Match Report - Hayes and Yeading United v Salisbury FC

Hayes and Yeading United 1 Salisbury FC 0

BetVictor Southern Premier League South

Saturday, 16 November 2019

By Alec Hayter

Manager Steve Claridge left the pitch shaking his head after a narrow 1-0 reverse which ended a long unbeaten run, but anyone who had the chance to read the match day programme before the game might have been prepared for the way in which it panned out. because of the report it contained about the home side's cup escapades last Saturday against Oxford United.

Hayes & Yeading had been outplayed in the first half but produced a stirring second, although they could not retrieve the situation where their visitors had taken the lead. Today Salisbury had no less than 11 efforts on goal during the first half to only three threats from the home side, and ended up paying the penalty in more ways than one.

They should have been ahead after 2 minutes when Nathanial Oseni met Josh Sommerton's corner but could only put his header at the keeper, and United responded immediately with Jack Sheppard's curler from the edge of the box.

On 9 minutes Gerard Benfield did well to keep out an Elliott Buchanan back header from Omar Rowe’s free kick, but that was the last we saw of the home side as an attacking force until nearly 40 minutes had elapsed.

In the meantime Darren Mullings saw his right foot shot deflected over the bar on 12 minutes and 5 minutes later, when Josh Sommerton got round the back of the defence and pulled the ball back to Toby Holmes, the striker fired over the top.

Just before the half hour Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick cut inside but could not keep his finish down and on 34 minutes Aaron Dawson was unlucky with his right foot fizzing effort which went just wide of the upright as Salisbury increased the pressure.

With 9 minutes of the first half remaining a good combination between Holmes and Shaq allowed Mullings another effort on goal but this too was deflected over the top, whilst only seconds later the Whites had a golden opportunity to take the lead.

Warren Bentley, who had played in behind Holmes, got well forward, and was tripped by Keano Robinson with referee Tom Danaher in no doubt as to the award of a spot kick. Home keeper Jack Smith guessed right, however, but still had to do well to keep out a well struck Holmes penalty.

On 38 minutes only a great last ditch tackle from Kevin Amankwaah prevented Hassan Jalioh making the Whites pay with Hayes' only other first half incursion into the Salisbury box with the Whites well on top. In the last 5 minutes of the half, Mullings fired wide after receiving a pullback from Holmes, and in the closing stages Lewis Benson's pass to Shaq saw a fierce attempt at goal touched over by Smith.

On 44 minutes Benson worked the ball to Oseni who had an effort blocked and to finish the half, Mullings had yet another effort deflected over from 25 yards. At the break hopes were high for the second period, with one of the home officials left wondering how his side was still on equal terms at the interval. He was as delighted as most Whites fans were disappointed.

Toby acrobaticsWould have been ruled out anyway for offside had Toby connected - but he didn't know that! - ©Michael Berkeley

He did not have to wait long for his side’s response as United set about their task and as much as the first half had been one of Salisbury domination the second was almost exactly the opposite in possession terms with the Whites only producing one notable effort on goal in the last minute of normal time.

It only took 10 minutes from the restart before Hayes threatened with a James Clark attempt and, only seconds later, Rowe missed the target with a left foot effort. The tempo and pressure was building and on 59 minutes the woodwork saved Salisbury as Joseph Grant met a cross from the left with a sweet volley, but the relief was brief as 2 minutes later Ogochukwu Obi tumbled in penalty box mayhem before getting up to convert the kick for what turned out to be the only goal of the game.

On 88 minutes the same player brought a good save from Benfield, but the strong travelling contingent, who were noisy in support throughout, must have felt that the one goal deficit could be righted, and especially when Holmes got on the end of the Dawson cross from the right. However, the header went well over the bar to sum up the Salisbury's day.

The Whites were missing two important regular players in Bay Downing and Ollie Knowles, both suspended, which meant that Amankwaah occupied Downing's place with Jake Wannell making his first start since his horrific injury at Poole Town. I have to say that during a “never been away” showing he showed no signs of his injury, and this must bode well. Unfortunately he had to leave the action on 65 minutes but I understand that the reason was simply an attack of cramp, which of course is understandable after such a long lay-off. It appears that he will be fit for the Buildbase FA Trophy game next Saturday, as will Amankwaah, who suffered a dead leg in today's game but who did well to soldier on to the end in spite of that. For the sake of completeness, I also understand that Danny Young had called off at short notice because of illness, meaning that there were only 3 substitutes on the bench, one of whom was trainer Sam Dible.

WannellJake Wannell back after his long absence and getting in the thick of things - ©Michael Berkeley

There will be much more choice for Steve Claridge next Saturday and if his side can take the chances they will undoubtedly create then they could well progress into the next round of the Trophy, although nobody will be taking the opponents lightly at any stage of the game, and especially after half-time!


Hayes and Yeading United: Smith, Robinson, Williams, Toomey (Switters 85), McDevitt, Coker, Clark, Sheppard (Grant 45), Buchanan, Jalioh (Obi 38), Rowe.

Subs not used: Llittle, Donnelly.

Salisbury FC: Benfield, Amankwaah, Sommerton, Mullings, Oseni, Wannell (Rayfield 65), Benson, Dawson, Holmes, Bentley (Fitchett 62), Hippolyte-Patrick.

Sub not used: Dible.

Attendance: 284                   Referee: T Danaher


Title image©Michael Berkeley

Match Report - Salisbury FC v Kings Langley

 Block Kings

Salisbury FC 2 Kings Langley 1

Buildbase FA Trophy 2nd Qualifying Round

Saturday, 9 November 2019

By Alec Hayter

As in all cup games, the aim is to make it "job done", and the Whites duly obliged with a narrow win after a sometimes difficult game with Kings Langley, who last season in league matches against us were awkward opponents, and only allowed us one point from the six on offer in the two league meetings.

Steve Claridge said in his programme notes that he felt Kings Langley would be stronger than some opponents of late and that was proved to be the case in the early exchanges, although in the second half his side managed to get a better grip on the game in spite of being a man short in the latter stages.

It took a great save from Gerard Benfield to keep out a Mitchell Weiss effort on 7 minutes after the effective striker had been put in by Louis Collier, with the home side's only response being a Warren Bentley effort which went well over the top from just outside the box 4 minutes later.

Bentley CustomAn early attempt by Warren Bentley - ©Michael Berkeley

Benfield again earned his corn seconds later when Roderick Collins was through one-on-one, the keeper blocking at point-blank range, and the closest Salisbury came in the first 25 minutes was when Josh Sommerton, returning from injury and playing further forward, fired in a cross from the left which nearly turned out to be a shot on goal, but just cleared the near post.

Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick, playing wide right, was posing problems for the visiting defence whenever he had a chance to run at them, and on 27 minutes one such run produced the opening goal after he got clear of his defender and pulled the ball across to Toby Holmes, who, without hesitation, aimed a right foot finish past Melvin Minter. The keeper stood little chance of keeping it out.


So at that time Holmes was the difference, and, as it happened, he remained so over the majority of the game, in terms of the final outcome but a slender 1-0 advantage was not enough as Kings Langley responded. On 31 minutes, Stephen Ward made the first of two awful blunders during the match when he blasted the ball wide when in the clear just inside the Salisbury box, but Kings recovered from that 7 minutes later when Weiss found himself in space on the left and quickly and decisively hit an early chip over the advancing Benfield to tie up the scores.

Thus it remained until the interval but some 9 minutes after the restart Warren Bentley put in Holmes who was denied by a good block from Minter, and a further 7 minutes elapsed before the next goalmouth action at either end. However, it was worth the short wait, because Holmes got his second with a calm finish after benefiting from a superb reverse ball by Ollie Knowles.

Tobys second CustomToby's second seals it - ©Roger Elliott

Just after the hour Joshua Coldicott-Stevens, who scored Kings' winner at the Ray Mac last season, nearly brought his side back on terms when he hit a speculative 25 yard effort narrowly past the upright - so narrowly wide that Benfield was scrambling across his goal to cover.

Salisbury then went down to 10 men with Bay Downing receiving a second yellow card. From my position it appeared there was not much more than a fairly tame coming together, but referee James Robinson, who was much closer to the action, judged the tackle worthy of the punishment meted out, although in the context of the game as a whole thst may have seemed a little harsh. The resulting red card means that Downing will miss the next round of the competition on 23 November.

On 72 minutes, Josh Sommerton did his job when Max Hercules had a clear chance close in, the young defender getting in the way of his finish, but as sometimes happens, going down to 10 seemed to galvanise the Whites and they deserved a late piece of good fortune when Ward committed his second crime in the 90 minutes by completely missing an open goal from no more than 10 yards. I'm really delighted that he did so, and for more than one reason - a Tuesday trip on the M25 at going home time was not a particularly attractive proposition!

So now we eagerly await the draw for the next round on Monday in spite of not having seen our favourites perform to their best. Having said that, it is of great credit to the team, which lacked the usual presence of Lewis Benson, whislt Sommerton was thrust straight back into serious action and did well to complete 94 minutes after his spell out injured.

Back in league action next Saturday we visit Hayes and Yeading and, coincidentally, my last memory of our playing at the Skyex Stadium was in a cup game. That memory is not a particularly good one, but I'm confident that the Whites can return with the points, after gaining some retribution, ,especially if our faithful travelling support in good numbers make themselves heard as usual.


Salisbury FC: Benfield, Downing, Lafleur (Young 45), Knowles, Amankwaah, Oseni, Hippolyte-Patrick, Dawson, Holmes (Fitchett 78), Bentley (Mullings 67), Sommerton.

Subs not used: Betts, Leak, Wannell.

Kings Langley: Minter, Anderson (Calvin 88), Farrell, Collins, Adebiyi, Johnson, Ward, Coldicott-Stevens (Lamboh 82), Weiss, Collier, Linsell (Hercules 65).

Attendance: 445                   Referee: J Robinson.

Match Report - Farnborough FC v Salisbury FC


Farnborough FC 0 Salisbury FC 0

BetVictor Southern Premier League South

Saturday, 2 November 2019

By Alec Hayter

We could have won it, maybe should have won it. We could have lost it, but really shouldn't have lost it - and we didn't. The team did enough to get the points, but the 0-0 stalemate and two points dropped however meant that a chance to make a bold statement to those around us at the top of the league was missed, although we should reflect that this was the Whites’ eighth game unbeaten in all competitions, and a point away from home is always good.. There was no lack of effort and commitment against a Farnborough side whose match preview had stated that they had a game plan and intended to stick to it. Whatever it was, it did the job for them.

After only two minutes Salisbury could have and certainly should have taken the lead, but Dan Fitchett's miss from Bay Downing's inviting ball might have been passed off as being unfortunate with so much time remaining. However, had that chance gone in then the tale could have been so very different.


At the other end the lively Andrew Sealey-Harris was presented with an opportunity on 8 minutes but sent his finish against the stanchion, before, shortly afterwards, Downing got forward into the right channel but disappointingly scuffed his effort which was easily kept out by home keeper Liam Beach.

Downing scuff CustomNot Bay's best contact! - ©Michael Berkeley

It was then Boro's turn again, with Sealey-Harris sending in a dipping free kick which Gerard Benfield was forced to spoon away, and the same player then manufactured space for himself before, going towards the corner, he directed a reverse cross shot just past the far post.

It was Salisbury who finished the half the stronger in terms of goalmouth action, with Toby Holmes seeing his 28th minute effort saved by Beach, and then, 6 minutes later, combining well with Downing before bringing a good stop from the home keeper. In what was a good spell Holmes out-ran the home defence before being blocked out, and on 41 minutes Alex Lafleur fed Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick, who went along the edge of the box before letting fly with a right foot effort which was again dealt with by the keeper.

In terms of real chances the first half produced a score of 6 to 2 in Salisbury's favour, but things evened up after the break. Seven minutes into the second half, Hippolyte-Patrick squared the ball for Downing to test the keeper once more before, on 55 minutes, Benfield was forced to pull off a point-blank save from home central defender Adam Brice, who had somehow managed to get in on the near post. Brice blotted his copybook seconds afterwards, putting a free header over the top from close in after meeting Reggie Young's corner.

Aaron Dawson sent in a rising drive just after the hour, which keeper Beach touched over, and with 20 minutes remaining the Whites suffered from the woodwork as Hippolyte-Patrick fed the ball inside to Holmes whose shot crashed against the upright.

Two effective home changes were then made, and Benfield did well to keep out a free kick from substitute Perry Coles on 81 minutes before, a few seconds later, Boro thought they had scored, only to see the effort ruled out.

With two minutes remaining, another corner gave Brice a headed chance but the ball went harmlessly across the face of goal and past the far post. Both sides were pushing for a result and right on time Lewis Benson's free-kick was near enough to hit the side netting.

However, the home side might have snatched all three points in the 5th minute of time added when Coles' free kick again found Brice, with Benfield pulling off a tremendous save from a downward header.

Well before that happened, Farnborough should have been reduced to 10 men as video evidence shows a blatant head-butt on Dan Fitchett. Unfortunately it appears that only the camera saw it, as neither the referee nor his assistant could have - otherwise a red card would surely have been produced from the referee’s back pocket.

Scuffle CustomKerfuffle scuffle - ©Michael Berkeley

Moving swiftly on, it's back to cup football next Saturday when Kings Langley visit the Ray Mac, and hopefully those superb supporters who travelled to Farnborough and out-shouted the home crowd, will join with lots of other Salisbury supporters in getting behind their team to ensure progress to the next round of the Buildbase FA Trophy.


Farnborough FC: Beach, Oyenuga, Owens, Fearn, Brice, Francis, Sealey-Harris (Coles 77), Leggett, Cullen (Charles-Smith 77), Ten-Grotenhuis (Akongo 64), Young.

Subs not used: Emmanuel, Tanner.

Salisbury FC: Benfield, Downing, Lafleur, Knowles, Amankwaah, Oseni, Benson, Dawson, Holmes, Fitchett (Lita 84), Hippolyte-Patrick (Young 84).

Subs not used: Bentley, Mullings, Leak.

Attendance: 473                   Referee: S Jenkins.


Title image by ©Michael Berkeley

Match Report - Salisbury FC v Dorchester Town


Salisbury FC 3 Dorchester Town 3

Buildbase FA Trophy First Qualifying Round

Saturday, 26 October 2019

By Alec Hayter

The first minute or so was a great start for the Whites, but the next minute really set the scene. Anyone who came late would possibly have missed a chance at the Dorchester end and also the opening goal by Tom Bath the chance for which which was more or less presented to him 6 yards out and which he gleefully accepted. For the second time in a few days therefore, Salisbury had fallen behind at a very early stage of a game, but, as before, they managed to earn parity by the end of it.

That's an oversimplification, because of course another 5 goals followed! It took another 7 minutes before a second threat was produced on the visitors' goal and came from a Lewis Benson free kick which Leroy Lita, with his back to goal, headed over the bar. Not to be outdone, the Magpies went to the other end where the woodwork saved the Whites’ blushes from a Bath attempt, and then when Tom Parrington's inaccuracy sent the rebound high.

On 14 minutes Dorchester had another double chance when Antonio Diaz saw his effort saved and again the rebound was put over the top, this time by Billy Lowes, but Salisbury responded when a great cross from Bay Downing flew just beyond Lita in front of goal, and on 19 minutes when Alex Lafleur went on a run and beat a couple defenders before a tame finish made life easy for Dorchester keeper Shane Murphy.

On 35 Gerard Benfield had his first serious action when he managed to get to a Tom Blair finish, and before the interval Salisbury had perhaps their best chance of the half when Lita put in Fitchett one-on-one with the keeper, but instead of the net bulging, once more the ball cleared the bar, and so at the break there was a one goal deficit causing Steve Claridge to make a change and introduce Toby Holmes for Lita.

The lanky striker was soon in action but could only fire an attempt at Murphy and then on 49 minutes overran the ball when in a good position manufactured by Fitchett's flick.

The Whites seemed to be waking from their slumbers and Holmes was unlucky when Murphy blocked his finish in a one-on-one before Shaquille Hippolyte Patrick suffered the same fate from the rebound, but on 53 minutes the equaliser arrived, Lafleur sending in a good cross to the near post where Fitchett was quickest to react, nearly breaking the frame of the goal as the ball entered the net.

DoubleThe euphoria of having grabbed the equaliser was soon dampened however when Nathanial Oseni he tripped Purrington in the box right in front of referee Craig Scriven, giving Bath the chance to get his second. A well-placed spot kick sent Benfield the wrong way.

So it was back to where we had been for most of the first half, and Dorchester might have doubled their lead on 63 minutes but Purrington put his header high, before 8 minutes later, the effect of that miss was compounded when Salisbury equalised. In the teeth of a howling gale, Downing received the ball wide on the right and his low drive across Murphy was struck well enough to defeat the keeper.

DowningGet in there - take two! - ©Michael Berkeley

On 74 minutes it was Dorchester's turn to profit from the woodwork as Holmes pulled the ball back to Fitchett, before, with 9 minutes left, a move involving Benson and Downing resulted in a low cross which Fitchett put the wrong side of the near post.

The game had been end to end and as the Whites pressed for a winner they were caught on the break with a long ball out of defence finding Blair, who calmly placed a shot into the far corner to give his side what they may have considered to be a late winning lead. However, as on Tuesday at Merthyr, the Whites showed they don't give up easily and sheer pressure involving Benson and Warren Bentley gave Holmes the half chance he needed to tie up the scores at 3-3, but in context with what had gone previously, it was Benfield who kept the score that way when 6 minutes into time added on, he somehow kept out a Blair header to earn his side a game in Dorset on Tuesday.

TH celeb v DorchWe're playing Tuesday! - ©Michael Berkeley

After an initial period when the Magpies could have sewn up the game, Salisbury, in turn, had enough chances to win their way into the draw, but there was never any certainty of the final outcome. If Salisbury perform as we know they can however, then maybe the relative league positions will be reflected in the result of the replay, but they will have to do that in order to make progress.


Salisbury FC: Benfield, Downing, Lafleur (Bentley 90+2), Knowles, leak, Oseni, Benson, Dawson, Fitchett, Lita (Holmes 45), Hippolyte-Patrick (Rees 81).

Subs not used: Betts, Mullings, Amankwaah, Young.

Dorchester Town: Murphy, Sa (Brookes 90+1), Martin, Strugnell, Diaz (Smith 70), Lowes, Bath, Parrington, Blair, Rose, Wright.

Subs not used:Torniainen, Hutchings, Batista.

Attendance: 342                   Referee: C Scriven