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Calne Town 2 Salisbury FC 6 - match report

FA Vase 1st Round Proper

Saturday 31 October 2015

By Alec Hayter

Two young cheerleaders were seen, possibly for the first and last time at Bremhill View, to mark the occasion of Salisbury’s visit in the FA Vase, and this set the tone for what was a big and important game for the hosts. It was also a big game for the Whites, who must have aspirations of going a long way in the competition.

As it was, the crowd had very good value, as not only did they see eight goals but they also saw three teams in action - and I don’t mean the cheerleaders as the third team on show. No, there were two teams put out by Salisbury - the first half one which allowed Calne to go in drawing 2-2 at half-time, and a second half one which obviously followed the carefully (!) delivered manager’s half time instructions. Had they followed them from the start them maybe the game would have been over by the break.

However, it was “job done” in the end, as always must be the case in cup ties, especially away from home.

The first Halloween scare came in the first minute, as Calne’s Mark Dolman skied a header, but the second saw them take the lead on 17 minutes through Aaron Hopkins, who made the most of the Whites surrendering the ball in midfield before striding on to put a rising shot into the top corner.

The shock horror from that, and the ghosts of the previous Saturday, were soon banished as Salisbury reacted and showed themselves just what they had to do to progress. On 23 minutes a ball from the right was screwed wide by Danny Young (it was not difficult to miscue on this playing surface), but five minutes later Young squared an inviting ball to Tom Whelan who put his finish over the top from 20 yards.

There followed a purple patch with two goals in the space of a minute which might, and perhaps should, have settled things. Another ball from behind the Calne defence gave Brandon Mundy the chance to even things up on 31 minutes, which he took, and seconds later action man Mundy added an assist when his shot came back off the post, allowing Kane O’Keefe (pictured) to net easily for a 2-1 lead.

Saying that that should have been the killer blow was to underestimate the home side’s fight and determination, and after they nearly committed football suicide when defender Marcus Lovesey headed narrowly over his own bar, they got a deserved equaliser six minutes before the interval – an ideal time for them.

Steve Walker lost possession and the ball caught Calum Brockway the wrong side of Stuart Windsor who toe-poked a fairly weak finish past Gareth Barfoot, who must surely have been very disappointed to be beaten at his near post.

2-2 therefore at the interval, but good entertainment for the neutral, though there were not many present, most of the crowd having travelled from South Wiltshire!

After the break the Whites were a completely different outfit, not in personnel, but in their style of play. Just after, I assume, the decorators had arrived to re-paint the away dressing room walls, the lead was restored, and then daylight was put between the sides as the one goal lead became two. Young got to the bye-line on 46 minutes and pulled the ball back for Sam Wilson to net the third, and three minutes later Tom Whelan’s low ball into the box saw O’Keefe get his second.

Calne had reacted very well to conceding two goals in a minute in the first half but could they do the same with another two-goal salvo in a three-minute spell? They did their best and Whites’ supporters held their breath when Barfoot appeared to clatter an onrushing Town forward when exposed one on one. Some referees, but crucially not Derek Pratt on this occasion, might have shown a very important card. After the clash, it was Mundy who got back to clear the ball away from danger.

On 55 minutes Whelan’s cross-field ball found Young, now operating down the right, but he could only shoot just wide of the far post from a fairly tight angle, and two minutes later O’Keefe nearly got his hat-trick, being denied by Calne’s very capable keeper Steve Allison who tipped the header over the bar.

At 4-2, and with twenty minutes remaining, enter “Mooncat” Matthews, but he saw nothing of the action before Barfoot had to redeem himself at the other end with a point blank save. It wasn’t long though before for big Robbie made an impression with almost his first touch, that touch being a calm (nearly wrote Calne!) well placed shot to make it five.

Ashley Jarvis and Jack Maloney were summoned off the bench, replacing Dan Demkiv and Wilson, just before Salisbury fans made a point about the increasingly murky conditions with their mobile phone torches. (Obviously in the northern hemisphere of Wiltshire the effects of the end of British Summer Time had not been noted!).

The supporters should not have worried though as Jarvis, as if to emulate Mooncat‘s “first touch” strike, did almost the same with a volleyed blast for a sixth goal in time added on. The quality of the strike would have lit up many a match, and certainly put a final smile on Salisbury faces.

The Whites march into the next round at the expense of their hosts who did themselves justice and didn’t give up until their legs did, and at the end of the day there were more goals than ghouls!


Calne Town: Allison, Lewis, Pocock, Jeffries, Lovesey, Beasley, Dolman (Jones 70), Hopkins, Windsor (Sawyer 85), Armstrong, Boakes.

Subs not used: Deane, Hamilton.

Salisbury FC: Barfoot, Colson, Perrett, Whelan, Walker, Brockway, Demkiv (Maloney 75), O’Keefe (Matthews 70), Wilson (Jarvis 75), Mundy, Young.

Subs not used: Herbert, Vallis.

Referee: D. Pratt.

Attendance: 303.

Salisbury FC 1 Blackfield and Langley 2 - match report

Saturday 24 October 2015

Sydenhams Wessex Premier

By Alec Hayter


Several factors contributed to this disappointing reverse. Firstly, Blackfield & Langley were one of the better sides to visit us, and did a job, following the orders of their manager, ex Salisbury Glenn Howes, to the letter, Secondly, a silly caution eventually saw the team having to play a man short for 55 minutes of the game, and thirdly, maybe the game was lost by trying to win it, as we were punished by the breakaway style of our opponents.

The visitors, having been allowed early on to slow the game down, nevertheless fired the first salvo - a rising shot from Calum Cunniffe-Piley.  That was the only goalmouth action for half an hour or so, but other less welcome action saw Sam Wilson pick up his first caution, for dissent.

That would have serious repercussions on 35 minutes, just six after the first card, when he was shown a second yellow card and dismissed. Various versions of the reason for the second yellow abounded but it seemed that a reckless challenge was the cause.

It only took a further four minutes for Liam Robinson to give his team the lead, looking suspiciously offside when he latched on to a through ball but converting past Gareth Barfoot. This was of course the assistant referee’s decision, and he was much better placed to make it than anyone in the press box. Unwelcome turning point number one!

Having already made one substitution (Ed Perrett being replaced by Ashley Jarvis on 33 minutes), the remaining two changes were made at the interval, with Robbie Matthews and Dan Demkiv replacing Jack Vallis and Claudio Herbert. These looked to have a galvanizing effect as an equalizer followed three minutes into the second period.

Yet another superb Tom Whelan delivery from a corner saw Stephen Walker (pictured) stretch to loop a header back across goal and into the far corner. Was this to be a second turning point?

Ten minutes later though, a resilient B&L side carved out another opportunity, Robinson again in the clear, but Barfoot came off his line to block.

The Whites’ response was again swift, and had a good chance then been taken, the result might have been different, but instead neither Jarvis nor Matthews, although only six yards out, could apply the finishing touch to Demkiv’s searching cross. A third turning point perhaps?

As the game became stretched Rico Wilson wasted a good chance on 63 minutes, lobbing well over the top with only Barfoot to beat, before, seconds later, the keeper brilliantly blocked when one on one with Jake Rowley.

The killer blow 12 minutes from time reminded me of an infamous Polish goal some years ago, which resulted in England not qualifying for a World Cup. Today, Brandon Mundy, just inside his own half, somehow completely missed a ball sent out of the visitors’ defence, and this allowed Robinson to race forward and notch his second of the game.  A twist of the knife?

Robinson might however have sewn up the points even more firmly on 88 minutes but headed at Barfoot when maybe he should have done better.

In fairness though, Kane O’Keefe had chances to even things up at the death, firstly screwing the ball wide from Matthews’ lay-off, and then heading over from the same player’s cross, all in the space of 60 seconds. It was not to be.

The Whites made gallant efforts throughout the game to brush off their numerical disadvantage, and still surged forward even after going down to 10, but maybe that was eventually their downfall. (The benefit of hindsight is a wonderful thing!)

Salisbury will not now be in league action, because of cup commitments, for the next fortnight, and no doubt by the time they return there will be many more twists and turns in what today became a slightly tighter contest for promotion. However, nothing was decided today.

Many supporters expressed disappointment with the referee, but over the course of the whole game he seemed to get the major decisions right, although there were also some strange lesser ones (isn’t that always the case?). As Steve Claridge confirmed after the game, he was not the reason why the Whites suffered only their second defeat of the season.

Salisbury: Barfoot, Colson, Perrett (Jarvis 32), Whelan, Walker, Vallis (Matthews 45), Herbert (Demkiv 45), O’Keefe, Wilson, Mundy, Young.

Subs not used: Maloney, Brockway.

Blackfield & Langley: Frampton, Cunniffe-Piley, Buck, Byrne, Poole, Game, Elliott, Rowley, Wilson, Lanahan, Robinson.

Subs not used: Munday, Laborda Gil, Ford, Magookin, Hards.

Referee: R. Ablitt.

Attendance: 718.

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.