive the win at Hemel was, it has to be backed up.

“Our next two games are against Chippenham and Gloucester, two of the teams around us and we couldn’t have any more significant fixtures.”

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