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MATCH PREVIEW: Whites v Hereford

By Ian Ridley

WHITES will go into the big Hereford FC promotion clash at the Ray Mac tomorrow (Saturday March 25th) bolstered by two new signings to offer hope of better things to come after a difficult week.

After 10 straight Evo-Stik Southern South and West Division wins, Steve Claridge’s injury hit side suffered defeat last week at fellow play-off contenders Tiverton Town, to be followed by a Wiltshire Senior Cup reverse against Highworth Town in midweek as the manager nursed his skeleton squad through the semi-final.

But the signings of striker Jesse Waller Lassen and midfielder Franklyn Clarke on deadline day have boosted the squad.

“Jesse and Frank both trained really well with us on Thursday night and you could see that their presence gave the rest of the lads a lift,” said Steve. 

“We have been shorn of personnel but now we have some reinforcements and some options. Really good ones too,” added the manager.

The signings are timely with 41-goal Justin Bennett still a couple of weeks away from fitness after a hamstring pull and midfield still thin, with Chris Onoufriou and Sam Roberts sitting it out again alongside long-term casualties Calum Brockway and Danny Young.

The manager also has worries in defence, with Alex Bass having sustained an injury in training with parent club Portsmouth and defender Brian Dutton still struggling with a thigh strain. Captain Kane O’Keefe and Callum Hart face fitness tests ahead of the match.

Hereford come to Old Sarum able to clinch the title should results elsewhere go their way but Whites will have plenty to say about that as they seek to climb into third place – with second the eventual aim - to secure a home tie in the play-offs.

Steve Claridge for one is relishing the occasion as his side look to delay Hereford’s promotion party and enhance their own prospects.

“It’s like a cup final for us,” he said. “It’s fantastic at our level to be hosting a club like Hereford. 

“I want to congratulate them on the season they are having. People talk about having resources but it’s still not easy to do what they have done, which is dominate the league from day one. I don’t think there’s ever been a doubt they would win it.

“If we had been able to get our act together sooner, we might have been able to run them closer but we had lessons to learn early on and it took a while.

“I’m just disappointed that we haven’t been able to open up the ticketing to their entire fan base because you want as many as possible there for these big games to create the best possible atmosphere. 

“It’s always the problem though when a club suffers for the behaviour of one or two idiots. We know that the majority of their fans are fantastic.”

Whites can look to a thrilling 4-3 win over Hereford in the FA Trophy earlier this season for encouragement but Steve insists this will be a different visiting team.

“At that time, you could identify weaknesses in their side that you could exploit,” Steve explained. “Now they’re bigger, stronger and more experienced. They are a proper unit. 

“We will have to be at the top of our game to beat them but I do think we are one of the few sides capable of beating them. And with the new players, I am more confident than I was this time last week.

“We went to Tiverton with eight first team players missing, then I had to try and win the game at Highworth while making sure I didn’t risk key players ahead of the Hereford game and at the same time giving playing time to some who needed it.

“I always want to win games, and that goes for every cup competition, but I hope people understand where we are as a squad and that there is also a bigger picture here.”

That bigger picture comes tomorrow, and Steve wants Whites fans to show the same support, and make the same noise, as at the other big games the Ray Mac has hosted since the formation of the club two years ago.

“Get behind us,” is the manager’s message. “We’ve appreciated your efforts all season and we’ll need you right till the end, home and away. Come and give us that backing again.

“This is going to be a fantastic occasion, a great day. These are the sort of games we want to be playing more regularly in the future.”

Supporters are reminded that this is an all-ticket game and tickets have to be purchased in advance, with none available on the day.

Gates open at 1pm and there will be a minute’s silence before kick-off for the victims of this week’s London terror attack.

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Hereford match arrangements

Home supporters for tomorrow’s match against Hereford have been allocated the PB Asher End while visiting fans will be accommodated in the Partridge Way end.

There will be strict segregation and police will be on hand to ensure the smooth running of the event.

PLEASE REMEMBER: This is an all-ticket match. Tickets must be purchased in advance from the two clubs (season ticket holders only in the case of Hereford FC) and nobody will be able to pay on the day.

The main car park is given over to Salisbury FC supporters, who will have use of the refreshment hut at the PB Asher End along with an extra tea/coffee facility that the club is installing for the day.

Hereford FC supporters will have their own designated car park, which is accessed via Westside Close, off Portway, which is the main road through Old Sarum. A map has been sent to Hereford FC. 

(There is also an overflow car park next to the Park and Ride on Portway, 5 minutes walk to the ground).

From the designated car park on Westside Close, visiting fans can walk directly to the designated away gate at the Partridge Way end.

There is a dedicated away bar, the Magnet Sports Bar, which can be only accessed AFTER entry into the ground.

Away fans have access to the main refreshment hut at that end of the ground and there will also be a burger van at the away end. There are toilets adjacent to the refreshment hut and additional portaloos are available at the Partridge Way End.

Gates and Bar will open at 1pm.

There will be a minute’s silence ahead of kick-off in memory of the victims of this week’s London terror attack.

Salisbury FC hope everyone enjoys an exciting but safe afternoon of football.




'Big Ben' chimes for Whites

Manager Steve Claridge completed a final signing ahead of yesterday’s Southern League transfer deadline with the recruitment of experienced, towering defender Ben Martin.

Ben joins the club from Evo-Stik Southern Central division club Barton Rovers, where he has been playing for the past few weeks since leaving Vanarama National League South club St Albans City.

The 34-year old, 6ft 7in centre back joins the club on dual registration with Vanarama South club Welling United and the two clubs will share his services until the end of the season.

Ben will play for Welling United against Hungerford Town tomorrow, after which the two clubs will come to an agreement about which games he plays for which club.

‘Big Ben’ has a wealth of experience, including two play-off wins with St Albans City, helping to take them into both the old Conference South and Conference National. He has also been part of a Conference South play-off final win with Boreham Wood and won promotion to the Conference previously with Welling.

He began his career at Swindon Town on a one-year deal but after loan spells at Lincoln City and Farnborough Town, he settled for a long spell at his home town club, St Albans City.

“Ben has a really good pedigree,” said Steve. “He knows what end-of-season run-ins and play-offs are all about and will bring us both a great defensive option and an experienced head.”





On Saturday Salisbury FC welcome Hereford FC to the Raymond McEnhill Stadium in a match both clubs are looking forward to eagerly.

We are aware that Hereford can win the Evo-Stik Southern South and West title should results elsewhere go their way. The game is significant too for us as we look to finish as high as possible in the table to secure first a play-off place, then a home match in the semi-finals, allocated to the sides finishing second and third.

We are expecting a crowd of up to 2,000 and we hope the match will pass off as well as our excellent FA Vase semi-final at the Ray Mac last season when almost 3,500 from the two clubs were in attendance.

On that occasion, Salisbury FC worked hard to make sure the day went well, liaising with police, local authorities, supporters and Hereford FC. We have this time put the same measures in place. Please remember that this is an all-ticket match and those who have not bought tickets in advance will not be admitted on the day.

We hope for a similar, marvellous, occasion as last season’s semi-final and for that to happen, it needs a repeat, too, of the spirit of last year. Then, both clubs were in their infancy as phoenix clubs and the two matches became a celebration of our very existence.

One year on, we at Salisbury FC hope that we can all remember again that after the dark days when both clubs were fighting for their lives and their souls, we are back playing football and enjoying representing our communities, giving them something to be proud of once again.

Both clubs enjoyed successful inaugural seasons and won their respective leagues. Both hope to progress again this season in what has been another enjoyable return to footballing action.

Thus do Salisbury FC and Hereford FC have plenty in common and we urge everyone associated with the clubs to celebrate that fact – whatever Saturday’s result - and make the game another memorable event to add to the growing list of excellent occasions in the new histories of the two clubs.

In this sad week for our country due to the events in London, it is worth keeping football in perspective and remembering that win, lose or draw, both clubs are now in sound positions to carry on and prosper another day.

Steve swoops for duo on Deadline Day

By Ian Ridley

WHITES manager Steve Claridge has signed two players ahead of the crucial promotion clash against Hereford as he seeks to bolster his injury-hit squad.

Striker Jesse Waller Lassen and midfield player Franklyn Clarke will go straight into the squad for Saturday’s match, which sees the visitors looking to clinch the Southern League South and West title and Salisbury looking to further their quest for a home game in the play-off semi-finals.

Waller Lassen has signed on dual registration from Team Solent while Clarke joins after having been released by Southern Premier outfit Dorchester Town.

Waller Lassen, 24, was born in London and began his career in the Tottenham Hotspur youth ranks before joining Bishop’s Stortford. He is the Team Solent captain and led them to the Wessex League Cup last season.

Liverpool-born Clarke, also 24, played for Blackfield and Langley and Wimborne Town last season before being offered a contract with National League side York City, who released him to join Dorchester.

“These are two quality players,” said Claridge. “We needed to strengthen our squad ahead of the run-in and hopefully the play-offs, and I am delighted to get them.

“Jesse was a thorn in our side playing for Solent last year and Franklyn also caught my eye when he did well in Blackfield’s 2-1 win at the Ray Mac last season.”

Salisbury Police issue statement ahead of Hereford visit

Football fans will notice a visible police presence this weekend as Hereford FC play Salisbury FC at the Raymond McEnhill stadium.

There have been some concerns about the behaviour of a small minority of Hereford supporters following recent incidents at away games, and some online speculation regarding potential problems at the weekend’s match.

iltshire Police Inspector Pete Sparrow and SFC safety officer Martin Staples have issued the following joint statement:

“We welcome HFC to Salisbury. Wiltshire Police and SFC are committed to ensuring the safety of everybody attending this fixture, so a significant amount of risk assessing and planning has been conducted regarding this match. 

Extra safety stewards and police will be on duty and both SFC and HFC are committed to deterring disorderly conduct by supporters from either side, and will support prosecution for any offences committed and consider ejections and/or sanctions against people who do not comply with ground conditions of entry and stewards requests."

Inspector Sparrow added: “We will continue to work with both clubs and licensed premises in the city, and there will be a visibly enhanced police presence during the day. 

“I would encourage all fans to continue to behave responsibly and if they have any concerns to approach officers or club staff to make them aware.”

CLUB STATEMENT: Hereford FC Tickets

We have read the “Update on Salisbury Ticket Situation” on the Hereford FC website and regret that the statement is not an accurate reflection of the position.

There have been a number of conversations with Hereford FC and the club is aware of all the circumstances surrounding our decision to restrict away ticket sales to Season Ticket Holders only.

The two clubs had full discussions regarding the reasoning for the restriction a week ago and there have been several telephone conversations and exchanges of emails subsequently.

The prime concern of Salisbury FC is to ensure the safety of all spectators coming to see this match and we have had consultations with the Wiltshire Safety Advisory Group who are ultimately responsible for deciding the conditions which apply to the staging of this fixture.

There have been incidents in recent matches involving Hereford FC and this had a major effect on the requirements of the SAG.

Ultimately, it was agreed that by having an “all ticket” match, thus limiting the maximum number of spectators and by allowing sales of away Supporters' tickets solely to Season Ticket Holders there would be no requirement for Police to be present in the Stadium.

At no stage did we ask Hereford FC to pay £2500 for Policing.

We have pointed out to Hereford FC that they too have a responsibility for ensuring a trouble-free afternoon and have suggested that they might like to bring along a few of their own stewards at their own expense.

Due to recent events at away matches, this would we believe, be a prudent measure on their part.

We have no desire to exclude any spectators from watching this game and we also realise that with the arrangements which are in force, Salisbury FC is losing out on a fair amount of potential income.

However, we are duty bound to follow the requirements of the SAG and would re-iterate that the safety of the fans of both clubs and everyone else involved in this fixture, is of paramount importance to Salisbury FC.

David Phillips (Chairman, Salisbury FC)




Hereford Ticket Information

Following the advice given by Southern Football League, Salisbury Football Club has made the forthcoming Evo-Stik Southern League Division One South & West match at home to Hereford an ‘all ticket’ match.

Home tickets for the match on Saturday March 25
th (3pm kick off) are now available from the office at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium as stated below:

Monday March 20th- 10-4pm /6-8pm (prior to Dorchester Development game)*
Tuesday March 21st – 10-4pm
Wednesday March 22nd – 10-4pm
Thursday March 23rd – 10-4pm
Friday March 25th – 10-4pm

Tickets will also be available to purchase from The Cathedral Hotel at the following times:

Thursday March 23rd – 4-7pm
Friday March 24th– 4-7pm

Proof of ID including address must be presented at time of purchase.  

ricing will remain at the usual prices and seat transfers and car parking will remain at £1 each.

As this is a league match Season ticket holders will not be required to purchase a separate ticket.  However, due to the segregation in place for this match, the club will need to relocate a small number of our season ticket holders. Those affected will be contacted directly.

Free entry to the Development game if you buy a Hereford ticket

Salisbury FC Statement - Director Appointment

Salisbury Football Club are delighted to announce the appointment of Ian Hammond to the Board of Directors. 

 Ian was born in Birkenhead and still supports his “home” football club, Tranmere Rovers. 

 He qualified as an Actuary in 1973 and left Merseyside two years later to join UK Provident (later Friends Provident) in Salisbury. 

 In 1986 he became Managing Director of James Hay and in 2006 he led a management buy-out of part of the business to form a new company, Rowanmoor Group PLC.He remained Managing Director of Rowanmoor until he retired in July 2016 when the company was acquired by Embark Group.  

Apart from his love of football, Ian is a keen follower of cricket and played both hockey and tennis to a reasonable standard.

Ian lives in Ringwood and is married to Helena. He has 3 children and 5 grandchildren. 

He has said that he hopes his considerable business and management background will help towards the ongoing success and development of the Whites.

Commenting on Ian’s appointment to the Board, Chairman David Phillips said: 

“I have known Ian for more than 10 years and have the greatest of respect for him and all that he has achieved in his business life." 

"I am looking forward to working with him and I am certain that his knowledge and experience will be of tremendous benefit to the Club”








MATCH PREVIEW: Whites v Winchester City

By Dave Todd

The Whites are in Ray Mac action for the second time in four days with the visit of Winchester City this evening.

Following Saturday’s 5-0 win over Larkhall Athletic in a match that was a tougher test than the scoreline might suggest, certainly in the first half, Salisbury will be looking to make it nine league wins on the trot to close the gap to third placed Tiverton Town, who we visit on Saturday, to a single point. 

At the end of a frustrating first half on Saturday, a fine strike by Lewis Benson brightened the afternoon and opened the scoring. Goals from Tom Whelan and Claudio Herbert made the points safer before our prolific strike duo got in on the act. Justin Bennett took his tally for the season to 40 goals before setting up Tommy Wright for his 35th. 

From December through to the start of February, Winchester won ten matches out of twelve to give themselves an outside chance of challenging for the play offs but their form has stuttered since. They did beat Evesham United 4-1 last month, but that has been their only win in their last seven games. On Saturday they went down 2-0 at home to Swindon Supermarine. 

Tonight’s game will be the third meeting of the teams this season and Winchester’s second visit to the Ray Mac. The two sides first met way back in August, in our first away game of the season. It all started brightly for the Whites, Tommy Wright firing us into a deserved lead. However it all went wrong and goals from Jamie Barron, now back with City again after a spell at Gosport Borough, Stuart Green and Howard Neighbour gave the home side a half time lead. Justin Bennett pulled a goal back with his first competitive goal for the club, but that proved to be a false dawn and Ross Bottomley rounded off a 4-2 win for Ian Saunders’ side. 

The sides met again in the Second Round of the League Cup at the Ray Mac in November. Following a goalless first half, two Tommy Wright goals saw the Whites through. 

It is another important night as we approach the business end of the season. Elsewhere, Taunton Town, now up to second, host Shortwood United while the two teams immediately outside of the play offs, Mangotsfield United and Swindon Supermarine, meet in North Wiltshire.

Tommy Wright grabbed a brace in November as Salisbury beat Ian Saunders side 2-0 in the Southern League Cup

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YOUTH - Weekend youth round up - 11th, 12th March

Under 18’s show real bounce-back-ability

Salisbury under 18s took on New College in the league fixture at Bulford 3G, fresh from being knocked out of the cup last week to Forest Green Rovers which was always going to have an impact on this encounter. Salisbury started slowly and gave New College far too much respect and the visitors took full advantage and were soon 1 nil up. Salisbury still did not respond and New College could have been out of sight within 20 minutes. Kieran McHardy made some important saves and kept the whites in the game and as in any game goals change games. 

Salisbury finally sprung into life and attacked with purpose and drew level with a goal from Christos Papakonstantinou. Then Ryan Penny scored a second to put Salisbury into the lead. However New College replied with an excellent strike to leave the scores level at half time. 

Second half Richard Rendall changed formation to counter the effect of New College’s very impressive number 7, and this worked well and Salisbury dominated the game. Further goals came from Jim Ward scoring with arguably the goal of the season. Liam Greenough made a clever run to cause confusion in the New College defence, Ward looked up to see the Keeper of his line and lobbed him from 30 yards. Greenough then scored himself to put Salisbury 4 v 2 up. The White could have scored more and came close on quite a few occasions, 4 -2 the final score.  

Salisbury FC U16’s won 17 v 0. No match report has been submitted.  

Under 15’s have a Sunday to remember. League Champions and cup finalist all in one day

Following the under 12s from Saturday who made it into a Semi Final, Salisbury FC under 15s made it into the Final of the Tyro Trophy final. On a wet sticky pitch Salisbury adapted the better of teams, although it took a while to clinch lead, when Forden drove home from a rebounded corner. Nash came off the bench and used his pace and quick thinking to double the lead when he coolly slotting home. Wellow FC though refused to lie down and went close on several occasions and it wasn't until midway through the second half Salisbury scored the crucial 3rd goal. Some combination passing down the left between Simpson and Batty set up Tanner to slot past the keeper and put the game beyond the Wellow side. And then captain Waters added a fourth from the spot to wrap it all up. FT 4 v 1. Salisbury will face Hamble in the final. 

While the whites were busy on cup duty results elsewhere in the league results went the Radian sponsored U15s way meaning that without kicking a ball Salisbury were crowned league champions. Manager Ed Searle said “it is the great dedication of the boys who turn up every week to training and the way they have learned to adapt to a formation and playing style that the back room staff have drilled into them this season that have enabled the team to reap the rewards”.

Salisbury U13s Blacks Suffer the Cup Blues. 

The Blacks 15 game winning streak (all competitions) was halted today in the Tommy Traynor Trophy Semi Final. 

Eastleigh Youth were the hosts on a Soggy and overgrown Wide Lane sports grounds. The Blacks failed to adjust to the pitch throughout the 1st period (trying to stick to their usual short passing game) and Eastleigh capitalized through the clever deployment of the long ball up to their pacy powerful centre forward, who finished his two early chances well. This came as a shock to the Salisbury lads who have not been in this position all season. How would they respond? They started to turn it around but Eastleigh added a 3rd just before the HT break. It was going to be an uphill struggle for the Whites now.  

The Blacks found a rhythm after the break and their play improved greatly. Leo Penna rifled in a finish off the post from 20 yards to give the whites some hope. The Whites then dominated the rest of the match without getting the rub of the green (well more like sloppy brown than green). Whilst they were push for further goals to get back in the game they inevitably left openings at the back, eventually allowing Eastleigh a 4th to kill the contest.  

MOTM and Captain Matt Webb should be proud of his and his team’s performance. Playing Away against a team from leagues above for the 3rd time in this competition will be something the team can learn from and be proud of. The Blacks would like to wish Eastleigh Youth FC the best of luck in the Final.

Whites under 12’s come from behind to reach the league cup final 

Andover New Street 1-2 Salisbury FC  

Salisbury went to Andover knowing 1 more win would see them in final. And Salisbury played there socks off from start to finish after going 1-0 down through a mistake between Jack Weeks and Tyler Andrews, the Whites never gave up there spirit.  

Second half Salisbury were doing everything right apart from scoring. Until Rory Cameron passed a ball across the box for Valentin Daskalov to strike a thunderbolt of a shot that gave the keeper no chance. Before that crucial second goal Salisbury had made so many chance to win it from Dylan Beauchamp, Callum Wohler and Archie Ford. After his mistake in the first half, skipper Tyler Andrews came up for the corner where the ball dropped to his feet to toe poke it into the corner which saw the Whites go on to win the game. 

Huge credit to Andover New Street for giving us a tough, aggressive match. Salisbury will now play local rivals Alderbury in the final on 27th April at Andover New Street first team stadium.  

Man of the match was Matthew Robinson who put a solid performance from start to finish. The Blacks now have the aim of protecting their 100% league win record, and sealing promotion at their 1st attempt. 

Mini Soccer round up 

Salisbury U9's played Winchester Youth Blue today in two terrific games. The young whites started slowly and conceded some early goals. Despite a harsh penalty decision, they showed terrific character and grew into the game, and shaded the second half. The final game was very entertaining, with plenty of goals, and end to end football. Winchester were clinical and edged past us in the final few minutes. In difficult conditions, the boys all applied themselves brilliantly. Great effort boys. 

Salisbury FC U8's played an excellent game of football against Sarum youth today. Great performance from all the boys, nearing the end of the season but are still consistently proving their quality. MOTM Alfie Trollope, huge contribution going forwards scoring and creating goals.  

Saturday saw Salisbury FC U7’s make the log trip to Kings Worthy for a development game against Worthy Reds U7’s. The whites got off to a slow start but within 5 mins they settled really well making great passes and having passion of the football.  

As the game went on the white grew stronger and there football got better and better and created many many chances. The team worked very hard for each other all over the pitch and it was great to see how they are now all gelling really well and understanding each other's way of playing the game. 

As always when we play Worthy Reds the game was very competitive and played with a great spirit with every child enjoying just playing football. It was a great game and a real joy to watch and see how well the teams played, certainly one of the best games of the season. 

It was a tricky decision but Man of the match went to Harry Turner for putting in a great performance and showed great attitude towards the game. We would like to thank Worthy for hosting the game and for a very competitive and entertaining match. 

Salisbury 5 Larkhall Athletic 0

Salisbury piled the pressure on third placed Tiverton Town with a 5-0 win over Larkhall Athletic.

Lewis Benson gave The Whites the lead just before the break.

Tom Whelan, Claudio Herbert, Justin Bennett and Tommy Wright all netted after the break.

Rovers return to the Ray Mac

Salisbury Football Club are delighted to announce, that we will once again be hosting Bristol Rovers for a pre-season friendly.

The match, taking place on Saturday July 15
th (1pm kick off) will see Darrell Clarke bring a team down for the third consecutive summer.

Clarke’s charges are currently 9
th in League One, seven points off the play-off places.

Last July, 865 people attended as the Pirates eased to a 3-0 win. The previous year Rovers won 4-1, George Colson’s scoring a memorable strike for Steve Claridge’s side.

There are Matchday Hospitality Boxes available for this match, if your interested in watching the match in style call the club on 01722 776655 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.