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Promotion rivals have grounds for hope

One-field battle at Poole and off-field work goes on

Malcolm Howe

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Malcolm Howe

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Promotion rivals have grounds for hope

Poole won 1-0 at Hungerford last October

HUNGERFORD Town and Poole Town could be exchanging ground notes as well as challenges when the old promotion and play-off rivals resume battle in Dorset on Saturday.

Both among the pre-season relegation favourites, they are now involved in the Vanarama National League promotion race while also having to undertake major ground improvements to meet National League grading standards and avoid being relegated back to the Southern League.

That will not be of immediate concern to rival managers Bobby Wilkinson and Tommy Killick, who recently celebrated his 700th game in charge, but Wilkinson is hopeful that his club’s old rivals will meet the deadline.

Hungerford launched their own £35,000 appeal sometime ago, while Poole need to raise around £150,000 for their work at the Tatnam school field.

“I’m sure we’ll find out how it's going when we get there,” said Wilkinson. “It looks like we’re going to get our work all done, and I hope Poole make it as well. I don’t want to see a club go down because their ground isn’t up to the grade. I’m sure they will get it done."

The clubs have risen through the ranks almost side by side and, said Wilkinson: “Everything we’ve done, we’ve done it together so there has to be a bit of respect there. They’ve done a brilliant job and so has their manager. I just hope we can get three points there this time for a change!”

Hungerford hope to have Stefan Brown close to fitness to join the squad that drew with Maidenhead last week.

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