by Dan Davis (@dan_davis20)
Poole Town’s dire run of form at the Black Gold Stadium continues after a resounding 3-0 defeat to fellow strugglers Gloucester City.
The Dolphins, who were controversially denied a place in the National League South last season, currently sit in 18th place, with performances at home a large factor in the significant drop in form. Gloucester City were welcomed to the South Coast, and currently sit just one place above Tom Killick’s side.
The game appeared to be significant for both sides, and this showed in the early stages as both teams struggled to gain a foothold into the game. The first real piece of action came in the eighth minute, as Jack Storer fired an effort towards goal that had Nick Hutchings getting down quickly to save.
The away side continued to mount the pressure, and Storer was once again allowed time to shoot. Hutchings plunged low to his right to make the stop, and Joe Parker was unable to find the right contact to put his side in front.
Poole gradually began to fight their way into proceedings, and had the best chance of the game in the 25th minute. Steve Devlin was allowed space in the centre of the park, and he cut inside before drilling a shot low towards goal. The Gloucester goalkeeper, Tom Hadler, scrambled to his right and could only watch as the ball struck the base of his post and was cleared.
The scare off the woodwork fired the Gloucester players into action, and on the half hour mark Jack Storer let loose a deflected effort that had Nick Hutchings flying down to his right to tip wide.
The end to end nature of the game continued, as Sam Avery was booked for a nasty lunge, and a dangerous free kick was awarded. The original set piece from Ollie Harfield was blocked, but as the ball came back down the AFC Bournemouth loanee struck a sweet volley towards goal that had Hadler at full spring to keep the score line goalless.
After the half time interval, Gloucester began to crank up the pressure and it finally paid dividends. Karnell Chambers was allowed all the time in the world to run towards the Poole back-line, before he fired home a low, drilled effort past the despairing dive of Hutchings.
The goal seemed to shock the Dolphins, and Gloucester made the most out of their lead. Jack Storer raced into the penalty area, and played an inch-perfect pass across to Joe Parker who duly slotted home to double his side’s lead.
Poole’s Jack Dickson tried to drag his team back into the game, with a direct sprint down the touchline, before laying the ball off to Jamie Whisken. The Poole captain whipped the ball towards goal, but it rose narrowly over the crossbar and away.
The Dolphin’s continued to halve the deficit, and came closest when Will Spetch, being deployed as an unorthodox centre-forward in the closing stages, rose highest and nodded towards goal. The effort brought out the best of Tom Hadler, as he sprang to his right and palmed the ball away.
As Poole flooded forward, Gloucester counter-attacked and the ever-dangerous Jack Storer found himself blazing into the box. With no pressure from the centre-backs, the Gloucester man blazed the ball emphatically into the top corner, and sealed a well-deserved three points for the away team.
The resounding defeat for Poole means that they still remain near the bottom of the table, and Gloucester have increased the gap between the two strugglers. Poole’s next game is against Concord, and the Dolphins will have to drastically improve their performances to lift themselves above the relegation mire.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Jack Storer (Gloucester)
Poole: Hutchings, Lindsay, Moore, Sptech, Whisken, Pettefer, Bedford, Devlin, Bentley, Neale, Harfield
Subs: Rees, Balmer, Dickson, Wright, Mayes
Gloucester: Hadler, Thomas, Hall, Cundy, Avery, Hanks, Ten-Grotenhuis, Webb, Storer, Parker, Chambers
Subs: Parselle, Williams, Edge, Morford, Mullings
Referee: Ryan Atkin