By Dan Davis (@Dan_Davis20)
A subdued Poole Town performance saw them grab an arguably undeserved leveller at Tatnam, which meant a replay with Weymouth will have to be contested on Tuesday.
Poole’s local rivals, Weymouth FC, were the better team for large parts of the first half, but it was the home side who created the best of the early efforts. Talisman midfielder, Marvin Brooks, set up Luke Burbidge but his shot was well tipped over by the Weymouth keeper.
This warning shot proved to be enough to shake Weymouth into action, and they grew into the game, with play down the wings proving particularly effective.
And it was the away team that struck first. With 33 minutes gone, a valiant run down the right wing by Ben Thomson followed by a pinpoint cross allowed Dean Evans to head home, leaving Poole goalkeeper Nick Hutchings clutching at thin air.
It was Poole’s time to come to life after this, as Abdulai Baggie’s cross was met by Sam Surridge, on-loan from Bournemouth, but Jason Matthews saved well. With Eddie Howe being asked about Surridge’s progress only last week, it is clear his parent club value him highly and are keeping a close eye on his form.
The first half ended with some scrappy possession from the home side, and the half time break saw no major change in their performance.
The opening stages of the second period saw Poole continue to play in the same vein, with sloppy passing and a lack of creativity. However, they did succeed in nullifying Weymouth’s attacking threat.
The last 10 minutes saw Poole pick up the pace, and begin to fashion better chances. Corners came and went, until added time at the end of the game.
Baggie’s fantastic delivery fell kindly to Lewis Lindsay in the middle of the penalty area, and he slotted home to equalise for the home side.
Poole sensed their chance to gain victory and avoid the replay. Surridge hit the post from a free kick and Burbidge converted the rebound; but was ruled to be offside.
The full time whistle was blown, with the final result ending 1-1. Weymouth will be disappointed that victory slipped away from them right at the death – but Poole Town’s improved second half performance means a replay will take place on Tuesday 29th.
Poole’s game against Wimborne Town, originally scheduled for that day, will therefore be postponed.