Match Report - Salisbury FC v Yate Town FA Cup

YateSalisbury FC 1 Yate Town 1

Emirates FA Cup First Qualifying Round

Saturday, 8 September 2018

By Alec Hayter

There is a disturbing tendency that on the "big game" occasions the Whites fail to produce, and this was again the case in a match with a lot at stake. Salisbury should have won this match with something to spare, but made life difficult for themselves, the overall effect being that, apart from the second half, a frusrating lack of tempo made life too easy for Yate. Too many of the players were poor value. That means there is now a more difficult replay on Tuesday.

Luckily, Yate also failed to produce much of a threat, so both teams are in the hat for Monday's draw after an uninspiring cup tie. The result will possibly have been as unexpected as it was welcome to the Bluebells, even though they have made a solid start in their League, and on the day it was probably “job done.” for them. Hopefully the job is far from done as far as we are concerned.

The visitors threatened first when, on 4 minutes, Adam Price turned well just outside the box but fired well over the top, and in a slow-paced opening we had to wait until 20 minutes before the Whites showed anything in front of goal - from a Lewis Benson 20 yard free-kick which brought a good save from Ross Grimshaw in the visitors' goal.

On 34 minutes Yate had another opportunity when Elliott Keightley fed Price, but this time Jake Hallett was barely troubled.

The early malaise could so easily have been put right when on 37 minutes a Benson corner found Matt Partridge 3 yards out, but the experienced defender could only send a free header tamely over the top, although it looked as though that miss was to count for nothing when, 5 minutes later, Benson put a lovely ball through the left channel and Danny Young produce an equally lovely finish to open the scoring.

Salisbury v Yate Town 8th September 2018 RE 27Danny Young applies the boot for the Whites' opener. - Image by Roger Elliott

The celebrations, however, lasted less than a minute as the Bluebells equalised when David Sims-Burgess volleys along cross from the right across Hallett and into the far corner - surely a case of euphoria causing a dip in concentration.

In truth, at that time, there could hardly be any argument as to the 1-1 score-line as both teams had produced little, but straight after the interval, a slightly more applied Salisbury saw Benson threaten again with a low cross cum shot which brought a good take from Grimshaw.

Not to be outdone, Yate replied on 50 minutes but Sims-Burgess could not capitalise on a good through ball, putting his cross-shot wide of the mark. Five minutes later an Elliot Wheeler cross from the right found Benson near the penalty spot. Lewis is not best known for his heading ability and sliced a difficult chance wide of the far post.

Salisbury v Yate Town 8th September 2018 RE 10Captain Elliott Wheeler doing a captain's job keeping Yate's Nick Peare at bay. - Image by Roger Elliott

Yate’s best second-half chance came on 58 minutes when the impressive Nick Peare lined up a free-kick just outside the Salisbury area. The defensive wall did its job but the ball cannoned back to Peare who met it first time, sending in a firm left foot effort which Hallett did well to keep out low to his left.

From that point on there was no further goalmouth action to trouble the Whites, and on 63 minutes Luke Hopper might have done better with a far post header from Partridge's cross but put the ball wide. Six minutes later Partridge was again involved, slipping the ball to Young who produced a week finish, and shortly after Josh Sommerton, who was correctly named Salisbury's Man of the Match, read a short corner opportunity and sent in a cross which Dan Fitchett headed goalwards, the upright denying a second goal. The move was created by the youngest member of the Whites’ team, and, for me, provided just about the only memorable moment of the tie.

Salisbury v Yate Town 8th September 2018 RE 15Tom Whelan, whose late attempt from distance was foiled by Yate keeper Ross Grimshaw. - Image by Roger Elliott

On 73 minutes Tom Whelan, who was again influential in midfield, tried his luck from 25 yards and caused Grimshaw some difficulty spilling the ball. However there was no one on hand to take advantage, and 10 minutes before the end another great opportunity went begging when Young, in the clear, completely miscued, rolling the ball wide. By this time, late in the game, Pablo Haysham and Zack Kotwica had belatedly joined the action and Kotwica, in the few minutes afforded to him, worked his magic with some trickery to put himself in a good position, but could only land the ball on the roof of the net.

Steve Claridge commented after the game: “I don’t quite know what to say about that. I don’t think wec played with the intensity I expected, although we were better in the second half. We’ve had chances, and should have won the game. We know all that, but we’re not getting the breaks. For 45 minutes there was not enough movement up front, which you need to kill teams that sit deep. We had four or five players whose performances raised more questions than provided answers, and that has been a figment of the squad at times. There was no-one playing out of position in that team, and there’s no reason why the system shouldn’t have worked. However, we didn’t work hard enough in the first half. We have to address those issues, and players have to do a bit more if they want to stay in the side.”

Tuesday night in Yate is not the easiest of ties for supporters to get to, but as I am sure there will be a reaction from the players it would pay our loyal fans to try and make it to the game. There is the small matter of a prize of £6000 at stake and of course, by that time we will know who the opponents will be for the winners. If the Whites play to their full potential they have every chance of playing the drawn opponents in the next round, but the Bluebells will have a lot to say about that.


Salisbury FC: Hallett, Wheeler, Sommerton, Whelan, Partridge, Wannell, Benson, Dawson, Hopper (Haysham 70), Fitchett (Kotwica 86), Young.

Subs not used: O'Keefe, Colson, Cooper, Searle.

Yate Town: Grimshaw, Evans, Keightley, Peare, Ford, Hitchings, Price (Kamara 79), Guest, Mehew, Sims-Burgess (Spruce 69), Twyman.

Subs not used: Bolton, Cann, Rennie.

Attendance: 548                   Referee: M Underhay (Weymouth)