Tuesday 24th November
Salisbury Hospitals Cup
By Alec Hayter
As a competition that is in aid of a very good cause, the Hospitals Cup succeeds, but it has never succeeded in arousing much interest in yours truly. This is not sour grapes because Whites lost the match - our opponents played out of their skins throughout the whole game, and seemed to have unbounded energy. It is, in fact, for me at least a kind of relief that we are not still involved in this competition, although I am sure that there are some in charge who will have a very different view. In the end it was a comic own goal that settled it, but, as I have said before, they all count.
This was an opportunity for some players to get 90 minutes, and none of the previous Saturday’s back four started or played any part in the game. Only five players who had started, or came off the bench in the FA Vase tie against AFC ST Austell, featured in this tie, and of those Dan Demkiv had 15 minutes, replacing Claudio Herbert.
The above is not intended to take anything away from Laverstock and Ford's spirit and determination, and they deserved the luck of an own goal winner. In fact, they could easily have had more to show for their efforts through more conventional means.
Early on, Taurean Roberts missed the simplest of chances, put on a plate for him in front of goal by Herbert. In hindsight it is difficult to avoid the thought that if that had gone in... After seeing the home side’s efforts later, however, then that may have been an unsound judgement.
Lavvy were holding their own, and on 22 minutes fired a warning shot, and a very good shot too, from Lewis Wykes, which brought a good save from Nathan Ball.
Seconds later they took the lead when Adam Jones perfectly met a corner to loop a header from 12 yards into the far corner. I’ve not seen many a better header this season.
There was much huffing and puffing from the Whites, but the score remained 1-0 at the break.
We all know about second half performances, and Herbert’s effort on 54 minutes skimmed the bar. Three minutes later a Jack Vallis header was cleared off the line, and on the hour Herbert worked his way through only to try an angled shot with others waiting for a more correct pull back.
Laverstock’s Russell Jones showed that a threat existed when he took the ball through the whole Whites’ rearguard (now three at the back), but delayed, allowing Ball to whip the ball away from him.
On 71 minutes a Tom Whelan corner saw Vallis (pictured) leap and power in the equalizer, but with 10 minutes left, Jones again made himself space to force a save out of Ball.
What was to be the winner came on 81 minutes. In a very good impression of pinball around the Whites’ defence, Robbie Matthews got a touch on the ball, and so did Laverstock’s Ollie Hoare. Whatever Hoare intended, the result was the ball going into the net off of Harrson Hale.
A flurry of action caused Laverstock literally to put their tired bodies on the line with Ashley Jarvis seeing a shot well stifled, but they celebrated their goal like never before and could have been doing so even more if Jones had taken an easy chance, which he scooped onto the bar, and had Ball not saved his effort on the stroke of full time.
One late bonus for Whites was an appearance for youth team Tom Thorne and with Charlie Burden also on the bench, it augured well for both them and the club.
Laverstock & Ford: Auger, Hoare, Dorrington, Morgan, Donohue, Hurst, Lovegrove, Gallagher, Adam Jones, Lewis Wykes (Bourner 64), Russell Jones.
Subs not used: O’Hagan, Wilkins, Mundy, Butler.
Salisbury FC: Ball, Martin, Blake, Whelan, Vallis, Matthews, Herbert (Demkiv 75), Hale (Thorne 76), Jarvis, Maloney, Roberts.
Subs not used: Colson,Burden.
Attendance: Approx 200.