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