By Ryan Evans (@revs_pafc)
Poole Town were left to rue a number of missed opportunities as they slumped to a 3-1 home defeat to Oxford City on Saturday – and were denied two penalties in controversial circumstances.
It was Michael Fondup, Scott Davies and Jefferson Louis on debut who scored the goals that saw the visitors ease to the points in the end, with substitute Sam Surridge netting for the Dolphins midway through the second half.
The experienced Louis, who, at 37-years old, made the 37th move of his career to the 26th different club, hassled the Town back four all day and got his just rewards in injury time of the second half, holding off a challenge to poke it past the onrushing Nick Hutchings.
However, it wasn’t all plain sailing for the away side, who had to withstand some serious pressure from the Poole strike force in the second half.
It culminated in two credible penalty shouts, both not given, much to the annoyance of the 500 strong home crowd.
Oxford, who started the day second from bottom, had a flying start but let their hosts back into the game as they responded well to early pressure, creating several opportunities including multiple deliveries across the face of goal, with no one able to stab it in at the back post.
It was on 23 minutes when the deadlock was broken, with Fondup hammering home after a cutback from the left hand side.
The home side had further chances to score one of their own, but found themselves two down just before the break as the impressive Josh Ashby was deemed to have been fouled in the box, sparking anger amongst the home fans.
When Davies stepped up to convert his penalty via the post, it sent the small but very noisy contingent of away fans into delirium.
After the break, the terrible weather conditions took their toll as the game evened out, before an eventful ending.
It was Poole’s first-half substitute Abdulai Baggie who whipped a free-kick into the mix, where there were claims that Louis brought down Will Spetch right in front of goal.
The referee said play on but it wasn’t long before there was more controversy, as another penalty shout was turned down in the 88th minute for what many thought was a clear trip in the box.
That turned out to be the end of the Poole onslaught, with Louis breaking up the other end of the pitch to wrap up the points late on.
The Dolphins stay in fifth position on 25 points due to the fact that St Albans City and Dartford, the teams directly behind them, have a game in hand.
However, they are now ten points behind the early pace-setters Maidenhead.
From Oxford City’s perspective, they have moved up to 18th position and are now three points clear of the drop zone.
- Nick Hutchings
- Lewis Lindsay
- Ryan Case
- Will Spetch
- Jamie Whisken
- Carl Petterfer (Baggie)
- Luke Burbridge
- Steve Devlin
- Richard Gillespie (Surridge)
- Marvin Brooks (Bailey)
- Luke Roberts
- Jack Stevens
- Jordy Neathe
- Freddie Grant
- Scott Davies
- Robert Cundy
- Godfrey Poku
- Josh Ashby
- Jonny Giles
- Michael Fondup (Ofuso)
- Jefferson Louis
- James Roberts (Fleet)
Man of the Match: Jefferson Louis (Oxford City)