Poole Town have failed at the final hurdle to qualify for the FA Cup for the second year running. They were defeated 3-2 by Hayes and Yeading in a highly eventful replay at The Black Gold stadium.
The game had lots of goals, lengthy delays, and even the bizarre goalscorer of goalkeeper Luke Cairney. But Killick’s men will feel it is an opportunity missed after being 1-0 up against ten men when the two teams first met in Hayes on Saturday. That tie ended with a stoppage time equaliser and it appeared that the pain was still present in the players hearts tonight as they were continuously wasteful in possession.
The beginning of the match was an unusual one. Scheduled to kick off at 19:45, the game was delayed by 20 minutes after their appeared to be a power failure with the floodlights. Then just ten minutes into an end to end start, the lights were out again, forcing the fans and players to have to wait another 20 minutes for a restart.
AFC Bournemouth loanee Jake Cope scored when he came off the bench in the original fixture Saturday. This earned him a place in the starting lineup today but he would have been hugely disappointed when not long after the restart he blasted a one on one over the bar. And Poole perhaps paid for his mistake when away defender Joe Grant nodded home a free header from a corner to put Hayes ahead.
The Dorset men responding quickly though, as Cope’s long range effort was parried out by goalkeeper Jack Smith and into the path of Marvin Brooks who fired the ball into the gaping net. However the visitors themselves reacted quickly also and just before half time Hassan Jalloh chipped forward a ball to James Clark who struck a half volley into the right of Cariney’s goal.
Despite being a goal down, Killick’s Poole did not look particuarly dynamic at the start of the second half. They very quickly saw the deficit doubled when striker Toby Little poked a close range effort between Poole’s sticks.
Frustratingly for the fans, Poole only really seemed to snap into life in the closing half an hour. Brooks latched onto a rebound from close range but Smith quickly got down to his left and push the ball away for a corner.
Now dominating the game Poole were doing everything but finding the end product to get a goal back. This was until midway through injury time when keeper Luke Cairney came up for a corner. After the ball was cleared Cairney fired the ball in the direction of goal with his left boot. The shot took a heavy deflection in front of Smith and was directed into the bottom left corner.
The extravagance of Poole’s second goal was not enough however, and ended up being their last. Hayes and Yeading stole Poole’s dreams of qualifying for the FA Cup for the first time since 1984. The pain will be hard to take as they failed at the same stage last year, being knocked out by a late Haringey Borough winner.
The Dolphins sit fifth in the Southern League South Premier, but have at least three games in hand on all of the teams above them. On Saturday though it is more cup football for the reds, as they host Hartley Wintney in the FA Trophy first qualifying round.