CHARLIE Austin helped former club Poole Town get their highly-rated striker, Luke Roberts, back on the pitch.

Roberts marked his long-awaited comeback with a match-winning goal – before Dolphins boss Tom Killick revealed how Saints man Austin was involved.

Roberts earned Dolphins £6,000 and a place in FA Cup second round qualifying when he stabbed home a first-half effort in Saturday’s 1-0 victory at Wessex Premier Shaftesbury.

It took the former AFC Totton hitman just 34 minutes to find the net having returned from the serious knee injury he sustained during a pre-season friendly against Weymouth in July last year.

Roberts has been receiving treatment from Saints physio Kevin Mulholland following the intervention of Austin, who hit 64 goals in 57 appearances for Poole in the Wessex League.

Mulholland, also part of the Republic of Ireland set-up, was put in touch with the Southern League South club by Austin. And Killick revealed his gratitude to both parties after Roberts played the opening 45 minutes at Cockrams.

He told the Bournemouth Daily Echo: “I’ve asked Charlie for a lot of things over the years and I don’t like doing it. But Luke’s welfare is such a big deal to us that I asked Charlie and he was good enough to put us in touch with Kevin.

“It’s really helped to have someone of his calibre. It’s been good for Luke and it’s another example of Charlie giving us help.

“It was so positive for me and the players to see Luke back. He’s going to take a while to get to his levels but he will get there. We just have to give him time.

“Saturday was a really good start for him. He got through without any issues, scored a goal and the 45 minutes he had will do him a lot of good.

“There is a very strict plan which Luke has been following in terms of his rehabilitation.

“On Saturday it was clearly indicated that he should only play 45 minutes so I think it’s important to respect Luke and the physio.

“Much as I would have liked to have left him on, you have to do the right thing.”

Killick was relieved to earn cup progress, although his delight was tempered by injuries to Marvin Brooks and Will Spetch.

He said: “There was huge pressure on us to get through. We had everything to lose and nothing to gain.

“We weren’t particularly fluent and didn’t create as many chances as I would have liked. I thought we looked a bit tense but at least we were resilient.

“We were solid if not spectacular and got through, which was the be all and end all.”

Killick reported that Brooks appeared to have suffered a recurrence of a hamstring strain and that Spetch had damaged his ribs in a heavy fall.