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Match Report - Staines Town v Salisbury FC

FB home size RecoveredCopyright Michael Berkeley

Staines Town 1 Salisbury FC 7

Evo-stik South Premier South

Saturday, 30 March 2019

By Alec Hayter

7-Up! I'll drink to that - but cannot conceal some frustration that the scoreline was not more, as the Whites took a long time to make hay after an early lead and even might have gone behind. However, that matters little, the important thing being another three points gained. As much of a banker that this game might have appeared to be, it is always true that there are no easy games and also that you have to beat what’s put in front of you, but Salisbury made unnecessarily hard work of their task against a side already facing relegation and possibly more.

The one thing that Staines didn’t lack was heart and they had the first chance after three minutes when Arjun Jung should have done better than hit an eight yard finish at Jake Hallett. Maybe this was the required warning shot, as nine minutes later Salisbury took the lead through Danny Young, who had the easiest of tap-ins after Dan Fitchett shrugged off his defender and squared the ball across the face of goal.

YoungDanny Young gets an early opener. - Copyright Michael Berkeley

Even though being behind early on, Staines still managed to manufacture a half chance, but  Andy Juett missed the target from the edge of the box on 14 minutes.

Shortly afterwards the visitors should have increased their lead when a Jack Sparkes corner was headed back across by Matt Partridge to Lewis Benson whose header from close in sailed over the top.

The Whites seemed able to slice through the home defence almost at will and Sparkes saw a 25 yard free-kick pushed round by keeper Levis Dixon, whilst on 29 minutes a good exchange of passes between Fitchett and Benson saw the latter's effort well saved by the home keeper.

Maybe that save gave Staines fresh hope which was fulfilled within seconds when they levelled the scores. Bay Downing was nutmegged by Matt Bremford who swiped a 25 yard left foot effort across Hallett. Having just conceded, the Salisbury keeper then turned temporary villain when he was adjudged to have brought down Jung in the area, but the young Swan could not get his cygneture(sorry!) on the score-sheet, seeing Hallett redeem himself with a good but fairly comfortable save to his right.

HallettRedemption time as Jake makes the save. - Copyright Michael Berkeley

Having survived that scare the Whites returned to the attack and Downing got round the back of the home defence to connect sweetly with the ball, nearly breaking the crossbar with his first time volley. The chances were coming but unfortunately the chances were also going.

On 36 minutes Chris Flood flicked the ball to Fitchett whose attempt was blocked by the last defender, the resultant corner falling eventually to Tom Whelan who blasted well over from 22 yards.

Five minutes before the interval Benson ballooned his shot as well, after he had been given time and space in a dangerous area, and just before the half-time whistle he was involved again, this time trying unsuccessfully to curl a free-kick around the wall.

It must have been a shock to the system for travelling fans to see their team only level at the break and having had to survive a penalty, but things were to some extent righted in the second half which started with Flood putting in Young on 48 minutes, and then flicking the ball through to Fitchett. Whilst Young shot wide, Fitchett turned his defender with ease and completed the job, allowing the Whites to lead for the second time in the match.

With 21 minutes remaining Salisbury established a two-goal cushion when Benson had a free-kick near the goal-line, and the ball eventually reached Matt Partridge who again did the woodwork no good whatsoever as his thunderous volley went in off the underside to make it 3-1.

PartridgeMatt P makes it three. - Copyright Michael Berkeley

Staines were stung once more and Hallett had to make a flying save from Alex Yearwood's 25 yarder, but a two-goal cushion became three on 74 minutes after the Swans failed to clear and Chris Shephard profited with a low shot giving the keeper no chance. Shephard, who had only joined the action just after the hour, got his second a couple of minutes later with another poacher’s goal after Tom Whelan's shot was blocked.

ShepShep's four-minute brace. - Copyright Michael Berkeley

Enter Luke Hopper, and within six minutes he grabbed the sixth goal following good work by Shephard and Benson. With four minutes left, Hopper robbed central defender Ryan Handelaar and bore down on goal with only Dixon to beat. The keeper, who had done well throughout, nearly succeeded against a hesitant Hopper, but luckily the ball broke kindly and he scored the seventh at the second attempt to complete the numbers game.

HopperLuke putting a smile on doing what strikers like best. - Copyright Michael Berkeley

As we’ve come to expect, the Whites never slacken off towards the end of a game, with Benson getting into the area two minutes into time added but seeing his deflected effort fall to Partridge who was denied by some more desperate defending.

Next up is Gosport Borough on Saturday, who, like today's opponents, are struggling this season. Maybe supporters can look forward to a glimpse of their former hero Matt Tubbs, but hopefully his involvement, if it happens, will not have a telling effect. Gosport suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat at home to Harrow Borough today.

It is of paramount importance that Salisbury make the most of their remaining home games to keep up their challenge for a good play-off position.

After today's games Kings Langley moved into the play-offs, at Poole Town’s expense so, with six league games left, it's not unreasonable to start thinking as to who we might face in the playoffs. Nothing is guaranteed though, although after a great campaign it would be a travesty not to have to extend the season.


Staines Town: Dixon, Pilbeam, Miskin, Agombaro, Handelaar, Harrison (Yearwood 56), Jung, Campbell-Young, Juett, Krabbendam, Bremford (Fry 41).

Subs not used: Lazurca, Roundi, Newton.

Salisbury FC: Hallett, Downing, Sparkes, Whelan, O’Keefe, Partidge, Benson, Dawson (Mullings 79), Fitchett (Hopper 76), Flood (Shephard 63), Young.

Subs not used: Wheeler, Herbert.

Attendance: 210                               Referee: M Ryan (Littlehampton)

Online Programme available here. 

Wyvern Challenge Cup Win - Match Report


FB home size RecoveredPhoto by Pete Robinson

Salisbury FC Development Squad 2 Baffins Milton Rovers 0
Played at Romsey Town By-pass Ground
Wyvern Combination Football League Challenge Cup Final
Friday 29 March 2019

By Alec Hayter

The young Whites grabbed the first cup success of the season for their Club, and in order to achieve that had to overcome a Baffins Milton Rovers team who have won 16 of their 19 league games and currently enjoy a 15 point lead in the East Division. In winning the Cup, they also condemned their opponents to receiving only runners-up medals for the second time in succession.

That in itself speaks highly of the Development squad's quality, but a good many supporters in the crowd from Wiltshire saw that for themselves as their side tore into their opponents, completely dominating the first half and then, after a good second half response from Rovers, coming on strong towards the end when they might well have added to the scoreline.

As it was, they raced into a two-goal lead within 11 minutes, and it was Charlie Cooper's terrorising of Rovers' defender Brandon Rogers that resulted in a two minute lead. The winger was unceremoniously stopped as he was about to pull the trigger and Jack Roberts delivered the first of many dangerous free kicks into the box, the ball taking a deflection before going in past keeper Ethan Chapman.

Nine minutes later it was 2-0, and again from a set piece when Roberts' corner was volleyed in by Sam Dible, who is usually seen in the dugout as Salisbury's physio at first team games, With many others in this team perhaps he will get his chance at Southern League level at some stage in the future.

On 21 minutes another Roberts free kick nearly caused Rogers to put his side further behind, and eight minutes later Dible was unlucky to see his effort fly just wide after he had quickly turned in the box.

In case you might think the game was a two-man show, let me assure you that it was a team performance throughout, and as if to prove that, ten minutes before the interval Diego Romero, who would go on to be named Man of the Match, squared a great ball to Jim Ward whose 25 yard attempt narrowly missed the target. Just before the break, Romero might have scored but his effort suffered the same fate.

At the break the Whites were in the comfort zone, having restricted their opponents to no chances whatsoever, but afterwards, Rovers pushed forward and began to get a measure of control, with Charlie Hancock getting free down the left before putting his finish just over on 56 minutes. Two minutes later the Whites were lucky when Rogers headed against the woodwork, and on 69 minutes keeper, Will Betts played his part for the team, doing well to keep out a Dan Penfold strike. Shortly afterwards he made a great save from Rovers' Tommy Tierney, leaping at full stretch to claw away a dipping effort just after Cooper's deflected shot at the other end pinged off the bar as the Whites began to fire on all cylinders once more.

On 82 minutes, a goal-line clearance denied Charlie Rayfield's shot and before the final whistle, another Cooper finish went just wide. Cooper will have been disappointed when blocked out by keeper Chapman in a one on one on 88 minutes, but in time added, to complete the action and a well deserved Salisbury win Tom Moseley was foiled by a good Chapman stop.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - it's always a pleasure to watch Development games. On this evidence tonight, the future is bright for the Whites.

Next football....Staines....with fingers crossed!

LRBaffin-beaters young Whites celebrate with Manager Chris Burden. - Photo by kind permission of Lee Roberts


Salisbury FC: Betts, Rayfield, Roberts, Burden, Smith, Ward, Romero, Cooper,
Moseley, Weeks, Dible (Butt 85).
Sub not used: Mapham.

Baffins MR: Chapman, Hancock, Rogers, Burgess (Tierney 45), Clark, Knight,
Cooper (Musselwhite 70), F.Penfold, D.Penfold, Long, McClean (Conaghan 57).
Subs not used: Dellichi, Afonso.

Att: 120 (Est) Referee: K Forest.


Match Report Salisbury FC v Chesham United

FB home size RecoveredCopyright Michael Berkeley

Salisbury FC 1 Chesham United 1

Evo-stik South Premier South

Saturday, 23 March 2019

By Alec Hayter

The "get up and go" of a month ago seems to have "got up and went" in this latest event.

Although things are still tight at the top of the league, today, in terms of opportunity, it was a case of two points dropped against a side who, although substantially improved from earlier in the season, were still not much more than average opponents.

That the Whites did not get an important maximum return from the game is more down to them than the Generals who to be fair made life as difficult as any visitors to the Ray Mac, but as opposed to the game at Tiverton, where Salisbury could have been five up at the interval, on this occasion they could have been behind by more than one in the first twenty minutes.

On 6 minutes Chesham's Ronny Mfinda scuffed a reasonable chance wide from the edge of the box, and eight minutes later Jake Hallett was forced into a good save by Luke Heneghan. Two minutes later, Mfinda might have done better with an effort from 15 yards after the ball cannoned off of Matt Partridge into his path, before Hallett denied a Chesham attack in a one on one, and on 18 minutes Heneghan sliced another effort carelessly wide.

It was not until the 38th minute that the visitors took the lead and Heneghan took the chance to redeem himself with a searching cross to the far post. The impressive and vastly experienced Jefferson Louis got up well to head the ball square to the unmarked Bradley Clayton who could hardly miss, and didn't.

The Whites reacted briefly with Chris Shephard testing keeper Ben Goode with a shot on the turn, before, on 38 minutes, Lewis Benson's low cross found Dan Fitchett whose close range effort was deflected over the bar.

A minute later Benson played the ball back to Elliot Wheeler who, with his back to goal, could not direct his overhead effort, and just before the half-time whistle Hallett did well to keep out a Louis right foot shot with a good save low to his right.

Eight minutes after the restart it was Goode's turn to make a great save from Benson, the resulting parry to Fitchett being blocked by a massed defence, but at the other end on 64 minutes Hallett made an equally important stop when Clayton's well struck volley came quickly at him through a sea of legs.

Just after the hour new boy Chris Flood came on for his home debut and this produced more movement and fluidity up front although his first involvement disappointed as he sent a left foot shot well over.

Shortly afterwards Louis put a finish over the Whites’ bar from close in when maybe he could have completely sewn up the points, but on 71 minutes the lively Flood laid the ball back to Fitchett who could only send a low shot at the keeper.

Bay Downing's welcome introduction after his long injury lay-off saw him play a big part in the equaliser on 77 minutes when his deep cross caused Goode to flap at the ball. Fitchett reacted quickly and squared the ball across the box for the debut boy to notch his debut goal to the delight of the majority of the crowd (all but about 30 or so!).

FloodChris Flood prepares to belt in the equaliser. - Copyright Michael Berkeley

Although all of a sudden the Whites looked the more likely, there was still cause for concern when, with two minutes of normal time remaining, Eoin Casey had a great chance but headed straight at Hallett from no distance at all.

The Whites tried desperately to make the most of some 7 minutes of added time and another Downing cross found Kane O'Keefe, who, like Fitchett, managed to square the ball to Flood who this time, unfortunately, could not repeat his earlier effort, but at least  a point was added when for long periods that had looked unlikely.

Untitled 1Late, but too late, goal action. - Copyright Roger Elliott & Michael Berkeley

Things are still very tight at the top of the league and almost anything remains possible. Salisbury have a chance to rediscover their shooting boots next Saturday when they visit Staines who were thumped 9-0 at Merthyr Town, and a high-scoring game in the Whites' favour would do no harm at all. However, it must also be remembered that Weymouth have yet to play at home against the strugglers, so any high-scoring win may be nullified, if even relevant between the Terras and ourselves. We have six cup finals left in the League, and must make the most of them, and if we do then, I repeat, anything is possible.


Salisbury FC: Hallett, Wheeler, Sommerton, Whelan, Partridge, Shephard (Downing 62), Benson, Dawson (O'Keefe 90), Fitchett, Hopper (Flood 63), Sparkes.

Subs not used: Mullings, Young.

Chesham United: Goode, Prosper, Warner-Eley, Mfinda, Murphy, Rolfe, Adcock, Clayton (Casey 78), Louis, Heneghan (Taylor 67), Pearce.

Subs not used: Sinclair, Murray.

Attendance: 676                   Referee: A Baker (Wimborne)

Wyvern Midweek League - Whites Development vs. Romsey Town

Salisbury FC Development Squad 3 Romsey Town 1 (played at Downton FC)

Wyvern Combination Midweek League

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

By Alec Hayter

In a hard-fought match, the young Whites recorded a  3-1 win over Romsey Town, allthough going behind to an 8th minute strike through a crowded box by Town's Oliver White. By that time Salisbury had had a good opportunity when Moss Steer lobbed wide with only the keeper to beat, but parity was restored on 10 minutes when Steer charged down Town keeper David Smith's clearance and followed up to put the ball in the empty net.

Salisbury had the majority of play until the break with Doni Domoune’s overhead striking the bar on 34 minutes and the same player put an effort wide 6 minutes later, but just before the referee blew for half time a foul on Diego Romerio allowed Jim Ward to give his side an interval lead from the penalty spot.

The next serious goalmouth action did not occur until the 75th minute when a long ball out of defence found substitute Ellis Lewis who placed a low shot under the keeper to make it 3-1, but with seven minutes remaining it might have been 4-1 when a Jock Roberts cross saw Ben Smith go narrowly wide with a towering header.

Salisbury FC: Betts, Rayfield, Roberts, Burden, Smith, Ward (Rendall 84), Campbell-Smith (Butt 78), Weeks, Domoune (Lewis 64), Romerio.

Attendance: <30                   Referee: O. Whiting (Portsmouth)