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Poole Town 3-0 Kingstonian

Along with swapping ends at half-time and knowing every fan's name, one of the unique institutions of non-league football is The Mid-Second-Half Chat With The Opposition Goalkeeper. This can often take the form of a psychological onslaught designed to undermine the isolated player's confidence, but more usually it is subtle badinage that ends in a truce - mutual respect between baying supporters and noble guardsman. And the opposition goalkeeper, eccentric watcher of the game, often reveals the truth of the play unfolding in front of us all.

So it was that Poole Town's Nick Hutchings turned to the Ks fans behind the goal at Tatnam Farm towards the end of this shocking 3-0 FA Cup defeat and said: "But if your player had scored that header, it might have been different..."

This was kind of Mr Hutchings. But was he right? Ks did start well. Michael Gordon did cross the ball. And Simon Huckle did have a ninth-minute chance to take the lead. But he put the header into the ground and over, rather than into the net. Though an early Ks goal may have changed the momentum of the match, it cannot be denied there are deeper problems in the team at the moment which a good start may not have concealed.

In any case, twenty minutes later, Poole opened the scoring through Scott Joyce, the unmarked striker heading into the net after a counter-attack. What followed was a complete collapse of shape, form, formation and confidence as the Southern League side, Wessex Premier Champions last year, tore Ks apart.

Poole were two-up four minutes later. Another cross into the box found an unmarked Joyce again. Ks keeper Rob Tolfrey failed to hold the first effort and Dan Cann followed up. They made it 3-0 five minutes after half-time: another cross, another free header, this time for Will Spetch. There was little hint of a comeback from Ks though a frustrated Bobby Traynor did his best upfront. But it was Poole who time and again created the chances. Having hit the post in the first-half, they rattled the cross-bar in the second. The home fans couldn't believe their eyes.

Nor could the travelling support. But it confirmed another hallowed rule of the non-league game: Beware pleasant, sunny away days at the seaside. For they often end in defeat and, on a long walk back to Poole station in the early evening, heavy rain.

Sat 17th Sep 2011
Tatnam Farm
FA Cup 1st qualifying round
Poole Town3
1Rob Tolfrey
2Chris Page
3Bashiru Alimi15
4Lynvall Duncan
5Gary MacDonald
6Simon Huckle
7Sam Clayton
8Ian Selley
9Bobby Traynor
10Dewayne Clarke14
11Michael Gordon16
12Tom Hutchinson
14Adam Francis10
15Rocky Baptiste3
16Mo Harkin11
17Mo Maan
Match Report By
Taimour Lay