Match Report - Salisbury FC v Yate Town
Salisbury FC 3 Yate Town 2
BetVictor Southern Premier League South
Monday, 26 August 2019
By Alec Hayter
A four point haul from the Bank Holiday games and 10 points from the first 15 available is a very good return from this season’s start, and compares favourably with the 6 from 15 in the last campaign. It is even more creditable, though, because the squad is still very much in "getting to know you" mode, in contrast to today's opponents Yate Town, who, as confirmed by their officials, managed to retain the bulk of last season's promotion winning side, and therefore also maintained greater continuity.
There is great potential in the Whites’ current squad and of course from time to time there may be further changes to improve it, so that in games like today's they can not only capitalise on good positions but also manage games having gone ahead.
Today's result was not all about, (just mostly about!), Toby “HT” Holmes, who, I'm convinced, only failed to get his first treble against Dorchester before he was substituted because of a slight knock, but today he got back onto his hat trick track - try and say that after a couple glasses of red!. His personal triumph today bodes well.
In the first 7 minutes he had two presentable opportunities when firstly in a one-on-one he easily took the ball round the keeper but found the angle too tight and could only put it in the side netting. A matter of seconds later he somehow managed to hold off a desperate physical challenge, but still managed to apply a touch which saw the ball clip the post. Maybe he should have gone down, but I suspect his mindset is to put the ball in the net first and argue afterwards.
Salisbury's good start continued when on 9 minutes Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick fed Warren Bentley, whose shot on the turn flew wide of the far post, and it was not until 4 minutes later that Yate showed anything in attack, with Jake Lee's high right foot effort from the edge of the box leaving home keeper Tom Smith unruffled.
First of a treble - no trouble! - ©Michael Berkeley
Holmes' first goal came on 21 minutes. Aaron Dawson threaded the ball through to him and the marksman calmly took it round the keeper with some quick foot trickery before planting it in the net. So the lead arrived, but after a period (possibly of reflection or more likely recuperation from the extreme heat!) by the Whites, Yate then manufactured their first real opportunity, a cross shot from ex-White loanee Ollie Mehew going just wide of the target on 33 minutes. This was the start of a short period when Yate looked dangerous and it was really no surprise when they equalised 6 minutes later with Jake Lee's driven cross from the right being met at the near post by Michael Bryant who really couldn't miss.
Before the break Yate keeper Adam Forster made a good stop from Hippolyte-Patrick but could do absolutely nothing to prevent Holmes getting his and the Whites' second on 43 minutes. It was a fair imitation of Bryant’s strike when George Colson whipped in a tremendous cross from the right and timely Toby's arrival saw him belt in a volley before the keeper, or anybody else for that matter, could move.
My season's taking off - just like my celebration! - ©Michael Berkeley
Being one goal ahead at the interval was welcome, but straight after the break Salisbury could have doubled their lead when a Bentley flick found Dawson whose hasty volley went over the top, but it was not long before the third goal arrived. The ball was fed out to the right where Holmes was lurking and he made the job of beating two defenders look ridiculously easy before then beating the keeper. A 3-1 lead looked comfortable, and really should have been, but Yate had other ideas and the lively Mehew found himself in the clear, one-on-one with Smith, who did his usual, winning the encounter. However, in the ensuing melee as the ball ran loose, the visitors appealed en masse for handball, but these appeals were waved away by referee Alex James.
This one gets me the match ball. (thought you said you didn't have a left foot Toby?) - ©Michael Berkeley
On 57 minutes Yate got their reward however when a cross from their left found Lee in space in front of goal. A header at point-blank range was just too hot for Smith to handle and the rebound fell to the Yate man who took advantage to make it 3-2, a much less comfortable state.
For the remainder of the match goalmouth action was scarce but tensions heightened (well, my nails suffered!) because of the slender lead, which meant that anything could happen. Nothing happened for Yate but on 65 minutes Colson was very unlucky to see a lob go across the face of goal, and just over the bar, and 5 minutes later Lewis Benson blazed a difficult chance over the top from the edge of the box. It was one of those chances which are great if they go in but when it's understandable if they don't.
The final real action came with 15 minutes remaining when Hippolyte-Patrick's low piercing cross flew across the box but just beyond the reach of Holmes who, in any event, was hampered by a last-ditch tackle. You wanted a fourth goal Toby, but had to settle for three, and that's all right for me! Maybe next game you’ll at least do the same?! Not only was the hat-trick pure poetry.
That next game is of course at Tiverton, and Ladysmead has not in the recent past been a happy hunting ground. Today, Tivvy, unbeaten beforehand, felt the force of Taunton's refreshed start to the season, losing 3-1, so there is likely to be a backlash, but at least there will be I understand only one Landricombe in their side, and not the one that did such a good job on us on our last visit. Their flock does, however, have a Shephard in their midst, and he is unlikely to be sheepish on this occasion!
If we can enjoy the same excellent noisy support seen and heard in today's game against Yate, that will give the team the benefit of a twelfth man, so please try and make the journey.
Salisbury: Smith, Colson, Sommerton, Dawson, Amankwaah, Oseni, Benson, Knowles, Holmes (Fitchett 76), Bentley (Mullings 72), Hippolyte-Patrick (Young 87).
Subs not used: Wellard, Bancroft.
Yate Town: Forster, Keightley, Humphreys, Peare, Ford (Twyman 68), Boulton, Kamara, Guest (Price 88), Mehew, Bryant (Ollis 62), Lee.
Sub not used: Langworthy.
Attendance: 632 Referee: A James.