STRIKER Tony Lee bagged a brace as Poole Town got off to the ideal start in 2023, easing past Salisbury 3-1 at the Ray Mac.

A crowd of more than 900 turned out for the bank holiday fixture, but most went home disappointed with Luke Pardoe also finding the net, before a late Sam Roberts consolation.

Poole had the ball in the net inside four minutes, only for it to be ruled out for a handball in the build-up. Former Salisbury man Toby Holmes then also had a goal chalked off, ruled offside.

Wes Fogden also struck the post from close range, before the pressure finally told, just past the half-hour mark as Lee fired home from the penalty spot.

The striker did not have long to wait to add his second of the afternoon.

Superb work by Pardoe saw the former Cherries youngster slip a ball through for Lee, who made no mistake.

Brandon Goodship came close to pulling a goal back just before the break, but Poole went in 2-0 ahead.

And the game was put out of sight midway through the second half when Pardoe let fly from range, his effort nestling in via the post.

Goalkeeper Luke Cairney then seemed on a personal mission to preserve his clean sheet.

First, he denied Goodship from a free-kick with an impressive stop, before then thwarting the same man from 12 yards as Salisbury squandered a penalty.

However, during seven minutes of added time, the Whites did get on the scoresheet with Roberts heading home a consolation at the far post.

The result leaves Poole in a play-off spot in Southern Premier South, sitting fourth. Salisbury are down in eighth.

Brian Dutton’s men are on the road this weekend, heading to Swindon Supermarine.

They then go to Highworth Town in the Wiltshire Premier Shield on Tuesday night.

Tom Killick’s men return home on Saturday, hosting Merthyr Town.

They then travel to Shaftesbury in the Dorset Senior Cup on Tuesday evening.

Whites: Benfield, C Brooks, Gillela, Roberts, Kherbouche, Lawrence, Fitchett, Carmichael, Arnold, Goodship, M Brooks.

Subs: Sommerton, Tomlinson, S Lee, Yang, Gunstone-Gray (g/k).

Poole: Cairney, Rose, Spetch, Whisken, Hutchinson, Olumuyiwa, Moore, Fogden, Pardoe, T Holmes, T Lee.

Subs: Hubbard, McMonagle, Chipangura, Fletcher, Butler (g/k).