TOM Killick hailed the "magnificent gesture" of Saints striker Charlie Austin in aiding Poole Town's fight against demotion, admitting: "We'd still be in the Wessex League if it weren't for him."

Austin's old club Poole must find £70,000 by the end of March if they are to avoid being forced out of the National League South just a year after being promoted.

The reigning Southern League champions were given the green light to stage Step Two football at Tatnam on the proviso the venue met certain ground-grading criteria by March 31.

Austin has now offered to help by giving his old club use of his box at St Mary's Stadium for Saints' game against Arsenal next month, which Poole could use to entertain potential investors.

Saluting Austin's generosity, Killick said: "Charlie rang me straight away when the story surfaced and wanted to help.

"People have ridiculously suggested he should personally put money in despite the money he generated for the club in terms of his sale and subsequent move.

"We'd still be in the Wessex League if it weren't for him, so what he's done with the use of the box is a magnificent gesture and we're hoping it can assist in raising a significant sum.

"That's typical Charlie. He's always done the right thing by the club."

Things are going well on the pitch for the Dolphins with Saturday’s 2-0 win at Margate lifting them third in the table. Steve Devlin scored both Poole goals.