A decent crowd of 239 turned up at Taunton as they played their first home game of the new season. For the Dolphins, Keith Emmerson returned and immediately started up front as Lee Chudy dropped to the bench - the only change from Saturday's victory over Clevedon Town.
Poole Town got off to a flyer and created a number of chances in the first fifteen minutes. Emmerson produced a couple of crisp shots in inside five minutes, one of which was stopped at point blank range by the home keeper. Even before Poole scored it looked as though there could be a flood of goals and when Steve Devlin fired in a twenty five yard volley from a cleared Burbidge cross, it looked like the gates had opened.
Devlin again, was running the midfield prowling across the pitch from side to side whilst Howes worked tirelessly to plug the gaps. Preston seemed to enjoy a bit more success than he had on Saturday and some of his jinking runs began to flow. Taunton found themselves defending for the majority of the game and a goal down, it was crucial they didn't concede again. Therefore they got bodies behind the ball and all efforts centered on keeping Poole out and to their credit - they did.
And that was the story for the rest of the game - Taunton defence against Poole attack.
Half time: 0-1
Poole started the second half in a similar vein to the first, charging from the whistle and looking dangerous. Within seconds of the restart Brooks produced a snap shot in the area which the keeper did well to keep out. But as the half wore on so the game descended more into a midfield battle with a few niggly fouls creeping in from both sides.
On such a small pitch the game condensed down into twenty players all within 10 yards either side of the halfway line and it was difficult for free flowing football to evolve. Despite this Poole were still in control and the back four looked in total control with Walker and Dibba dealing with everything down the middle.
Sam Clarke picked up a knock which saw Jordan O'Donnell make his debut for the Club and he seamlessly slotted into the back line. Still the Dolphins needed that second goal - it would kill the game, pure and simple. They were still creating the chances - Preston was tripped in the box after being put through by Emmerson but the referee saw something completely different to everyone else in the ground and when Walker was found unmarked at the far post, the big man unselfishly nodded back across to Emmerson only for his shot to be scuffed along the ground.
Despite these chances, it still looked as though Poole's best hopes lay from set pieces, either Devlin corners or freekicks causing the most damage. On 87 minutes Devlin again thundered in a great freekick from way outside the box and the keeper did well saving low to his left. A minute later and Brooks conceded a needless freekick on the edge of the Poole box. It was almost inevitable that the home side would score from about their only chance of the game but credit to Ingram who struck a sweet freekick around the Poole wall, curling into the top left corner.
The celebrations at the goal and the final draw told it's own story as Taunton looked as though they had just won the league. Their siege mentality is something that the Poole boys may well get very used to facing this season - and they need to find the key to unlocking this particular tactic, and quick.