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Match Report - Salisbury FC v Weymouth

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Salisbury FC 3 Weymouth 4
Evo-Stik South Premier South
Saturday, 26 January 2019

By Alec Hayter

The euphoria of winning a seven goal game at Hartley Wintney and grabbing three precious points was deflated by a home 4-3 reverse against Weymouth, and unfortunately, once more, the Whites were their own worst enemies.

After Danny Young had put a header over the top from Lewis Benson's deep cross on 8 minutes it was Weymouth who took over, a chip over the last defender by Brandon Goodship putting Ben Thomson one-on-one with Jake Hallett. On this occasion Hallett denied him, spreading himself well.

Three minutes later however, Hallett's attempt to keep it scoreless failed as after Goodship had wriggled his way past two defenders, his finish was too strong for the keeper to keep out. On 18 minutes Jordan Ngalo squared the ball across the box for Goodship who hit a right foot effort just past the post and after a competent opening, it was really no surprise when, on 9 minutes later, the visitors doubled their lead. Calvin Brooks pulled the ball back to Josh Wakefield on the edge of the box and his fiercely hit right foot shot went in the far corner giving Hallett little chance.

Salisbury's response came 11 minutes later and had Tom Whelan's shot not been deflected over the bar, the outcome of the game could well have been changed as that would have started the Whites' comeback before half-time. As it was though it remained 2-0 to the visitors when a 35 yard effort from Emanuel Odubade went well over the top, just before the interval.

Whelans 38th min effort kept out by a defenders blockWhelans 38th min effort kept out by a defenders block - Copyright Roger Elliott

Salisbury came out for the second half in defiant mood and looked very lively with Dan Fitchett squaring the ball on 53 minutes to Whelan who again suffered a good block, but Weymouth were still dangerous and on 62 minutes ex-Salisbury Abdulai Baggie got through but saw his deflected left foot finish saved by Hallett.

On 70 minutes however, the Whites were thrown a lifeline when Whelan was fouled in the box, for the spot on Luke Hopper to blast home the penalty to Tom McHale's left. It appeared that it was game on but Weymouth had other ideas, and 6 minutes later a defensive mistake in not safely getting rid of the ball allowed Brooks to get to the bye-line from where he pulled back a great ball to Cameron Murray, who made no mistake.

squarePen! - Luke converts - Copyright Roger Elliott

Thus the two-goal cushion was restored, but only for three minutes, as, following a scramble, Aaron Dawson toe poked home Salisbury's second. Only two minutes later Dawson got another with a very similar finish to level the scores at 3-3, both goals more down to persistence than beauty, and hope sprang eternal that it would be the Whites who went on to take the points, but with six minutes remaining those points became Weymouth's when Hallett came for a cross but did not get enough on it, giving Harry Baker the chance to belt the ball into the empty net.

DawsonTwo D's celebrate D's goal - Copyright Roger Elliott

The only other action saw the Whites have a penalty shout denied for an incident involving Whelan but the referee waved away the appeals shortly after signalled the end of the game - a very disappointing outcome for the home side. As Manager Steve Claridge confirmed afterwards.that things might have been different had Whelan’s first half effort not been deflected oiver the bar, but also that two mistakes ultimately cost the points.

Salisbury (and their fans) must now lift themselves for the game against Taunton on Tuesday, which will probably be a different type of contest to that which we witnessed today. Taunton managed to take a point away at Wimborne, which isn’t easy, and are therefore still tough opponents, but if the Whites can play to their undoubted potential there should be every chance of taking something from the game bearing in mind yes, would you believe, another seven goal game at the Viridor. I prefer seven goal games to end with the Whites getting the deciding goal please.

Following the Taunton game, the pressure continues on Saturday when we visit Hendon to play on their plastic surface, and although their form has faltered of late, that will still be a tough test. Please ensure the team get the valuable support of their twelfth man.

Salisbury: Hallett, Wheeler, Sparkes, Whelan, Bosma, Partridge (Herbert 21), Benson, Dawson, Fitchett, Mullings (Hopper 67), Young.
Subs not used: Hillson, Beeden.

Weymouth: MacHale, Ngalo, Baggie, Brooks, Zubar, McCarthy, Murray (Baker 82), Wakefield, Thompson, Goodship (Carmichael 62), Odubade (Wells 89).
Subs not used: Thomas, Buckley.

Attendance: 1224 Referee R Ablitt (Fareham)

Match Report - Hartley Wintney v Salisbury FC

FB sizeCopyright Michael Berkeley

Hartley Wintney. 3 Salisbury FC 4
Evo-stik South Premier South
Saturday, 19 January 2019

By Alec Hayter

The Whites picked up a valuable three points at the end of a week which saw two consecutive defeats in cup competitions, and that in itself is a great result, but two sides battled it out on a difficult surface right to the end, with the Whites edging it by the odd goal in seven. There should be no underestimation of the importance of the result and performance, as Hartley Wintney have already, and will continue, to cause teams trouble on their sloping pitch which did not lend itself to flowing football.

That Salisbury came out on top in the end was a testament to a gritty performance, although had they continued in the same way in which they played the first 15 minutes or so, the outcome may not have been quite so difficult to achieve. To get the points in difficult circumstances and bearing in mind the injury list was a great effort.

The match see-sawed backwards and forwards, as after the Whites looked fairly comfortable with a 2-0 lead, it swung the home side's way when they went ahead shortly after the interval, but a great fighting comeback sent a substantial Salisbury support home happy.

Lewis Benson was the first to show as he worked his way across the penalty area but then could not keep his left foot effort down. That was on eight minutes, but three minutes later he made amends by giving his side the lead. Dan Fitchett held up the ball well before back healing it into Benson's path, and the finish this time was low and true into the bottom corner.

bensonDan's back heel -  Lewis belts in the first goal - Copyright Michael Berkeley

It only took a couple of minutes before The Row replied, and it was Josh Webb, an influential midfielder, who tried his luck from long range, but Jake Hallett dealt comfortably with the effort.

With 15 minutes gone, Benson, who gave a much improved showing than of late (has he been one of several carrying an injury?), was again involved in a move which doubled the Whites' advantage. His pass freed Jack Sparkes down the left and the Exeter loanee crossed to the far post where new boy Buowe Bosma rose high to power in a header past Sam Mason. The towering Bosma went on to have a very solid debut, and of course his debut goal could not have come at a better time. His aerial threat from set pieces may well be a telling asset.

filmThe Sparkes cross, the Bosma header...all good, the first of many? - Copyright Michael Berkeley

However, it took only nine minutes before the home side pulled a goal back when Webb's corner from the right side went to the far post where Jack Ball finished with a free far post header 24 minutes.

Eight minutes later the scores were level, and it was a foul committed just outside Salisbury the area which led to the equaliser. A quickly taken free kick went to Salhin Abubakar, who had looked dangerous up until then and continued to be so throughout the game, who put the ball back into the mix for Mitchell Parker to level things up from close range in the ensuing scramble. Two disappointing goals from set pieces will probably not have pleased manager Steve Claridge, but, having been pulled back level, the Whites responded when on 39 minutes a Sparkes freekick saw Darren Mullings put his header just wide of the target. Sparkes was again involved on 43 minutes when his corner was met by Bosma whose header fizzed just over the bar, but at the break the scoreline was probably a fair indication of the first half.

Straight after the restart however, Salisbury found themselves behind, and to many, including some home supporters, the goal arose following referee Dale Wootton's fdecision not to penalise a tackle on Sparkes in the Hartley Wintney half. The official waved play on and the home side certainly did, sweeping to the other end where Abubakar crossed for Mickel Platt to get the Row's third.

Salisbury responded well, and on 56 minutes were awarded a free kick on the touchline just inside the home half. This paid rich rewards as Benson put a skilful delivery into the goal-keeping "no man's land" creating uncertainty and before Mason could react the ball nestled in the corner for a goal which bore a remarkable resemblance to a free kick at Fleet Town earlier in the season. It also proved that it certainly was meant!

benson2Lewis Benson, (out of the picture) sees his free kick fool everyone - Copyright Michael Berkeley

At most stages it was difficult to forecast the outcome, as both sides continued to battle, but on 58 minutes the Whites gone ahead again when Benson got to the byeline and squared the ball back to Aaron Dawson who was very unlucky to see his attempt blocked. Eleven minutes later Fitchett, once more showing great control, laid the ball off to Tom Whelan but Mason pulled off a good save to deny him.

On 71 minutes it was Hallett's turn to shine and he saved well from Abubakar who let fly from just outside the box, but it was Salisbury who had the last laugh with 15 minutes remaining. Hartley Wintney were caught upfield and, seemingly out of nothing, Fitchett found himself in the clear. Showing all his experience, he remained calm and bore down on goal before slotting in what turned out to be the winner and ensure the points returned to Wiltshire.

Fitchett 4Whites' fourth from Dan Fitchett - Copyright Michael Berkeley

The Whites had thus overcome "never say die" opponents in difficult conditions with a “never say die” performance of their own which demonstrated great character. This must set them up well for the small matter of a game at Kings Langley on Tuesday evening., a game that in any event looked likely to be a difficult one but would appear to have become more so after their having taken a point at Weymouth in a 2-2 draw.

Tuesday's game is at the start of a very difficult run of fixtures, as afterwards lie in wait Weymouth and Taunton. Try to be at Kings Langley, as another good result will stand the team in good stead for the games against Weymouth and Taunton. Regrettably further injuries to O'Keefe and Darren Mullings have not improved the injury situation, but supporters can be sure that whoever takes the field will give their all if today’s game is anything to go by!

Hartley Wintney: Mason, Smart, Duff, Ball, Gales (Kpohomouh 62), Ridge, Hart (Smith 85), Webb (French 74), Parker, Platt, Abubakar.
Subs not used: Zongo, Paget.

Salisbury FC: Hallett, Herbert, Sparkes, Whelan, Bosma, O'Keefe (Rayfield 88), Benson, Dawson, Fitchett (Hopper 90+4), Mullings (Sommerton 78), Young.
Sub not used: Haysham.

Attendance: 378 Referee: D Wootton

Match Report - Salisbury FC v Blackfield & Langley

Blackfield Langley


Salisbury FC 1 Blackfield & Langley 3
CSS Southern League Challenge Trophy.
Tuesday, 15 January 2019

By Alec Hayter

Two cup exits, or even two defeats in the space of three days is difficult to bear for supporters, but I seem to recall that Taunton Town did the same earlier in the season and it has done them little harm, apart from a recent hiccup, so there is every hope that the current short run can be halted and, as they say, "we can concentrate on the league." After all, this was only the third defeat of the season on home soil in any competition, although that statistic cannot camouflage last night’s events.

227 souls turned out for the game, which is in itself indicative of the standing of the competition in their eyes, but unfortunately some of those who pulled on the white shirt last evening gave the same indication and that, combined with playing decent but physical South and West opponents who are on a good run was enough to see the ending of our interest. Had all players performed to their full potential however, the Whites should really have overcome their visitors, as had been anticipated by their officials before the match.

I'm sure that Steve Claridge would not have fielded the lineup which he was forced to use because of injuries and the greater consideration of league progress, but in spite of the result, there were some good things to come out of the contest. As an example, Josh Sommerton adapted smoothly to a more central defensive role, and seemed to relish it especially when he had Jack Sparkes to his left. Sparkes had once again impressed, but the Exeter City loanee was forced to leave the action at half-time (due to the demands of his first club, outside our control), and thereafter there were few sparks about the play! Further changes had to be made in consideration of the visit to Hartley Wintney on Hartley, so enter, new signing Tyrrell Skeen-Hamilton, and, although it would be unfair to make any judgement after just 45 minutes, he looked quick and lively and nearly scored.

Skeen HamiltonTyrell soon gets stuck in. - Copyright Roger Elliott

Nothing really happened for the first 20 minutes and then, without any prior warning, Liam Robinson was given space to cut in along the edge of the Salisbury box, his firm right foot finish going through everybody and and also through the unsighted Jake Hallett. The only response from the Whites came 7 minutes later, and had Darren Mullings kept his effort down, the whole outcome of the game could have been different. As it was however he launched his header from just 6 yards well over the top when he surely would have been expected to break the net.

MullingsUp...and under.................and unfortunately up, from Darren Mullings - Copyright Michael Berkeley

Five minutes before the break, Hallett was involved in stopping Robinson's progress, and it's debatable that maybe a greater punishment than yellow might have been issued by referee Nigel Whitfield who, it must be said, annoyed most with a lack of appropriate action during the game, whilst persisting with overlong lecturing of players. Perhaps on this occasion, however, Salisbury benefited.

There was no real concern, even with a one goal deficit at the break, as surely better could be expected after it from the home side, but another defensive lapse ten minutes in allowed B & L to double their advantage when the ball was laid back to Robinson who struck it past Hallett with some venom. I could still not get too perturbed as, if Salisbury players even approached known levels, then getting back on terms would have been achievable with 35 minutes left, but on the hour, after Luke Hopper had brought a good save from keeper Bradley Snelling after a rare piece of action near the opponents' goal, the game was put to bed. This time Robinson completed what must surely have been one of his easier hat tricks by working his way through the right side of the Whites' defence and evading two tame challenges before firing across Hallett into the far corner.

Unsurprisingly the last quarter of an hour was all Salisbury, but again, for the second game in succession, this was too little too late, with Mullings hardly testing Snelling with a right foot effort from the edge of the box and on 84 minutes Skeen-Hamilton seeing a 15 yard effort saved.

With 5 minutes left Lewis Benson's corner was headed narrowly past the post by Kane O'Keefe before Benson himself was instrumental in the Whites' only reply in time added on. The midfielder was scythed to the ground by the visitors' Sam Poole, (who, arguably, by that time, should not have been on the pitch to be able to do so!), and Hopper made the score look slightly, but only slightly, more respectable from the penalty spot. That did not though disguise or paper over what 227 people had seen.

There had been little threat from Blackfield and Langley during the game apart from three very good strikes, and in cup football especially, that's what it's all about!

Two defeats in successive games can almost be erased from the memory with a good result at Hartley Wintney on Saturday, but that is not likely to be an easy task bearing in mind the injury situation. Again, Hartley Wintney is not that far from Salisbury and the team, whoever takes the field, would appreciate your support.

Salisbury FC: Hallett, Rayfield, Sparkes (Skeen-Hamilton 45), Mullings, O'Keefe, Sommerton, Herbert, Haysham (Cooper 80), Hopper, Shephard (Benson).
Subs not used: Fitchett, Hillson.

Blackfield and Langley: Snelling, Tallack, Oatley,Olumuyiwa, Poole, Nolan, Robinson (Morrison 78), Baughan, Speechley-Price, Makhloufi (Tomasso, 90), Sharo.
Subs not used: Doe, Noice, Fee.

Attendance: 227 Referee: N Whitfield (Ferndown)

Up...and under.................and unfortunately up, from Darren Mullings

Match Report - Carshalton Athletic v Salisbury FC

Standard away 01
Carshalton Athletic 4 Salisbury FC 1

Buildbase FA Trophy Second Round Proper.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

By Alec Hayter

The Whites went out of the competition following a below par performance (for much of the match) at Carshalton. Their downfall was largely self-imposed as after having taken an early lead they then conceded two poor goals after having been hauled back by a 21st minute equaliser. Carshalton had a fairly unattractive (football-wise) game plan which worked and in Cup games that can be an effective way to succeed. I would not want to watch that very often, and it reminded me in some respects of the one and only time that the old club was involved in Ishthmian League football. On the day though, the Robin’s plan, helped by some Whites’ misfortune, meant that they go into the hat.

The opening goal on four minutes arrived when the home defence gifted the ball to Lewis Benson. The ball somehow landed at the feet of Aaron Dawson, and Dawson took his chance well, sending a right foot shot low into the corner. All seemed well as Salisbury rebuffed any home efforts before, on 20 minutes, the Robins equalised. A great ball gave Tommy Bradford his chance to hit a low shot through a forest of legs past the unsighted James Hillson. That seemed to be just one of those things and had looked fairly unlikely until then. Nine minutes later, Bobby Price cut in from the right and tamely shot wide of the target to confirm that at that stage there was potential to retrieve the situation.

Just after the half-hour Matt Partridge lobbed the ball across the face of goal but Chris Shephard and keeper Patrick Ohman met it at virtually the same time, the ball deflecting for a corner from which nothing was gained. Three minutes later however the home side's Jordan Cheadle was unlucky to see a 30 yard free kick from wide on their right hand side clip the bar, before, on 37 minutes the Robins were gifted the lead. This came as a result of a central defensive mix-up which left Michael Dixon in the clear. Despite Elliott Wheeler's best attempts the ball went into the net, and in time added on at the end of the first half, the Robins were again presented with a telling goal, at a telling time. Disappointingly  the defence, and a Carshalton forward missed the ball from a corner and it found the net via a Wheeler deflection. This goal occurred after Partridge had left the action with a hamstring injury and after the break, Wheeler, who had shortly before the interval aggravated a knee injury, could not continue. Thus was destroyed the heart of the Salisbury defence which had looked relatively comfortable during the first half and which had performed very well in recent games.

Carshalton made the most of the necessity of their opponents' having to go three at the back, and produced a succession of chances as the Whites seemed to wilt, not producing a single threat of their own on goal. One of the few good moves of the whole game came from the hosts on 49 minutes when Bradford and Christie Pattison combined, Pattison pulling the ball back to Jacob Mendy who fired wide from 15 yards. Hamilton-Downes then hit a 25 yard effort straight at Hillson and on 56 minutes Cheadle's cross found Dixon who headed over the top from 8 yards. On the hour Cheadle caused more mayhem with a free kick, the ball being parried out to Hamilton-Downes whose deflected effort went wide, but seconds later an unsavoury incident occurred in the Salisbury box when Hillson appeared to be caught by a home player when on the deck. Many thought this warranted a red card but the referee decided that yellow was sufficient, and in the process also cautioned Dan Fitchett, presumably for his verbal protest. As the issue of a yellow card to the Robins’ player acknowledged some form of contact maybe the Carshalton player was lucky. Another blatant foul, in the ensuing melee, on Tom Whelan, was completely ignored by all of the officials (surprising as they appeared to be equipped with audio comms), and there could easily have been not one, but two red cards shown. Of course, the video will (should) confirm, one way or another and I stand to be corrected for any misinterpretation!

On 66 minutes Hillson made a good save from Mendy, but the match was finally put to bed when Jack Sparkes was left exposed and brought down Dixon in the box. There were few appeals against the penalty decision and Hamilton-Downes powered in the kick to make it 4-1 in the 76th minute.

Salisbury realised that it was now or never, and for the last quarter of an hour their performance regained earlier levels, with Whelan hitting a right foot shot over the top from 15 yards, Benson cutting in and testing Ohman from 18 yards, and Luke Hopper progressing along the goal-line before seeing his attempt blocked out. In time added on, Sparkes was extremely unlucky with a firm left foot half volley which was cleared off the line, but all of this was too little too late.

Unfortunately, some of our usually most effective players were just not that on this occasion, and, mixed with the unfortunate loss of influential defenders, this meant that the Whites lost out in what was a physical battle. It soon became obvious that it was just not going to be their day, although even at 2-1 there seemed little to worry about. All that changed though after the injuries and a third goal.

We must now move on and try to regain the much higher standards normally seen. One good memory for me though was the mature performance of young Charlie Rayfield, his second in seven days. He seems to love playing on plastic!

That's the first mention of the plastic surface, although this certainly had an effect on the outcome. There seemed to be a world of difference between Carshalton's 4G surface and Merthyr Town's 3G, but that is not offered as an excuse. However, the fact is that it was impossible to anticipate the reaction of ball on plastic at times and of course that gives those who play on it regularly a distinct advantage, just as it had at Walton earlier in the season.

In case you've forgotten, there is more cup football on Tuesday evening when the Whites entertain Blackfield and Langley in the CSS Southern League Trophy. The visitors are going great guns in their first season in the South and West Division and this will be a difficult game, especially in view of the unavailability of more players through injuries sustained today. The team will therefore need all of your support in order to make progress, and hopefully those of you who travelled to Carshalton and those who didn't will get behind them with noisy support.


Carshalton Athletic: Ohman, Price (Swaby 90+2), Hamilton-Downes, Dudley, Cheadle, Sogbanu, Bradford, Dixon (Dos Santos 79), Mendy, Pattison (Adeniyi 72).

Subs not used: Bishop, Aziaya.

Salisbury FC: Hillson, Rayfield, Sparkes, Whelan, Partridge (Sommerton 40), Wheeler (Hopper 45), Benson, Dawson, Fitchett, Shephard (Young 57), Haysham.

Attendance: 514    Referee (at present not known in the absence of a programme)


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