Back to a Saturday and this time a trip to School Lane in Poole to watch the Dolphins play The Marine.
Poole Town’s ground is part of a school complex and allows for plenty of parking.
There are some more developed grounds in this League but what Poole have is adequate for the level and the crowd of 508.
With storm Malik battering Scotland and the North of England the balmy 9 degrees on the coast with a light breeze and dull grey skies was a benefit.
The playing surface was mainly flat with a good grass cover and there was an ample covered seating area with covered terracing at each end of the ground as well as more next to either side of the stand. There is a well frequented club house as you enter the ground.
Poole Town FC were formed in 1890 with the merger of Poole Rovers and Poole Hornets and I remember them being a strong force in Non League Football in the 1960’s when their reputation for cup heroics went before them. They have been dogged with ground issues, Poole Stadium used by Speedway was lost to them, but have now settled into The Black Gold Stadium, Oakdale School, School Lane, Poole and in recent years have been pressing for promotion.
Swindon Supermarine FC are a more recent club being forged from a merger of Swindon Athletic and Supermarine in 1992. They stayed nearly 10 years in the Hellenic League and in 2001 moved up to the Southern League and were promoted to the Premier Division in 2007 where they stayed for 5 seasons until being relegated. They regained their Premier status in 2018 where they now sit.
Poole Town 2 Swindon Supermarine 1
Southern League Premier South
Dolphins v The Marine: 9th v 15th
Poole. Shirts – gold and black vertical stripes with black sleeves and shoulders, shorts- black.
Supermarine. Shirts – White, Shorts – Royal Blue
Before the match started there was a minutes applause to celebrate the passing of Jack Fisher a 96 year old who had been a stalwart at the club for many years and had been the trainer for 19 years and stand in manager when needs were great.
A small knott of Poole ultras began chanting in time to an incessant drum beat to get the game under way and the home team were soon on top when on only 5 minutes Jack Dickson dribbled in from the right only to be up ended by a defender and Will Spetch sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to convert the awarded penalty.
The game was then scrappy and had not really settled down when Will Spetch went up to challenge for a ball and was adjudged to have fouled by a Swindon defender and goalkeeper Jed Ward. Spetch made sure that the ball was his and blasted the awarded penalty straight into the net with the keeper diving to his left where the first penalty had been placed.
The away side came to life and both sides seemed to be competing harder for possession. On thirty seven minutes, seven minutes after the penalty the referee gave a free kick to Swindon for what seemed to everyone was a very theatrical dive. Perhaps it was an evening up after the home sides dubious second penalty. The ball went well over the bar but found its way into Poole’s net with the first half coming to an end when Tom Mehew hit the ball into the left side of the goal after two defence splitting passes.
It was as if that both teams left their spark in the dressing room in the second half and on territorial play alone it felt like Poole were hanging on for the win which they duly did. Not the best game I’ve seen this year which I will remember most for the competitive first half.
I seem to be having a run of very poor chips. These were a large quantity but were soggy, only warm and dull, meaning only a score of 53.