Poole versus Weymouth has always been one of the traditional Dorset derbies for decades but in recent years there has been several divisions between the two clubs and encounters have been limited to the Dorset Senior Cup. With both clubs now part of the EVO-STICK Southern League this was a chance to renew rivalries in a different competition and with Weymouth fading and Poole's fortunes on the rise, those regular league encounters are, once again, tantalisingly close. Boxing Day, 2013 anyone? And on tonight's showing it's the Dolphins who can look forward to challenging Dorchester for Dorset bragging rights sometime soon.
With the rule in place that seven of the starting line-up must have played in either of the two previous games, both sides started with strong sides. However, one minute into the game and keeper Hutchings was replaced by Tom Brown. Simon Baines took over as skipper and there was also a welcome return from injury for Sam Clarke.
The opening quarter of hour was pretty even with perhaps the visitors looking the more dangerous on the break. However, it was Poole who created the first real chance on 23 minutes when a Kelly freekick was headed in by Baggridge only for the Salisbury loanee to be adjudged offside.
As Poole grew in confidence so the needle started to rise between the two sides and there were a number of 'hard' challenges from both sides. This wasn't helped by the officials who cracked down on innocuous challenges and then totally ignoring some heavy fouls.
Poole took the lead on thirty minutes. Preston raced away on the left but his first touch let him down and prevented a shot, Instead he got to the goal line and chipped the ball over the keeper for Sam Wilson to get a touch, forcing it over the line. It was his first goal for the Club and this seemed to give him confidence as he went on to give a pretty decent full 90 minutes, capping it with another goal late in the game.
The youngster was getting battered by many challenges in the first half, most of which were committed by Palmer and most of which went unpunished. Just before half time Preston was brought down by a terrible challenge from Lewis Clarke (made 4 appearances for Poole last season on loan from Yeovil and got sent off in FA Cup game at Salisbury!). He received a second yellow card and Weymouth were reduced to ten men for the second half. Taffy Richardson and Lamin Dibba both picked up yellow cards during a feisty first half.
Half time: 1-0
As in the first half Weymouth started well and Smith had a left foot shot well blocked by the Poole defence. The ball rolled invitingly to him again however but this time his shot was well tipped over by Brown in goal. Back came the Dolphins and good work from Preston set up Burbidge but his shot was well saved.
Slightly against the run of play Poole countered on 57 minutes and Kelly cut in from the right and his left foot shot hit the crossbar. The midfielder was not to be denied though and a minute later the ball came across the box to him and he guided a right foot shot past Povall in the Terra's goal.
Poole controlled the game well now and looked secure at the back bar an excellent effort from a Weymouth player who dropped his shoulder and curled a brilliant shot around Brown only to see it crash back off the corner of post and crossbar. Palmer's brutal treatment of anything in a red shirt continued and after an awful, late and dangerous challenge on substitute Jordan O'Donnell he finally received a yellow card. In truth, he should have been off the pitch long before this.
The excellent Lamin Dibba was replaced by Tom Biles with minutes remaining and Poole deservedly got their third goal when another brilliant run from Preston saw his shot blocked and Sam Wilson grabbed his brace at the second attempt.
This was an excellent performance from an unfamiliar Poole side with every player contributing well to the team effort. Dibba was imperious, Brown impressive in goal, Preston unplayable, Kelly a constant thorn, Wilson looked lively and Baines was inspirational as skipper and led by example. Promising indeed.