Three goals in the first 16 minutes ended this game as a contest as Poole won their first Dorset Senior Cup for 5 years.
With Sam Bayston, Carl Pettefer and Ashley Pope cup-tied, Franklyn Clarke, Toby Holmes and Curtis Young injured, Matt Oldring unavailable, and James Stokoe’s legs rested for a crucial league game on Saturday, Matty Holmes sent out all his available resources, with Josh Hall and Charlie Tilsed from the Development Team on the bench. Poole, however, made only two changes from the starting XI who won at Farnborough on Saturday – Roberts and Whisken replacing Dickson and Hanfrey.
The Dolphins made the ideal start on 4 minutes. Constable and Brooks combined in the penalty area before the latter’s mis-hit shot fell to Bedford who scored from close range.
From a long throw on the left Roberts, who was a constant threat, made space to test Gerard Benfield. Wimborne’s first attack ended with a Luke Burbidge turn and shot which went over the bar.
On 11 minutes Poole doubled their lead. A high corner from the left was headed goalwards and Roberts nudged the ball over the line. After Roberts had fired into the side-netting as he came off his wing, Poole scored their third on 16 minutes. Another high corner from the left was headed powerfully into the net at the far post by Brooks.
Wimborne’s only on-target goal attempt of the half came on 25 minutes. Following good work by Luke Holmes, a low shot by Lee Francis almost caught Cairney unawares, with the keeper recovering to grasp the ball at full stretch. But this was a rare respite as Poole dominated possession. Just after the half-hour mark, Brooks’ shot from the edge of the penalty area was touched over the bar by Constable, who then put Griffin’s cut-back wide, before Brooks headed wide from another corner. Sam Davidson, playing in mid-field, combined with Jordan Lee to force a corner on the right. The ball was played back to Burbidge but his floated cross was cleared.
Benfield was soon in action as the second period began, Brooks charged through midfield and forced the keeper to concede a corner. But on 53 minutes Poole scored their fourth. Constable held the ball up before laying it back to Smeeton who drove the ball past Benfield from the edge of the penalty area.
The industrious Luke Holmes had Wimborne’s first shot of the half, before, on 66 minutes, Griffin headed Smeeton’s cross down and under Benfield for Poole’s fifth.
Lee Francis, who never stopped working, chased back to deny the Dolphins, and Benfield made an excellent save when one-on-one with a Poole substitute. At the other end, Rhys Owen blasted over following Holmes’ run down the left, and Francis did likewise from Burbidge’s run on the right. Substitute Josh Hall came on with 15 minutes to go, and displayed some neat touches. The willing Aidan Shepherd never stopped running, but the Poole goal was never seriously threatened.
On the night, Poole were the better team and deserving winners, and will continue their chase for a play-off place with renewed confidence. Wimborne will learn from the experience, and re-group for the four remaining league games which will determine the outcome of this historic season.
Wimborne: Benfield, Lee, Penny, Douglas (Hall 75), Maybury, Francis, Davidson, L.Holmes, Shepherd, Burbidge, Owen (Tilsed 90) Unused subs: Stokoe, Walsh (gk)
Report by Graham Dunn