Laverstock & Ford 2 Salisbury FC 1 - match report

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.

Salisbury FC 4 AFC St Austell 0 - match report

FA Vase 2nd Round Proper

Saturday 21st November 2015

By Alec Hayter

Cornwall was once known for its tin mines, but these days the county seems to produce trademark football teams that force their opponents to be always on their mettle, (or should I say metal?) and dig deep. The Lilywhites lived up to the billing, but in the end were beaten by the better team, although perhaps not as comfortably as the score might suggest.

I’ll resist the temptation to say that Salisbury were flattered, because they worked extremely hard to overcome their opponents, made by far the more chances, and, tellingly, took four of them to the delight of their supporters, with a best crowd of the season - 854 - in attendance.

This young team learned another valuable lesson today in their rapid evolution – the ability to resist physical teams, and, in fact in this case a team which was in some ways more experienced than themselves. St Austell had reached the semi-final of this competition at a time when Salisbury FC did not even exist and, as we all know, at the start of this season manager Steve Claridge was struggling to put together a team capable of competing at a level which in itself was not really known at the time.

The Lilywhites suffered the same fate as many visiting teams, eventually being over-powered by the youthful Whites who, on occasions, still have a tendency to do that against tiring legs. That is not to take anything away from them though, and I for one will gladly take that outcome.

Two disallowed “goals”, one in the first half which might have given them a precious lead, and later the other for handball, were correctly disallowed. The visitors might also have gone ahead when captain Chris Reski, in space, hesitated and allowed goalkeeper Gareth Barfoot, well off his line, to claim the ball before he could shoot.

In the meantime, Sam Wilson’s choice to try and beat Jason Chapman at his near post was foiled by the keeper’s legs, and the Whites breathed a sigh of relief when, four minutes  before the interval, Brandon Mundy’s close range blast put them ahead. The chance was created by the lively Danny Young (pictured) whose run to the bye-line and driven low cross was too hot to handle for Chapman. The lurking Mundy pounced, for 1-0.

Kane O’Keefe was then unfortunate to see his low drive shave the upright, providing an upbeat mood for the half time cuppa.

The second period was “comme d’habitude” (my expression of solidarité with the

French after the events of last week) – that is, a much more imposing performance, but there were still potential problems with a slender lead, as the Lilywhites always looked threatening (up to a point).

On 47 minutes, the visitors’ top scorer Liam Eddy somehow contrived to mistime his jump for a close range free header, and sent the ball high and wide - surely not in character for a player who has scored 26 goals in 27 appearances for his club?

O’Keefe then tried to assist the Lilywhites’ cause, and must have been himself shaken when his defensive header shook the woodwork, without which there would have been a bizarre, but nevertheless very important own goal.  He would make up for that later though.

Another surging run saw Young again reach the bye-line and deliver a wonderful cross to Mundy at the far post, but the first half scorer was unable to stretch enough to finish the job, much to the vocal disappointment of his manager!

Eddy then effectively summed up any remaining effort left in his team when he sent in an apology for a shot which troubled the terraces more that the goal framework, and after that, the visitors seemed to go flat. In spite of two substitutions they were caught out when Dan Demkiv copied Young’s earlier run, but this time from the right. His cross was met with a venomous swipe of Young’s right boot on the volley to net the second in the 71st minute and create daylight between the sides.

The second disallowed St Austell goal then followed, when Martin Watts’s curling corner into the heart of the six-yard box was bundled home. The assistant saw it bundled in by a St Austell arm, and although protests at the non goal were inevitable, it later emerged that the culprit, in yellow shirt, had owned up!

O’Keefe then added a the third on 83 minutes, tucking away an easy finish set up by man of the match Young - chosen by match sponsors The Cathedral Hotel -  who had left defenders in his wake on the half way line before sprinting and crossing. Game, set, and match!

The icing on the cake came 5 minutes later, and was the direct result of two substitutions as Claudio Herbert’s first touch allowed him to release a defence-splitting pass to the other sub Taurean Roberts. Roberts outpaced what was left of the shattered Lilywhites’ rearguard. No one had worked harder than Watts, but he could not catch Roberts before he calmly placed the fourth after bamboozling the keeper into dizziness with his footwork trickery.

The third sub, a certain Mr Robbie Matthews, had also by now entered the fray and very nearly did what he does – grab a quick goal – but this time it was not to be.

It was not to be for St Austell either, but it is to be for the Whites and their supporters who now can’t wait for Monday’s third round draw. 

Salisbury FC: Barfoot, Colson, Perrett, Whelan, Walker, Brockway, Demkiv (Herbert 87), O’Keefe, Wilson (Matthews 81), Mundy, Young (Roberts 87).

Subs not used Jarvis, Ball.

AFC St Austell: Chapman, Tinsley, Watts, Broad, Whetter (Williams 70), Giles, Reski (Sims 85), Brockenshire, Eddy, Slateford, Martin (Grant 85).

Subs not used: Aston, Penhaligon.

Referee: A. Tremlett.

Attendance: 854.

Team Solent 0 Salisbury FC 6 - match report

Friday 13 November 2015

Sydenhams Wessex Premier

By Alec Hayter

Friday 13th was unlucky for the university students, who learned a hard lesson in finishing during evening detention.

A brief return to league action saw the Whites extend their lead on points and also increase their goal difference to 41, over twice the figure that rivals Andover boast at the time of writing. “It should have been 8 or 9” said Mick Jenkins, Salisbury's director of football, after the game, and he was not wrong.

With only 5 minutes on the clock Sam Wilson stumbled in front of goal, getting on the end of a cross by the excellent Dan Demkiv (pictured), and 13 minutes later Kane O’Keefe saw his effort cleared off the line, but on 21 minutes Wilson opened the scoring. Even if it was a misfortune for home keeper George Passingham who scuffed a clearance to him, the striker showed his cool, passinghim (sorry!) with the ball into the net. An easy goal, but they all count.

Ten or so minutes later Brandon Mundy made it two with a close range header from Demkiv’s floated cross, to make it 2-0 at the break.

It might have been expected that Team Solent, now with a strong wind in their backs, could prove stiffer opposition in the second period. In that we were disappointed, but were certainly not disappointed with the Whites’ second half showing.

Four minutes in, and George Colson sent in a vicious rising drive from Mundy’s lay off, which Passingham did well to keep out, and on 53 minutes the game was over as a contest (if it ever had been that) when Ellis White, in trying to clear a Danny Young cross, could only put the ball past his own keeper.

By then, the Whites had only scored one good goal out of three, but as I have said, they all count.

Wilson got his second of the evening, dispatching a Demkiv cross on 56 minutes, and only 5 minutes later the quick wide man, who had always been a threat, showed another side to his skills with a firmly struck shot from 18 yards which gave the keeper no chance. Mundy had provided the through ball for what was possibly the best goal of the evening.

It might have been six shortly afterwards with Wilson completing his hat-trick, but after turning his defender he saw his finish go wide.

The home side took until the 69th minute to muster their first shot, but it was so poorly aimed that Gareth Barfoot had the pleasure of only having to watch it go well over. This effort though stirred Team Solent and on 75 minutes Colson cleared off the line, from a White header.

After that we concluded, on 86 minutes, that the Whites had quite reasonably taken their foot off the gas, but then along came the sixth goal (the usual super-sub Robbie Matthews's contribution). He owed the simplest of tap-ins to good work by his fellow substitutes Taurean Roberts and Ashley Jarvis.

In a final flurry, a Tom Whelan corner was met by O’Keefe’s diving header at full stretch but unfortunately the ball was too near the keeper.

Presumably to show he was still on the pitch, Barfoot made a great save from Jessie Lassen in time added on, and that is a tribute to his concentration.

Now here’s a thought – I reckon another that another three wins will make us safe from relegation!

But it’s back to important cup action on Saturday, when St Austell visit the RayMac. The crowd at Test Park was 387, with very few from Team Solent, so add 1000 to that figure, and that will make a decent crowd for the Vase tie. Let’s face it, we have a team well worth watching, and you know it makes sense to do so!

Team Solent: Passingham, Nailanda (Kamara 44), Goddard, White, Nolan, Orvis, Byles (Sheedy 70), Wiseman (Johnson 52), Adekunle, Lassen, Black

Subs not used: Steal, Taylor

Salisbury FC: Barfoot, Colson, Perrett, Whelan, Walker, Brockway, Demkiv, O’Keefe, Wilson (Matthews 67), Mundy (Jarvis 67), Young (Roberts 57)

Subs not used: Herbert, Maloney

Referee: B. Channing.

Attendance: 387.

Salisbury FC 7 Mere Town 0 - match report

Wilts Senior Cup

Saturday 7 November 2015

By Alec Hayter

Mere Town proved that they were not a mere town, but one with a not too shabby football team. They may have been made to look good against a changed Whites side who played at what was possibly only half training pace - and did not impress manager Steve Claridge in the first half hour - but they did not let themselves down and kept fighting until the end, even seeing a Tom Cowley back header hit the home bar as late as two minutes into the second half.

Try as they might though, they were never going to win this game, and it was rumoured that a Mere Town official had said that if they did not concede 10 then it would be considered a victory. In those terms, they won the match (and probably pleased their travelling support which appeared well up to that of teams in the Wessex League).

We had to wait 20 minutes had passed before any goalmouth action occurred, Tom Whelan sending in a 30 yard effort which keeper Mariusz Kawaler spilled, but no-one was near enough to put the ball into the net. By that time, the hard-working Scott Martin had on three occasions nearly embarrassed the home defence. 

Robbie Matthews should have opened the scoring on 34 minutes but put a tame header wide from Taurean Roberts’s cross, but he made up for that two minutes later with a shot that defeated Kawaler at his near post. Matthews would probably admit that he could have struck the shot more sweetly!

Five minutes before the interval Martin brought a good save from Nathan Ball with a deflected effort but the Whites went in 2-0 up at the break, courtesy of Eddie Perrett following good work by Roberts, who provided an ideal ball inside the full back.

The half time talk had its usual effect, the third goal arriving on 48 minutes when Roberts was scythed down in the box after a penetrating run at the Mere defence. Ashley Jarvis (pictured) dispatched the penalty with ease.

The pressure was mounting and shortly after the penalty it was again Roberts causing havoc down the right before crossing low to Matthews, whose finish was deflected to safety. The resultant corner nearly produced a fourth goal. Whelan’s kick found Calum Brockway who headed towards goal to Jarvis who was unlucky to see his back header clear the bar.

Mere produced a moment of quality when Martin tried to curl a free kick in from 25 yards but the ball went narrowly wide, and on 56 minutes their best chance of registering a goal arrived when the lively forward was upended by Brockway. Martin took the spot kick but Ball saved well, although there have been better placed attempts.

Just before the hour Whelan found Roberts out wide and the impressive wide man took the ball first time, narrowly missing with a rising drive. He was again influential in the fourth goal on 69 minutes, his low cross finding Dan Demkiv who confidently drove the ball in through a crowded box.

Salisbury were not finished, and they were helped as it appeared that Mere legs were! Again Demkiv had a hand, crossing to Roberts, who held the ball up for Jarvis to net the fifth, and four minutes later Jarvis got his hat trick when another Demkiv cross allowed him to nip in unmarked at the near post to place the ball past a leaden-footed keeper.

It was soon Perrett’s turn to run through the visitors’ defence before he was brought down for the Whites’ second penalty, and he grabbed the ball to convert for 7-0.

In a final flurry Ball pulled off a great save from a deflected Cowley effort, and from the corner George Colson was forced to clear off the line. In the end though the woodwork thwarted Cowley’s added time attempt, as Mere tried but failed to get the consolation goal which many in the crowd would not have begrudged them.


Salisbury FC: Ball, Perrett, Burkett, Whelan, Vallis (Colson 14), Brockway, Maloney, Mundy (Demkiv 60), Matthews, Jarvis, Roberts (Herbert 73).

Subs not used: Blake, Hale

Mere Town: Kawaler, Cowley, Sansom, Leech, Smeeton (Patterson 83), Biddiscombe (Knapp 76), Samways, Beardmore, Parry, Martin, Bendell (Benjamin 67).

Subs all used.

Referee: S. Tobin.

Attendance: 510.