Match Report - Chesham United v Salisbury
Chesham United 2 Salisbury 0
BetVictor Southern League Premier Division South
Saturday 10 August
By Dave Todd
Salisbury suffered a disappointing opening day defeat at the hands of a well organised Chesham United side who ended last season well and look set to carry that form into the new season.
With five debutants in the Whites’ starting line up it was perhaps no surprise that the home side settled the quickest and after seven minutes Karl Oliyide missed a good opportunity when he fired well over the top from close range after good work from Dernell Wynter who was a constant danger.
Oliyide’s wind assisted cross had Gerard Benfield back pedalling as it landed on the top of the net while a powerful run into the box from the same player was stopped by a perfectly timed tackle from Josh Sommerton.
The pace of Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick looked like being a useful attacking outlet for the Whites and brought a great opportunity when his run into the penalty area was halted by Steve Brown’s challenge and referee Tristan Greaves pointed to the spot. Hippolyte-Patrick stepped up to take the penalty himself, but home keeper Ben Goode guessed correctly and with the ball struck at a good height for the keeper, saved well to his left.
Salisbury enjoyed a brief spell in the ascendancy with Darren Mullings heading over the bar from a Lewis Benson corner and a Hippolyte-Patrick cross finding Dan Fitchett at the far post, only for the striker’s effort to lack power as it went straight to Goode.
Fitchett’s name went into the book following a late challenge on Mark Kirby, while just before the interval Nathaniel Oseni was also shown a yellow card for his reaction to a free kick award from which Billy Adcock fired well wide from a dangerous position.
Eight minutes into the second half Benson’s inswinging free kick forced Goode to punch the ball for a corner under pressure with the strong wind a big factor but two minutes later it was the home side who opened the scoring. Oliyide fed Wynter on the left and he cut inside George Colson before firing in a shot which was too powerful for Benfield to keep out.
Wynter was finding more and more space on the Chesham left but his second goal after 68 minutes was a scrappier affair. Following a Chesham corner from the right, the Whites’ defence were unable to clear and from the ensuing scramble, Wynter found space to fire home from close range.
By this time Salisbury had introduced Toby Holmes to the attack and a threaded through ball from Benson gave him the chance of a shot which was well blocked for a corner.
An exchange of passes between Mullings and Hippolyte-Patrick saw Mullings shoot over from the edge of the area and at the other end Benfield blocked well with his legs from Wynter with Eoin Casey firing the loose ball over the top.
There were half chances for Fitchett and Holmes in the closing stages but overall, the Chesham defence, well marshalled by Kirby, saw the game out comfortably and there can be few complaints at the final outcome.
The Whites now look to get the season up and running in Tuesday’s opening home league game against a new look Gosport Borough side who kicked off their campaign with an impressive looking 3-0 victory over last season’s runners-up Taunton Town.
Chesham United: Goode, Prosper, Watson, Martin, Kirby, Brown, Pearce (Blake 82), Adcock, Louis (Casey 74), Oliyide (Hart 69), Wynter.
Subs not used: Clayton, Murphy
Salisbury: Benfield, Colson, Felix (Young 74), Dawson (Bancroft 69). Oseni, Sommerton, Benson, Mullings, Fitchett, Bentley (Holmes 63), Hippolyte-Patrick
Subs not used: Knowles, Rayfield
Referee: T Greaves (Godalming)