Pitching In Southern League, Premier Division South
Tiverton Town v Poole Town
The Ian Moorcroft Stadium . 3pm
AFTER a period of inactivity in the league that stretched back to Boxing Day, Poole returned to action with an injury-time 1-0 home win against Swindon Supermarine on Tuesday evening.
If the Dolphins can muster any kind of successful run, they could yet reach the play-offs this term. Already having a congested schedule of fixtures, the Supermarine success was their 21st game of the season.
Tony Lee, who has consistently been one of the league’s top marksmen, popped up with goal number 15 in only 19 appearances to score Poole’s winner against Supermarine. He will, as always, need extremely close attention in the final third. Since the 2020-21 season, he has notched 79 goals in 88 games. The striker also played briefly for the Yellows nine seasons ago as a teenager.
Fellow proven striker at this level Toby Holmes is also into double figures and Tivvy will have to raise their game defensively later on. With midfield schemers of some note in Wes Fogden, the ex-Bournemouth and Portsmouth player, and Cameron Murray, the former Weymouth man, providing the creativity, the supply line will need to be attended to also.
Back in October, interim manager Richard Pears took charge of our side in the reverse fixture, a game in which the Dolphins beat us 2-0. Matt Tubbs had not been long into managing the side and the ex-Crawley Town striker was entrusted with improving results after the club hierarchy went on record as saying that they felt, with the investment made in the summer, that they were falling short of their play off expectations.
Tiverton have been proactive in boosting their squad and have brought in Brazilian-born wide man Alefe Santos and forward Joe Parker from Gloucester City. Santos will be familiar to the Dolphins, having started the season with them. The 28-year-old ex-professional played in the EFL for Bristol Rovers, Yeovil and Notts County.
Parker, who is the same age, joins on a month’s loan and also played briefly in the EFL, for Newport County. The versatile front man has a good goalscoring return in the level above. For Gloucester City, who play in National League North, he has notched 72 league goals from 195 league games, statistics made even more impressive by being deployed in equal measure as a winger, as opposed to being an out and out striker for his entire career.
The closeness of sides in the lower reaches of the table means that one positive outcome could quickly change the outlook. Tivvy will have to defy the odds to do this, but quite a few of the teams around the Yellows have done so recently and the team and supporters have to keep believing.