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Whitchurch Utd 0 Salisbury FC 4 - match report

Saturday 17 October 2015

Sydenhams Wessex Premier

By Alec Hayter

Sometimes, after a great performance, the next can be a bit “after the Lord Mayor’s Show”, but it’s not often that you can make that comment within the same 90 minutes... You could at Whitchurch, though.

It was soon obvious (in fact 29 seconds soon) that the Whites were in the mood to banish memories of their only defeat this season, at home to the Jam Boys, and when Tom Whelan (pictured) decided to stride forward after that short time had elapsed they were on the right track. A well-struck effort (doesn’t he always strike the ball well?) got just a little (!) help from the pitch and the ball reared up in front of perplexed keeper Craig Alford and into the net.

Two minutes later Kane O’Keefe floated a header over the top, but in spite of camping in the Whitchurch half, we had to wait until the 12th minute for the second goal to arrive. Whelan’s corner was met perfectly by Stephen Walker (re-christened Stefan by the announcer) and his firm header made it two.

A third goal a couple of minutes later you would think might have killed off the game, and was, let’s say, a little fortunate. The referee must have seen something that everyone around me, and including me, didn’t, and pointed to the spot as Claudio Herbert tumbled in the box. Vehement protests did nothing to change the official’s mind, and in spite of a “fairness and sympathy comment” that Ashley Jarvis should miss it, he had no such intention and stroked the ball home for 3-0.

A repeat of the Whelan corner and Walker header nearly added a fourth, but this time the tall centre back’s effort went just over.

Whitchurch had rarely visited the Salisbury half up until then, and in fact hardly did so at all in the first half, as it was constant Whites pressure, and this allowed Sam Wilson to cross from the right where O’Keefe could not keep his header down.

On 30 minutes the Whelan/Walker combination came back for the third time, and only Walker will know how, unchallenged, he almost completely missed the ball, and an absolute sitter, from 5 yards.

Within seconds Sam Wilson had caught the bug, this time flicking Danny Young’s low cross wide, and looked to have become well infected five minutes later when he headed over, but this time from only two yards.

That could have been the striker’s second of the game, and he might have completed a hat-trick four minutes later when George Colson fed him with an inviting pull back that Wilson put over the top. In fairness though, the ball bobbled just as he was about to strike it, making life difficult, as did the other bobbles produced by the surface. One worked for us (the first goal) but the pitch got its own back later!

Time added on produced a fair bit of drama. A Whelan free kick was fumbled by the keeper to Wilson but another easy chance went begging as the grateful keeper blocked the ball, and just before Wilson sent a 25-yard free kick at Alford, a violent tackle by Whitchurch’s Cole Hinchcliffe gave the referee no option other than to show straight red. The player did not protest, which says it all.

Salisbury went in at half time 3-0 up, when the lead could have been double figures and they knew that they were to be playing against 10 men in the second half. A chance to play some relaxed football and do the goal difference even more good perhaps?

No-one could have foreseen just how relaxed the team became, and after the 10 men had had their first two decent efforts of the game, Matt Austin passing the ball wide of the post, and then Tom Lockyer hitting the upright, the definition of relaxed became “sloppy”, and for no good reason the table-toppers contrived to make their hosts look a much better side than they were. Had there not been a three-goal cushion, then things may have become even more difficult. Salisbury only had themselves to blame for the predicament.

On the hour, keeper Gareth Barfoot took too long with the ball from a pass back, and would have cost his side a goal but for Colson clearing Reece Rusher’s lob off the line.

With Salisbury having made all their subs, the numbers were evened up as Danny Young left the action holding his shoulder, (nothing more serious than a dislocation that obligingly popped back in, I understand), and it was left to another sub, Robbie Matthews, to add a fourth goal one minute into time added, powering a header into the net from Jack Maloney’s cross.

So, first half great, if you ignore the missed chances, but the second half was “after the Lord Mayor’s Show”, and best forgotten. I suspect that the manager will not forget even though we added another three points to our tally!

Match facts: It was Whites' 14th match unbeaten, 13 of which have been won, and the fifth straight victory in October.

It gave them a seven-point lead at the top of the table over AFC Portchester, who were in League Cup action, losing 3-2 at Fareham.

Horndean are nine points behind in third place - with three games in hand - after leapfrogging Andover Town thanks to a 4-1 win.

Salisbury: Barfoot, Colson, Mundy, Whelan (Maloney 61), Walker, Vallis, Herbert (Demkiv 45), O’Keefe, Wilson (Matthews 60), Jarvis, Young.

Subs not used: Blake, Brockway.

Whitchurch: Alford, Alderman, Lockyer, Hinchcliffe, Hassell, Brown, Manders (D McCarty 61), Austin, Phillips, J McCarthy (Gill 63), Parry (Rusher 47).

Subs not used: McAulie, Hine.

Referee: M. Russell.


Attendance: 260.

Moneyfields 1 Salisbury FC 6 - match report

Sydenhams Wessex Premier                                          

Tuesday13 October 2015

By Alec Hayter

Crime doesn’t pay, and neither does the lesser offence of indiscipline, which Moneys showed in abundance, in a game that I, for one, initially thought was going to be a tough test. “Tough test” – well the home side tried very hard to make it just that with the first of those words, and for a short while succeeded with the second, but in the end their indiscipline - which saw them have three men sent off - contributed to their heavy defeat.

The ingredients were there. After a difficult week when a change of manager saw the new man - Dave Carter, from Horndean - watching the team for the first time before taking charge, as always players want to put a bit extra in to impress, but Moneyfields did not channel their efforts in the right direction, and paid the price,

Things looked good for them when, on six minutes, Jake Raine was given time and space in front of goal to head the opener, but, it must be said, courtesy of some very slack defending at the corner. For a short period it looked as though the home side were capable of a second, but in fact that was their only shot on target for the rest of the game, as Salisbury became stronger.

Gradually the Whites pushed forward and were denied a penalty when Brandon Mundy seemed to be tripped in the box. The referee instead questionably booked Mundy for simulation, but it was all square on penalty shouts when the home side had an appeal of their own turned down. Charlie Blake then had a header cleared off the line and Mundy mishit a finish wide from an inviting Danny Young pull back.

Kane O’Keefe (pictured) got the visitors back on terms with a firm strike on the turn on 34 minutes, (and not many could have argued that it was not deserved), before Young again burst to the goal line, again pulled the ball back, and again Mundy was in the right place but could only shoot at keeper Cameron Scott.

Another goal was obviously needed and came after a bright opening to the second period, O’Keefe getting his second - and his ninth of the season in all competitions - on 54 minutes after Tom Whelan broke forward from the halfway line. He delivered a superb pass wide to Claudio Herbert, who had been a constant threat to his full back all evening. Herbert took his time (almost too much time) before dinking his cross on to the captain’s head.

So 2-1 it was, and although there had been earlier indications of trouble ahead for the home side due to their physicality, not many would have bet money on what was to follow. In the space of two minutes Moneys were reduced to nine men.

First to go was Conor Bailey for a second yellow, for foul and abusive language, but in my opinion, he had been lucky to receive only yellow for a nasty first half tackle on Mundy, who was later forced from the action because of the injury.

If that was a nasty tackle then the one which earned Curtis Da Costa a straight red two minutes later, (and 'costa' his side dear), for a lunge at Whelan’s shin begs a stronger adjective, possibly including some unprintable words. Whelan’s destroyed shin guard did its job, or St Mary’s Hospital might have had an additional “guest”.

Down to nine men, for a short period Moneyfields resisted in spite of a well struck Herbert shot that tested keeper Scott, and they hung on for 13 minutes before the Whites made the numbers tell, Sam Wilson taking his season's tally to 13 with a left- footed effort on 80 minutes. Dan Demkiv was then unlucky when his difficult volley shaved the upright, and soon after O’Keefe’s hat-trick was denied by the keeper.

Three goals in three minutes saw to the final score line, as Moneyfields lost another player, right back Dan Woodward - in the last minute of his debut after signing from Horndean - seeing a second yellow card.

On 85 minutes Whelan took a square pass and bent his shot into the bottom corner for 4-1.  Substitutions were again very effective and Robbie 'Mooncat' Matthews’s arrival resulted in an assist with almost his first touch, when he headed the ball back into the mix for sub Ashley Jarvis’ close range finish. With two minutes left George Colson slammed in the sixth from just outside the box.

The victory stretched Whites' unbeaten run to 13 games - 12 of which have been won - and their lead at the top of the table to seven points, though second-placed Andover Town have three games in hand.

Salisbury: Barfoot, Colson, Blake (Jarvis 73), Whelan, Walker, Vallis, Herbert, O’Keefe, Wilson (Matthews 80), Mundy (Demkiv 65), Young.

Subs not used: Roberts, Maloney.

Moneyfields: Scott, Woodward, Bailey, McAuley, Chapman, Da Costa, Hore, Raine, Gaunlett, Seiden (McInnnnes 59), Way (Cook 64).

Subs not used: Hunt, Thomas, Pennary.

Referee: S. Graham.

Attendance: 190.

Wroughton 1 Salisbury 6 - match report

Wilts Senior Cup First Round

Saturday 10th October 2015

By Alec Hayter

The Whites arrived at this game, played at Highworth Town FC, full of beans, (to be precise baked beans, toast and tea apparently superbly provided by the The Plough at Badbury, ideally placed just south of Swindon).

Manager Steve Claridge’s motive was clearly to provide the pre-match meal to give some of those who had not previously experienced it an idea of what it is like to be involved in the professional game. The experience was kindly provided at Steve’s expense, and apparently the Plough did a good job. So did the Whites.

By half time, they had treated a large travelling support and Wroughton fans to two superb finishes that forged a 2-0 interval lead, which might have been enough for all to think “game over”. The plucky Wiltshire League side did themselves great credit by not giving up, however, and it was not until the very late stages of the game when superior fitness told.

Wroughton carved the first chance after eight minutes when Jamie Hicks maybe should have embarrassed the visitors, instead putting a free header over the top, but although Salisbury had the majority of possession it was not until 10 minutes later that they made it count.

Dan Demkiv, always impressive on the right, sent over a well flighted cross, which Robbie Matthews (pictured) volleyed first time into the corner with keeper Eddie Salisbury left to admire his work. On 29 minutes “Mooncat” was unlucky to see a firm header kept out by the keeper when George Colson crossed.

Obviously in the mood, Matthews then demanded the ball for a 30th minute free kick but could not keep the shot down, though went on to become the perfect pain in the backside for home defenders throughout.

It was 2-0 on 37 minutes when Brandon Mundy left the bemused keeper standing again with a rocket shot into the top corner, and just before the break the lead could have been more when Demkiv’s effort from the edge of the box frightened the upright.

Changes were made for the second half, Colson and Mundy making way for Tom Whelan and Ashley Jarvis, who should really have done better with almost his first touch from close in on 58 minutes when Matthews headed the ball invitingly back across goal.

The third goal came shortly afterwards when Whelan let fly from fully 30 yards to make keeper Salisbury feel his reactions were suspect, and after good work  between Demkiv and Matthews, Jarvis, again from close range, made it 4-0 on 69 minutes.

Wroughton’s best moment came seconds later when Jack Vallis was robbed on the edge of the area, the ball falling to Steve Nisbitt to strike a low shot past Nathan Ball for a consolation goal. As Wroughton flickered again, Ball thwarted Nisbitt in a one on one.

That was the sign for a Whites’ response, and Eddie Perrett headed over from a deep Demkiv centre. As the opponents began to feel the pace, Jarvis worked the keeper before, with 11 minutes remaining, Whelan’s free kick saw Matthews nip in front of a defender to score the fifth with a bullet near post header.

The striker nearly got his hat trick seconds later but another powerful header whistled the wrong side of the upright.  At the death, an excellent Jack Maloney cross found Perrett whose firm header made it six.

Many Salisbury supporters might have regarded this type of match as a waste of a Saturday, but manager Claridge was in no doubt that he wanted his players to get as many matches as possible under their belts, the game affording an opportunity to test them and even experiment with playing positions. So, it was “job done” in more ways than one.

Salisbury: Ball, Colson (Whelan 45), Blake, Hale, Vallis, Mundy (Jarvis 45), Demkiv, Roberts, Matthews, Perrett, Maloney.

Subs not used: Wilson, Herbert, Young.

Wroughton: Salisbury, Hammond, Moulden, Martin, Chambers, Flanagan, Lea (Smart 67), Balfe (Hayland26), Keech, Nisbitt, Hicks.

Subs not used: Love, Chuka

Salisbury FC 2 Fawley 0 - match report

By Alec Hayter

Sydenhams Wessex Premier

Tuesday 6 October

Another home game, another cup final for eager opponents, another hard fought game, and most crucially, another 3 points.

Fawley were better and more enterprising than our last league opponents and seemed to want to try and pose a threat, and in fact in the first 45 minutes had the only real efforts on goal. After two minutes Benjamin Bolton tried his luck with a snapshot from 18 yards, which Gareth Barfoot easily gathered, and we then had to wait until the 30th minute for anything remotely like another effort on goal at either end. A 25 yard effort from the visitors’ Dylan Knight went straight at Barfoot, but lacked the force to be classified as anything more than a pass back.

Fawley’s best , and really only chance came from a set piece six minutes later, when Dane Sayce’s 30-yard free kick brought a less than comfortable save from Barfoot.

No mention of the Whites yet, and indeed there was nothing to say before the break, except to relate some bad player decision-making, misplaced passes and a slow pace to the game, with Salisbury unable to impose themselves on a hard-working side.

My notepad’s lack of scribble was worrying me and continued to do so until Salisbury’s first effort on goal just after the hour. The lively Tom Whelan was very unlucky that his rasping shot from just outside the box missed the upright, on the wrong side, by a whisker.

Salisbury seemed slow in getting out of defence to support the front players, and the ball was easily cleared by the Fawley rearguard until the Whites began to up the pace.

On 66 minutes Claudio Herbert delivered a good cross to Kane O’Keefe, six yards out, but the midfielder’s finish was disappointingly weak and keeper Michael Edgar was barely troubled.

Only a matter of seconds later Ashley Jarvis broke clear but was denied by the youthful custodian in a one-on-one, and shortly afterwards Brandon Mundy wasted a chance at the far post from George Colson’s delivery.

It now seemed though just a matter of time, and that time arrived, but not until the 86th minute (some nails having been well bitten!).

Robbie Matthews and Dan Demkiv (pictured) had been on for only 7 minutes when they combined, Matthews spraying the ball wide for Demkiv to send over an accurate cross on to the head of Sam Wilson who made no mistake from close in. The relief could be felt in the sizeable crowd, but the action was not over, Matthews in particular impressing with deft touches and not wasting a pass.

Three minutes into time added on many would have put money on Tom Whelan finding the net when through, but the keeper did enough to make him fire just wide. Then in the fourth extra minute the Whites got their second when the third sub, Jack Maloney, threaded a good ball through the left channel, and Demkiv’s calm and measured low finish gave the keeper no chance.

Whilst the Whites had most of the possession, and deserved the points, Fawley will have been disappointed to concede a second so late. Had the second goal not happened though, the points would still have remained in Wiltshire.

 A final mention for the crowd, who, to their credit, remained as patient as their team had to be!


Salisbury: Barfoot, Colson, Mundy, Whelan, Walker, Vallis, Herbert (Demkiv 79), O’Keefe, Wilson, Jarvis (Matthews 84), Young (Maloney 79).

Subs not used: Perrett, Blake.

Fawley: Edgar, Sayce, Hawkins, Tanner, Chris Lucas, Aaron Lucas, Johnston, Bolton, Knight (Mellor 72), Willett (Keen 81), Willis (Pooley 76).

Sub not used: Roche

Referee: Mr. M. Fogt

Attendance: 520.