Match Report Salisbury FC v Chesham United

FB home size RecoveredCopyright Michael Berkeley

Salisbury FC 1 Chesham United 1

Evo-stik South Premier South

Saturday, 23 March 2019

By Alec Hayter

The "get up and go" of a month ago seems to have "got up and went" in this latest event.

Although things are still tight at the top of the league, today, in terms of opportunity, it was a case of two points dropped against a side who, although substantially improved from earlier in the season, were still not much more than average opponents.

That the Whites did not get an important maximum return from the game is more down to them than the Generals who to be fair made life as difficult as any visitors to the Ray Mac, but as opposed to the game at Tiverton, where Salisbury could have been five up at the interval, on this occasion they could have been behind by more than one in the first twenty minutes.

On 6 minutes Chesham's Ronny Mfinda scuffed a reasonable chance wide from the edge of the box, and eight minutes later Jake Hallett was forced into a good save by Luke Heneghan. Two minutes later, Mfinda might have done better with an effort from 15 yards after the ball cannoned off of Matt Partridge into his path, before Hallett denied a Chesham attack in a one on one, and on 18 minutes Heneghan sliced another effort carelessly wide.

It was not until the 38th minute that the visitors took the lead and Heneghan took the chance to redeem himself with a searching cross to the far post. The impressive and vastly experienced Jefferson Louis got up well to head the ball square to the unmarked Bradley Clayton who could hardly miss, and didn't.

The Whites reacted briefly with Chris Shephard testing keeper Ben Goode with a shot on the turn, before, on 38 minutes, Lewis Benson's low cross found Dan Fitchett whose close range effort was deflected over the bar.

A minute later Benson played the ball back to Elliot Wheeler who, with his back to goal, could not direct his overhead effort, and just before the half-time whistle Hallett did well to keep out a Louis right foot shot with a good save low to his right.

Eight minutes after the restart it was Goode's turn to make a great save from Benson, the resulting parry to Fitchett being blocked by a massed defence, but at the other end on 64 minutes Hallett made an equally important stop when Clayton's well struck volley came quickly at him through a sea of legs.

Just after the hour new boy Chris Flood came on for his home debut and this produced more movement and fluidity up front although his first involvement disappointed as he sent a left foot shot well over.

Shortly afterwards Louis put a finish over the Whites’ bar from close in when maybe he could have completely sewn up the points, but on 71 minutes the lively Flood laid the ball back to Fitchett who could only send a low shot at the keeper.

Bay Downing's welcome introduction after his long injury lay-off saw him play a big part in the equaliser on 77 minutes when his deep cross caused Goode to flap at the ball. Fitchett reacted quickly and squared the ball across the box for the debut boy to notch his debut goal to the delight of the majority of the crowd (all but about 30 or so!).

FloodChris Flood prepares to belt in the equaliser. - Copyright Michael Berkeley

Although all of a sudden the Whites looked the more likely, there was still cause for concern when, with two minutes of normal time remaining, Eoin Casey had a great chance but headed straight at Hallett from no distance at all.

The Whites tried desperately to make the most of some 7 minutes of added time and another Downing cross found Kane O'Keefe, who, like Fitchett, managed to square the ball to Flood who this time, unfortunately, could not repeat his earlier effort, but at least  a point was added when for long periods that had looked unlikely.

Untitled 1Late, but too late, goal action. - Copyright Roger Elliott & Michael Berkeley

Things are still very tight at the top of the league and almost anything remains possible. Salisbury have a chance to rediscover their shooting boots next Saturday when they visit Staines who were thumped 9-0 at Merthyr Town, and a high-scoring game in the Whites' favour would do no harm at all. However, it must also be remembered that Weymouth have yet to play at home against the strugglers, so any high-scoring win may be nullified, if even relevant between the Terras and ourselves. We have six cup finals left in the League, and must make the most of them, and if we do then, I repeat, anything is possible.


Salisbury FC: Hallett, Wheeler, Sommerton, Whelan, Partridge, Shephard (Downing 62), Benson, Dawson (O'Keefe 90), Fitchett, Hopper (Flood 63), Sparkes.

Subs not used: Mullings, Young.

Chesham United: Goode, Prosper, Warner-Eley, Mfinda, Murphy, Rolfe, Adcock, Clayton (Casey 78), Louis, Heneghan (Taylor 67), Pearce.

Subs not used: Sinclair, Murray.

Attendance: 676                   Referee: A Baker (Wimborne)

Wyvern Midweek League - Whites Development vs. Romsey Town

Salisbury FC Development Squad 3 Romsey Town 1 (played at Downton FC)

Wyvern Combination Midweek League

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

By Alec Hayter

In a hard-fought match, the young Whites recorded a  3-1 win over Romsey Town, allthough going behind to an 8th minute strike through a crowded box by Town's Oliver White. By that time Salisbury had had a good opportunity when Moss Steer lobbed wide with only the keeper to beat, but parity was restored on 10 minutes when Steer charged down Town keeper David Smith's clearance and followed up to put the ball in the empty net.

Salisbury had the majority of play until the break with Doni Domoune’s overhead striking the bar on 34 minutes and the same player put an effort wide 6 minutes later, but just before the referee blew for half time a foul on Diego Romerio allowed Jim Ward to give his side an interval lead from the penalty spot.

The next serious goalmouth action did not occur until the 75th minute when a long ball out of defence found substitute Ellis Lewis who placed a low shot under the keeper to make it 3-1, but with seven minutes remaining it might have been 4-1 when a Jock Roberts cross saw Ben Smith go narrowly wide with a towering header.

Salisbury FC: Betts, Rayfield, Roberts, Burden, Smith, Ward (Rendall 84), Campbell-Smith (Butt 78), Weeks, Domoune (Lewis 64), Romerio.

Attendance: <30                   Referee: O. Whiting (Portsmouth)

Match Report - Tiverton Town v Salisbury FC

Standard away 01

Tiverton Town 2 Salisbury FC 0

Evo-stik South Premier South

Saturday, 16 March 2019

By Alec Hayter

I'm very sorry to disappoint those of you who like to read the detail of games, but on this occasion, I'm going to have to let you down as all that there is to relate is a tale of woe based around the all-important result, an outcome not unusual following visits to Tiverton Town. Someone said to me following our success at Wimborne Town that that fixture was the most difficult one left in the season. How very wrong, with our dismal record in Devon, as that was also to deny manager Martyn Rogers' well versed technique of beating Salisbury sides.

We lost a valuable chance to make a real point with Taunton Town surprisingly being beaten at Frome and Weymouth dropping two points at the Cuthbury, We lost the game because of being unable to convert total first half dominance into goals, and then being caught by two superb finishes on the break from Levi Landricombe, a real out and out striker in the true sense of the word - something which we lack. In the first half the only threats on our goal came in the space of two minutes from Tom Bath with a wild right foot effort and a cross shot from Landricombe which went past the post.

Yes, Jack Sparkes' freekick on 29 minutes was kept out only by the woodwork, and Lewis Bensons’ corner scrambled off the line, but better, easier opportunities were wasted.

The Whites had bombarded the home goal from the off, with the assistance of a strong wind in their backs, and it appeared after 45 minutes that there was bound to be a points return from the long trip. However, the second half was characterised by two fatal mistakes which presented Landricombe with the kind of chance he laps up.

Five minutes into the second period Kane O'Keefe thrashed at and sliced a clearance which fell into Landricombe's path, the striker calmly slotting the ball past Jake Hallett, and on 75 minutes, from another quick clearance in extremely similar fashion to goals conceded in previous visits to Ladysmead, Landricombe got clear on the left and hit a well aimed finish, taken early, past the keeper.

In the meantime, Salisbury were perplexed when a penalty appeal on Aaron Dawson was turned down on 64 minutes and three minutes later when Tom Whelan delivered a ball across the face of goal which Luke Hopper failed to connect with, whilst Tiverton had two one-on-one chances denied by Hallett before Landricombe completed the scoring.

Late substitutions of new boy Chris Flood and the returning Danny Young made no difference to the outcome, and as far as Flood is concerned, it would be unfair to make any judgement after a short period in action.

Once more, in spite of some great build-up play, the Whites were unable to capitalise in the first half, and paid a heavy price in the second.

With seven games remaining, the Whites can afford no slip ups if they are to make it into the optimum play-off position, and it is now, and has been for some time, down to them to make sure that it is as difficult as possible for other competing teams to prevent that. Hope springs eternal, however, in that the odd results of yesterday will be repeated, and if that is the case then a consistent run from Salisbury can ensure they get their reward, and still, would you believe, there remains a remote possibility of actually winning the league, with other competing teams having to meet each other.

Next up is the first of the four remaining home games against Chesham United on Saturday. Since we played Chesham back in October, they have shown improved form apart from a home reverse yesterday to Farnborough, and will present a stern challenge. A large following at Tiverton was not rewarded for the effort they made, but hopefully, they will be next Saturday when making the much shorter journey to the Ray Mac.


Tiverton Town: Armstrong, Key, Hall (Furness 90+4), Price, Mammola, Dyer, M. Landricombe, Colwell, Bath, L. Landricombe, Davis (Phillips 89).

Subs not used: Rogers, Gardner, Yetton.

Salisbury FC: Hallett, Wheeler, Sparkes, Whelan, Partridge, O'Keefe, Benson, Dawson, Hopper (Flood 76), Fitchett, Mullings (Young 76).

Subs not used: Shephard, Downing, Sommerton.

Attendance: 335                   Referee: D Flynn.

Match Report - Salisbury FC v Farnborough FC

FB home sizeCopyright Roger Elliott

Salisbury FC 3 Farnborough FC 2

Evo-stik South Premier South

Tuesday, 12 September 2019

By Alec Hayter

Once more, it seems necessary to remind those who stayed away from last night's game that after a poor result, as happened on Saturday, the next game is invariably better, and the absentees missed out. There was more positive action in the first 10 minutes of this game than had occurred in the whole of Saturday’s match, and that continued throughout the 90+, but after that initial 10 minutes, the Whites fell behind to the visitors’ first serious attack. Midway through the first half they went further behind, and those who feared the worst would have been forgiven for doubting the fighting qualities of their favourites. The result of a tremendous effort was what looks on paper to be a narrow 3-2 victory, but was actually much more comprehensive than the scoreline suggests. The team's hunger returned.

On 9 minutes Tom Whelan slipped a delightful ball to Chris Shephard whose progress was halted by Farnborough keeper Liam Beach, and shortly afterwards it was Shephard's turn to provide Dan Fitchett with a chance which was unluckily deflected over the top. A further few seconds passed before Shephard’s corner reached Whelan whose right foot effort went just past, and it seemed only a matter of time before a goal arrived.

A goal did arrive, but unfortunately at the wrong end, as for virtually the first time that Farnborough made any impression at all, Louis McGrory was easily beaten on the outside by Reggie Young, who fired the opener across Jake Hallett.

The Whites reacted with Fitchett again being unlucky on 15 minutes and then two minutes later the visitors’ keeper was relieved when Shephard's effort went straight at him. Again, it seemed a question of time before Salisbury got back on terms, but again, it was Boro who profited from a Harry Cooksley free-kick which Hallett did well to put onto the post only to see Perry Coles follow-up and make it 2-0.

The Whites again responded, this time in the best possible way, when four minutes before the interval, Luke Hopper charged down a clearance and strode forward before tucking a right foot shot past the keeper, to start a feeling of well-being before the break. On the stroke of half-time Salisbury could have been on terms when Jack Sparkes sent a deep cross in from the left and Fitchett volleyed over the top. However, any "goal" would have been ruled out for offside, and in a last effort before the break, Hopper blotted his copybook when missing in front of goal.

Hopper goalLuke Hopper gets an important goal at an important time.- Copyright Roger Elliott

After the interval, it seemed likely that with continued high-intensity play the Whites would succeed, especially as the visitors had not done a "Kings Langley" and shut up shop, although there was some obvious slow motion from their keeper at times. That was not allowed to get in the way however and 10 minutes into the second period, Salisbury were back on terms as a result of intensive pressure in the Boro area which saw Darren Mullings plunder a close-range finish from Lewis Benson's corner.

Mullings 1Right place, right time as Darren Mullings scores.- Copyright Roger Elliott

On 62 minutes Benson sent in a raking cross to the far post where Sparkes should really have finished the job with a volley from close in, and within seconds, Sparkes was marauding once more and brought down in the box, causing vociferous appeals for a spot kick. Referee Alex James waved away the appeals and, possibly in an attempt to make clear that it was in his opinion (the one that counts!) an obviously correct decision, firmly pointed to the corner flag instead of the spot. From my viewpoint, it looked an obvious and easy penalty award, but of course, the referee was much closer, although some supporters behind the goal at his distance would also probably have disagreed with him. Whatever, it remained 2-2, and that caused the Whites to exert even more pressure.

PenOh no it wasn't - Oh yes it was!- Copyright Roger Elliott

The following minute saw Whelan's right foot shot whistle past the post, and on 75 minutes Chris Shephard put his finish at a relieved goalkeeper. Shortly after Dan Fitchett threaded delightful through ball to Sparkes, who tried to round the keeper unsuccessfully whereas maybe he should have let fly, and then, with nine minutes remaining, Hopper got in a similar position, only to be denied by Beach.

As the sands of time ran out a short Shephard free-kick gave Benson a chance to repeat his Wimborne medicine, but this time the ball went just off target, and shortly after the referee had corrected Salisbury’s having 12 players on the pitch at once, Mullings came to the rescue with a late, late winner two minutes into time added. It's hardly worth a description because it was what is becoming a typical goal from both Mullings and Aaron Dawson - scored from all of 3 yards! They all count however, and three points is always a very valuable three points.

Pregnant pauseDarren Mullings looking expectant of a celebration - or a birth? - Copyright Roger Elliott

Provided the elements allow, a difficult trip to Devon follows on Saturday when we visit Tiverton Town, who are normally very difficult to beat on their own pitch, that pitch often playing a large part in the outcome because of its proximity to the river.

Already, contingency plans are in place and travelling fans would be well advised to keep an eye out on the Tiverton website and on social media before setting out to the game to avoid an unnecessary journey. If the game goes ahead, however, it's another case of making it like a home match, please


Salisbury FC: Hallett, McGrory (Hopper 38), Sommerton, Whelan, Wheeler, Partridge, Benson, Mullings, Fitchett, Shephard (Downing 90+5), Sparkes.

Subs not used: Dawson, Herbert, Young.

Farnborough FC: Beach, Chambers, Owens (Oakley 45), Leggett, Hylton-Bartley, Musungu, Cooksley (Cumberbatch, 68), Charles-Smith, Coles (Fernandez 79), Young.

Subs not used: Halsey, Fearn.

Attendance: 424                   Referee: A James (Bournemouth)



Luke Hopper gets an important goal at an important time."