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Match Report - Poole Town v Salisbury FC

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Poole Town 2 Salisbury FC 2
Evo-stik South Premier South
Saturday, 29 December 2018

By Alec Hayter

For the second game in succession the Whites surrendered 2 points which, had they been harvested in this match and that at Swindon Supermarine would have seen them sit very handily placed in behind Taunton Town in the league, but they didn't. As the saying goes "lightning doesn't strike twice" but that theory was put in doubt with an equalising goal gifted to the home side in very similar circumstances to those at Swindon, although course the different goalkeeper was involved on this occasion.

On balance of the game this was another three points that unjustly became one. Poole Town manager Tom Killick was honest in his assessment after the match: "The way the game panned out we were quite relieved to get anything at all. The first half was scrappy and we didn't create many chances. They barely had a chance and then we went in front. In the second half they started very well and brought on Shephard who caused us problems. Salisbury were the better side in the second half and we were lucky to get something at the death." Had I had the chance to speak to Steve Claridge afterwards no doubt he would have repeated his assessment from Supermarine that "only we could do that", when talking about the late equaliser.

Killick’s assessment of the first half was correct and it was not until the 14th minute that the Whites threatened when Matt Partridge got well forward but chipped just over the top. Four minutes later Poole's Corby Moore sent an effort just over at the other end.

The home side were weakened by the loss of influential centre half Jamie Whisken to injury on 27 minutes, but it was not until 12 minutes later that Tom Whelan forced Luke Cairney into the first of many good saves, with a 25 yard effort.

With five minutes of the first half remaining Dolphins’ Luke Roberts got to the byeline and crossed with no one in attendance to finish, before, three minutes into time added on his side lost another key player when Steve Devlin was stretchered off. In the dying seconds before the break Roberts gave his side an unexpected and welcome lead when he outstripped Elliot Wheeler with other Whites’ defenders stranded upfield, calmly slotting the ball home under Jake Hallett.

At the interval Chris Shephard was introduced, replacing Darren Mullings, and immediately caused problems for the home defence as well as providing additional support to Zack Kotwica. A revitalised Whites soon got back on terms when on 48 minutes Lewis Benson got his reward for a much improved performance over Supermarine with a low shot that gave Cairney no chance.

BensonLewis makes sure for the opener. - Copyright Michael Berkeley

Six minutes later Salisbury took the lead, with Benson's free kick giving Partridge the chance to power a header into the top corner, and just before the hour, as the visitors continued to press, Whelan fed Kotwica whose cross-shot fizzed just past the upright.

Partridge Five Dolphins beaten by one Partridge. - Copyright Michael Berkeley

The Dolphins then briefly flickered with Hallett blocking out James Constable in a one-on-one on 62 minutes and then, 3 minutes later, Constable setting up Roberts whose attempted chip cleared the bar.

Salisbury had the ball in the net on 66 minutes when Whelan's crossfield pass found Pablo Haysham. Another quick pass gave Shephard the chance to test Cairney, but this time The keeper could only parry the ball to Kotwick who netted but was adjudged to be offside.

Shephard again went close two minutes later with a fierce left foot effort deflected over the top and on 75 minutes Jake Wannell tried to place a left foot finish which was saved by keeper.

With 8 minutes remaining Cairney really earned his corn, if he had not already done so, with a superb block from Shephard, but Poole still held a threat and Sam House wasted a good chance with 5 minutes left.

Three minutes into time added, Benson thrust forward from just inside the Poole half but again Cairney came to the home side's rescue with another superb block in a one-on-one.

As the Whites looked to be seeing the game out they lost possession by their opponents' corner flag and the ball was whisked upfield, resulting in Hallett eventually finding himself in a one on one with House a full five minutes into time added. The Dolphins eeked out an undeserved point when the keeper’s clearance rebounded to House who was quickest to react, having the most difficult task of netting from at least two inches. It really should have been all over by then, and possibly by half time, but the familiar feeling of what might have been again reared its ugly head.

Lightning had indeed struck twice to create a sequence that is best avoided next time out against Frome please.


Poole Town: Cairney, Alawode-Williams, Smeeton, Spetch, Whisken ( Leslie-Smith 27), Moore, Griffin, Devlin (Bedford 45+2), Constable, Gillespie (House 57), Roberts.                                                                                                      Subs not used: Scrimshaw, Grange.

Salisbury FC: Hallett, Wheeler, Sommerton, Mullings (Shephard 45), Partridge, Wannell, Benson, Dawson, Kotwica (Fitchett 76), Whelan, Haysham (Young 85).                                                                                                                  Subs not used: Hopper, Herbert.

Attendance: 623               Referee: M. Underhay (Weymouth)




Swindon Supermarine 2 Salisbury FC 2

Standard away 01

Swindon Supermarine 2 Salisbury FC 2

Evo-Stik South Premier South

Saturday 28 December 2019

By Alec Hayter

The consistently friendly hospitality shown by Swindon Supermarine was again very much in evidence but, unfortunately, was matched by the hospitality and seasonal goodwill shown by the Whites on the pitch in an error strewn game, the result of which must have disappointed the large travelling contingent from South Wiltshire. They have become used to higher quality contests, although some of a different persuasion felt differently. Everyone is of course entitled to their own opinion, but I'm afraid I must join those disappointed at the result, as well as at much of the football, although the latter was to some extent caused by the very heavy playing surface.

If they are to maintain a challenge, the Whites must learn to hold on to leading positions, and also not miss so many golden opportunities which, by their very nature, are normally few and far between away from home. This match saw profligacy from both sides, mostly from the visitors, and that, combined with Salisbury's silly defensive errors, could not have impressed any neutrals and purists expecting a good football match.

Effectively Salisbury scored all four goals, but by half-time could well have had four of their own, Dan Fitchett and Danny Young being the culprits in spurning very good chances on 5, 13,  and 37 minutes. In time added at the end of the first half Elliot Wheeler's diving header just wide of the mark was excusable on grounds of difficulty.

In that first period Connor McDonagh should have done better when through on goal on 17 minutes and maybe the same could be said about Henry Spalding's attempt just before the interval. 

Wheeler and Jake Wannell, in my opinion our best central defensive pairing, had done the job superbly well in the first half, and continued to do so in the second only to see their efforts nullified by what followed.

Seven minutes after the restart, home keeper Will Henry made a good stop from Lewis Benson's free kick and six minutes later the Whites manufactured another good move which saw Fitchett through on goal. Fitchett made the wrong decision in squaring the ball instead of attempting a finish, his pass going nowhere near a frustrated Tom Whelan.

In the 60th minute Salisbury took the lead through Whelan who was, as usual, in the right place at the right time to belt the ball into the roof of the net, and many of travelling fans probably said "about time too". It all looked good when only seconds later Fitchett fed Whelan who held off two defenders although he fired disappointing at the keeper.

Salisbury fans however are quite used to leads disappearing and it happened again on 61 minutes when Jack Sparkes, who otherwise had had a staedy game at full-back, attempted to chest the ball back to James Hillson. McDonagh gratefully accepted the gift to equalise.

Worse nearly followed when, within the next minute, Connor Thompson's ball found Ryan Campbell whose finish clipped the bar, but the goodwill gifts continued and incredibly, on the general balance of play, Salisbury found themselves behind when Hillson made a fatal error (his first bad mistake since joining the Club) in delaying his clearance. McDonagh knew nothing about it as the ball cannoned off his backside and into the net, but credit is due to him for closing down the keeper. Said Steve Claridge "Only we could do that." when talking about the goals conceded.

Apart from a golden opportunity which the home side missed in time added on it was then all Salisbury, Whelan firing over on 70 minutes and just 6 minutes later Fitchett to some extent atoning for previous misdemeanours with an equaliser, after being put in by Darren Mullings.

Then enter Zack Kotwica, who within seconds missed a sitter from a yard out after Whelan's 25 yard effort had been parried into his path. With 9 minutes remaining he did it again, this time from a couple of yards, at the far post. Although he has not had much football recently, he will probably consider he should have done better with both.

On 86 minutes a Benson effort was kept out by Henry who then made a great save from the same player, but regular Whites' supporters would not have been at all surprised when, a minute into time added, Supermarine broke to the other end and could well have snatched all three points. This time however things did not go as McDonagh would have liked.

Yes, the Whites, because of injuries, were only able to name four substitutes, one of those a goalkeeper, and although a 2-2 draw would probably in normal circumstances be considered satisfactory away from home, this stalemate only pleased the home supporters. The hosts should be aware however that before getting too excited there will be few teams who arrive at their ground bearing gifts, as Salisbury did on this occasion. Nevertheless I hope their improvement continues on the pitch, especially against the other contenders!

For me, there were two bright spots – firstly Charlie Rayfield’s performance, and secondly the sound of a referee telling a Salisbury player to “Learn the Laws of the game”! The ref was right on that occasion, although not on another when there could well have been a red card shown for a tackle on Fitchett, had the official been helped by his assistant.

I also hope that those of you who travel to Poole Town on Saturday will get a much better reward for your efforts, and that thereafter we can all enjoy an exciting New Year.


Swindon Supermarine: Henry, Thompson, Hopkins, Edge, Williams, Ifil, Spalding (Selman 71), Hooper (Shepherd 90), Fleetwood, McDonagh, Campbell.

Subs not used: Bampton, Williamson.

Salisbury FC: Hillson, Rayfield (Kotwica 72), Sparkes, Whelan, Wheeler, Wannell, Benson, Dawson, Fitchett, Mullings, Young.

Subs not used: Hallett, Sommerton, Herbert.

Attendance:366                    Referee: A Sheppard (Gloucester)

Match Report - Salisbury FC v Beaconsfield Town


Salisbury FC 2 Beaconsfield Town 1

Evo-stik South Premier South

Saturday, 22 December 2018

By Alec Hayter

Ho Ho Ho, another 3 points, but also the season of giving as once more the Whites gave their supporters late palpitations in their annoying habit of giving away goals in the latter stages of games.

As with the Wimborne game however, Salisbury dominated the majority of the proceedings before allowing the opposition to take home an unwarranted scoreline, and although they never really fired on all cylinders they still had enough to beat a Beaconsfield side which had improved beyond all recognition from the opening game of the season. The Rams have made some good additions to their squad and ex-White Charlie Losasso was one of the opposition players who worked hard, although to no really punishing effect. A good crowd, (exceptionally so for a game just before the big day) was entertained by both sides trying to play football, and not just one making the effort whilst the other parked the bus........and talking about transport it was Salisbury who started off like a train when on 6 minutes they produced the first good move of the match.The lively Luke Hopper pulled the ball back to Tom Whelan whose pass to Lewis Benson gave him the opportunity to curl in a snapshot. The curl was a bit too much, like many a Santa’s beard, and the ball sailed just wide of the target.

The next attempt on goal came 12 minutes later when a Whelan corner saw Matt Partridge head the ball back across the goal where Darren Mullings should have done better than put his close range header straight at keeper Ravan Constable.

The deserved lead came on 23 minutes however and was a solo effort from Whelan (once again!). The midfielder, who during the match touched almost every blade of grass on the pitch, made his way across the box before unleashing a right foot shot which passed Constable before he could react. Whelan was again involved two minutes later when his long-range cross shot was deflected just the wrong side of the upright.

tomTom gets the first - Copyright Roger Elliott & Michael Berkeley

It was not until the half-hour mark that we saw something from the visitors when Jordan Ajanlekoko found himself in space in the Salisbury box but he miscued wide.

Five minutes before the break Salisbury doubled their advantage when Luke Hopper shook off defenders and got in the clear, his finish nut-megging the keeper to establish what looked a comfortable lead. However just before the half-time whistle Ajanlekoko had a second chance but sliced his header wide from Jerome Ecclestone's cross.

lukeLuke takes aim - Copyright Roger Elliott - Nutmegs, not chestnuts, this Xmas! Copyright Michael Berkeley

In spite of playing some neat approach football, the Rams had really shown little upfront to trouble the Salisbury defence which had to be changed at half-time as Matt Partridge picked up an injury, allowing Jake Wannell 45 minutes. Wannell did what he does and the defence remained solid.

Four minutes into the second period Hopper hopped once again along the edge of the box and was very unlucky to see his right foot attempt curl just over the angle, (more curls, more beard comments not necessary!) but on 52 minutes the Rams showed it wasn't yet over (although it should have been) when Losasso got to the byeline and crossed to the far post where Marvin Morgan failed to hit the target. With 25 minutes remaining Jake Hallett denied the lanky striker with a good save – his first serious action of the match apart from an earlier fisted clearance.

That short threatening spell of from Beaconsfield spurred the Whites into further action and on 67 minutes Whelan threaded a great ball through to Elliot Wheeler, but the defender was prevented from scoring by a good stop from Constable.

On 76 minutes a scorching low Benson cross from the right was a bit too scorching for Dan Fitchett in front of goal and 3 minutes later Benson put a 22 yard freekick just wide, the kick having been awarded after Rams’ Reece Yorke saw red for denying a goal-scoring opportunity.

Just as we were awaiting the whistle Beaconsfield grabbed a consolation when, from a break, Brendan Matthew was left one-on-one with Hallett, and slotted the ball home, but the Whites almost had the last laugh when debutant Jack Sparkes cut in from the left but belted the ball well over the top. Methinks a case of first match nerves!

The three points keeps us very much in touch and although there are some who will look at other teams with games in hand I would prefer to concentrate on Taunton and Weymouth. The Terras dropped a point at home to Harrow Borough whilst Taunton had a relatively easy expected win at strugglers Staines Town. The Whites have a game in hand over Taunton however, thus the seven-point gap could shrink to four, and we are now level on points with Weymouth who have a game in hand.

Everything to play for and on Boxing Day we travel to Swindon Supermarine who have shown signs of improvement recently - don't they all before they play us? It is never easy to get anything at Tiverton but Supermarine did just that, managing to bring back one point from Devon. Let's hope that a big Wilts travelling support can bring them down to earth again on Boxing Day, and then resist the reaction from Poole Town to their narrow defeat at the hands of Hartley Wintney, and maybe top it all off with three points against Frome! If that was all achieved then it would be a great Christmas period, but I've already received my Christmas present with today's three points.


Salisbury FC: Hallett, Wheeler, Sommerton, Whelan, O'Keefe, Partridge (Wannell 45), Benson, Dawson, Hopper (Fitchett 53), Mullings, Haysham (Sparkes 63).

Subs not used: Kotwica, Young.

Beaconsfield Town: Constable, Ecclestone (Matthew 45), Balogun, Yorke, Neville, Daly, Frader , Ajanlekoko, Morgan, Pashaj (Stead 82) , Losasso (Webb 82).

Subs not used: Adoo-Peters,Vassell.

Attendance: 654 Referee: T. Ellsmore (Hartley Wintney)

Match report - Salisbury FC v Chippenham Town

FB home sizeCopyright Michael Berkeley

Salisbury FC 1 Chippenham Town 0

Wiltshire Senior Cup Quarter Final

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Report by Dave Todd

The Whites progressed to the semi finals of the Wiltshire Senior Cup at the expense of holders Chippenham Town thanks to a fine strike from Danny Young seven minutes into the second half.

Both sides used the tie to give valuable match time to players, with Steve Claridge no doubt having more than an eye on Saturday’s FA Trophy tie against National League Braintree Town, but nevertheless the Whites and the Bluebirds both contributed to an entertaining Cup tie.

The visitors started brightly and in the second minute, Yan Klukowski fired a foot wide from James Guthrie’s left wing cross. Salisbury responded with Danny Young breaking clear but his cross was easily put behind for a corner.

With nine minutes gone, Karnell Chambers raced away down the left for the Bluebirds with his cross being deflected behind for a corner by Charlie Rayfield who got back well to cover. Shortly afterwards a close range shot came back off James Hillson’s body but the Whites’ keeper recovered well to smother the loose ball.

20181211 Salisbury v Chippenham MB 6918Zack Kotwica worked his socks off - Copyright Michael Berkeley

As the half continued the Whites began to create the better chances with Young cutting inside but shooting straight at Will Puddy in the visitors’ goal and Zack Kotwica finding the side netting from 18 yards. Kotwica had another good opportunity ten minutes before the break but shot wide after being put in by a cut back from the impressive Rayfield.

The Whites’ territorial advantage continued as half time approached and from the second of successive corners, Jake Wannell nodded the ball on from Claudio Herbert’s corner kick but the ball came to Elliot Wheeler at a difficult angle and he was unable to get a clean head on the ball. Then in stoppage time, Kotwica was brought down on the edge of the area and Herbert saw his free kick tipped over the top by Puddy.

Salisbury began the second half in similarly encouraging fashion and three minutes into the half a neat one two between Dan Fitchett and Kotwica ended with Fitchett’s mistimed shot going wide. A minute later the same player had a shot deflected for a corner following good work on the left from Kotwica and Young.

Salisbury v Chippenham Town 11th December 2018 RE 14Danny Young scored the only goal to secure the victory - Copyright Roger Elliott

A Herbert shot came back off the inside of the post with Puddy well beaten, before after 52 minutes, the Whites’ took a deserved lead. Young ran positively at the Bluebirds’ back line before cutting inside and hitting a right foot shot past Puddy into the corner of the net.

Seven minutes later, a shot from Klukowski hit the post as the Bluebirds responded, while Chippenham’s best chance came when Wannell’s back pass surprised Hillson and left the Bluebirds’ Jack Compton with a great opportunity to equalise but the Whites’ number one made a great recovery to block out his effort.

Despite the narrow advantage, and with Chippenham introducing leading scorer Nat Jarvis from the bench as they went in search of an equaliser, the Whites’ game management was good, and with a number of late goals having been conceded in recent weeks, a first clean sheet in eight matches was encouraging. Although a similar result in Saturday’s FA Trophy tie will be met with greater excitement, positives can be taken from this victory against a Chippenham side, who, despite making changes to their starting line up, contained plenty of players with experience at the level we are striving to play at in the future.


Salisbury: Hillson, Rayfield, Sommerton, Mullings, Wheeler, Wannell, Herbert (Cooper 77), Dawson, Fitchett (Shephard 87), Kotwica, Young (Haysham 84)

Subs not used: O’Keefe, Hopper

Chippenham Town: Puddy, Ekongo, Guthrie, Jones (Evans 66), Beeden, Rutty, Smith, Klukowski, Chambers, McCootie (Jarvis 71), Compton (Parselle 70)

Subs not used: Rigg, Smile

Attendance: 193

Referee: Phillip Staynings (Swindon)