Supporters are asked to note that the club office will be closed on Thursday 27th July. It will be open as usual on Friday for the collection of season tickets or any other club business.
Whites continued their pre-season programme last night with a 4-1 win at Downton, two new striking signings grabbing their first goals for the club.
Steve Claridge took a stronger side than expected to Wick Lane as a result of the postponement of Saturday's home game against Gosport Borough and Marvin Brooks (pictured) opened his account to give Whites a 1-0 half-time lead.
Mark Francis also grabbed his first early in the second half before Tom Aldridge pulled one back for the hosts. Further goals by trialist Kailan Gould and Eddie Perrett then sealed the win.
Whites now send a development team to Laverstock and Ford on Thursday (July 27th). The next first team friendly is at home to Vanarama National League South Weston-Super-Mare on Saturday (July 29th, kick off 3pm).
The club sends it apologies to all supporters who turned up at the Ray Mac today only to find the friendly against Gosport Borough cancelled, and for any confusion over the time of the game being called off.
The pitch was playable when the gates opened at 1.30pm, at which time heavy rain set in causing puddles on the pitch. The referee considered the pitch unplayable at 2pm, and initially called the game off, but was prevailed upon to give it another half hour, due to an improving weather forecast and with both teams wanting to play.
Despite the best efforts of groundsman Mark Savage - with Steve Claridge also helping with a pitchfork - the pitch was still too wet to enable play at 2.30pm, however. All supporters who had paid for entry were reimbursed.
Our next home match is next Saturday (July 29th, kick off 3pm) against Weston-Super-Mare of Vanarama National League South.
Salisbury FC U18's v Poole Town FC U18's.
Thursday 20th July 2017 7:45 K.O
The Raymond McEnhill Stadium
UPDATE: The Young Whites were beaten 5-1 by Poole Town, who completed a League and Cup double. The Salisbury goal came from Ben Starr, who gave us an early lead. Well done to the lads, a good effort.
When Richard Rendall and Mark Sommerton's Under 18's played their last league fixture in May that was seemingly the last time the squad would play together as it was the end of two seasons at U18â€™s for so many of them. In the SWCYL cup the Whites lost out in the Semi-final to Forest Green Rovers which set up a final with Poole Town.
However, when FGR won promotion to the football league they decided that their 18's needed to play at a higher level and took the decision not to play this final. As the losing semi-finalist the Whites have now been given the opportunity to face Poole to decide the eventual winner of the tournament.
Richard and Mark are grateful to Poole for wanting to play this game rather than win the cup by default. Hopefully the opportunity for both squads to play a final at the Ray Mac on a pleasant summer's evening will be enjoyed by all.
Poole Town have already won the league by 3 points from Bristol academy and are siting a league and cup double at the Ray Mac. The two encounters in the league between the Whites and Poole indicate though that this could be a tight affair. With Salisbury beating Poole away early in the season 2-1 (Poole's only points dropped at home all season), however Poole returned the favour winning the return match 3-1.
Poole Town produced some excellent performances towards the end of the season and finished strongly. Salisbury on the other hand struggled to produce the early form shown in the first half of the season, with injuries to the likes of Chae Sykes that depleted the squad. They ended the season in 5th after setting the early pace. No doubt Poole Town will be the favourites going in to this final, just like Chelsea were.
If the young whites can put together a good performance and reproduce their early form, who knows what might happen! One thing we do know is that this will definitely be the last time the squad that did so well in the FA youth cup last season will play together at the Ray Mac. Your support for the lads will be greatly appreciated by them all.
Gates and Sarum Suite open from 6:30pm
Adults / Concessions: £3.00
Children 11-16 Years Old: £1.50
Children Under 11 Years Old: £0.50
Salisbury FC 1 Swindon Town 1
Monday, 18 July 2017
By Alec Hayter
The Whites gave a great performance in their final pre-season friendly against League opposition, this time being rewarded for their efforts by an equally good result. As a side issue, maybe it proved to football supporters in the North of the county that there is life in the South, and that there is some good football there!
The early 7 pm kick-off, coupled with an unusual Monday fixture, still produced a good crowd of over 600, and it must be said that, bearing in mind the number of home fixtures in quick succession, the attendances have been very good, with supporters playing their part by digging deep and helping the club financially. In different ways they have been rewarded, but last night, at the culmination of a tough pre-season schedule against League sides, things really came together and showed the progress that has been made so far – and it's still early days yet!
After about 5 minutes of play Steve Claridge commented that the lads looked "a bit leggy", which is not surprising considering the games played and training disciplines which have included long stamina runs to get rid of the close season cobwebs, but the long-term benefits will be shown, and I've no doubt that Steve's wish that his team will hit the ground running will come to pass.
Before he had even made his initial comment there was plenty of early action and when Elliot Wheeler brought down Donnell McDermott with only a couple of minutes on the clock, giving Referee Iain Parsons no choice other than to point to the spot, the match took on an air of "déjà vu", as things have happened in the first three minutes of previous friendly matches! This time however the Whites got out of jail when Nathan Ball guessed right and pulled off a great save from Harry Smith’s spot kick to keep it scoreless.
Although as was expected Town had the majority of early possession, this only lasted until the 19th minute when Tom Whelan worked his way past three defenders before seeing his attempt blocked, with new Swindon boss David Flitcroft making clear his feelings from below where I sit. Instead of conceding in the customary three minutes, however, it was not until twenty minutes later that they did so when James Brophy got to the byeline and dinked a short cross to the near post where the 6'13" Smith didn't even have to jump to head in from two yards.
Undaunted, the Whites then proceeded to take the game to the Robins and produced no less than five good chances in a four-minute spell, with Swindon keeper Will Henry perhaps getting more exercise than he would have anticipated. After Mark Francis cut in from the left before putting his finish over the top on 37 minutes, a few seconds later the keeper was called into serious action when Whelan’s free kick found Marvin Brooks in the box. Brooks' diving header was only kept out by Henry's right hand at full stretch. On 39 minutes the keeper was tested again and forced to make a brilliant save from Kane O'Keefe's 30 yard swerver.
A Whelan driven corner five minutes before the interval found Brooks in space and the action seemed to freeze as his header hit the angle of post and bar, whilst shortly after minutes a 30 yard Lewis Benson free kick again saw Henry make a great save.
Swindon, in their only other attacking contribution of the first half, saw McDermott clatter the home woodwork, and in truth, apart from the goal and the penalty, those were the only times when they had threatened in spite of fielding a completely rehashed squad all out to impress their manager with a high tempo performance. As a matter of interest, they had managed to put 7 goals past Swindon Supermarine, from our league, and had drawn 1-1 with Oldham Athletic.
The Whites therefore found themselves one behind at the interval, but it was not long before they once more showed attacking intent, with Francis meeting a Brooks cross at the far post but seeing his firm header saved at point-blank range on 52 minutes. This effort was quickly followed by another from the impressive Kailan Gould who fired narrowly over the top from a tight angle. Two minutes later, another Whelan goal-bound effort was deflected wide of the target, before on 70 minutes O'Keefe disappointingly sliced a good chance wide from the edge of the box.
As Salisbury continued to push forward Claudio Herbert disappointed the home crowd when he missed a good headed chance from Whelan's corner on 72 minutes, but he certainly didn't disappoint with an absolute screamer of a free kick four minutes later to equalise. I daresay he has never hit a better free kick which, from 25 yards, arrowed into the net past Henry, who, for the first time in the match, was left rooted to the spot. If Claudio's band "The Only" is only half as good as that free kick then we'd better watch the charts (if these still exist says he, showing his age!).
Naturally, Swindon wanted to win the game and after that wonder goal they put the Whites defence under greater pressure but they were held until the 88th minute when keeper Ball ended the game in the same way as he had begun it, making a superb save, the time from Scott Twine in open play, to tie up a richly deserved 1–1 result.
After the game Steve commented that he didn't think his team had done anything too far removed from what they had achieved in previous friendlies, but the difference was that scorelines were perhaps a little harsh in previous games. He also said how pleased he was with the team's efforts and mentioned a perhaps different approach to the coming season in that although may not have two players sharing over 90 goals, we may well have five players doing that between them. He also felt that he didn't think we will concede as many, and concluded "We look stronger all round and we look a better side, we're better prepared, and know what we have to do. With all due respect I don't think there will be another team in the league with players of the ability we have got in our squad, and also I believe think we’ve now got that little bit of steeliness we didn't have last season. It doesn't look as though we are likely to be bullied out of games this time round."
Next up is Gosport Borough on Saturday, who, after their relegation last season are still at a higher level than ourselves, and the game will allow the Whites to better show their capabilities game than they could against League opponents. More of the same, from the Swindon game in particular, should give a clear indication the progress made so far.
Salisbury FC: Ball, Colson, Mundy, Whelan, Wheeler, Wannell, Benson, O'Keefe, Brooks, Francis, Young, Green, Tavares, Flint, Herbert, Gould, Perrett.
Swindon Town: Henry, Purkis, Smith, McDermott, Robertson, Conroy, Mullin, Dunne, Lingazi, Smith, Brophy, Vigouroux, Norris, Ilandold, Evans, Twine, Young, Goddard.
Attendance: 605 Referee: I Parsons
Salisbury FC have announced admission prices for the three forthcoming home friendlies against fellow Non-League opposition on the next three Saturdays, starting this week against Gosport Borough.
Adult admission will be £6, with concessions available at £4 for senior citizens and students. It will be £1 for those aged 5 to 16.
The games are:
Gosport Borough, Saturday July 22nd
Weston-Super-Mare, Saturday July 29th
Basingstoke Town, Saturday August 5th.
All games kick off at 3pm.
Whites' two matches against Cirencester Town in the Evo-Stik South, West Division have been reversed due to a clash with the Old Sarum Air Show on Saturday September 16th.
We were originally due to be at home on that date but will now go to Cirencester and subsequently play host to the Gloucestershire side on Saturday January 6th, 2018.
Salisbury FC 0 Bristol Rovers 2
Saturday, 15 July 2017
By Alec Hayter
The 1 PM kick-off nearly caught me out, and also confused my digestion, but I made a good start by visiting the tea hut where Shannon kindly served me with a giant sausage roll and a Mars bar (the latter of course these days only about half the size and double the price of those in years gone by). I have to say that the sausage roll was very good value and very tasty, but the Mars bar neither and the price (not the Club’s fault) will do my figure, and my pocket, a lot of good. That episode was not the best bit of the afternoon as at times during the game the Whites began to show what they could do.
Once more, they were not expected to win against League opposition, but often played some very good passing football and competed well with their illustrious visitors. As to the desire to achieve suitable fitness levels, I am pretty sure that most of the players are now not far off.
The start of the game was fairly familiar with Salisbury going behind early, and that of course is not an ideal thing to do with opposition of your own standard let alone against teams from a much higher level, but both goals scored by our visitors were nothing that would excite Rovers' Manager Darrell Clarke, the first being something of a gift, and the second a little fortuitous.
Nathan Ball was given his chance in this game, but before he saw his first action it was Salisbury who nearly took the lead. After only two minutes Marvin Brooks found himself through one-on-one with Rovers' keeper, new signing Adam Smith, but could not finish the job before hitting the luscious turf amongst muted appeals for a penalty when Smith came off his line to intercept. I've seen them given, but I've seen more waved away, and this of course was a pre-season friendly.
Rovers quickly surged forward and full-back Lee Brown, who during the game was frequently well upfield troubling George Colson, delivered a cross from the left to Cameron Ebbutt whose looping header was directed sufficiently to beat Ball from 8 yards. Whilst the header was well directed, perhaps, had he had more recent playing time, the young keeper could have kept it out, but that of course is a matter of conjecture. Ball's reaction however showed his disappointment.
Salisbury were well in the game in spite of this and after 10 minutes Mark Francis curled in a cross towards the near post but Danny Young could not guide an awkward chance into the net. You will have heard of a half volley, well, the ball came to Young at a very strange angle giving him what was a bit like a half volley header, and he could do nothing other than send the ball wide of the upright. That could have been recorded as a half chance but just after the half-hour the Whites manufactured a much better opportunity when Lewis Benson's free kick from way out on the Salisbury left found Brooks at the far post, but his header from only a couple of yards out was blocked. On another occasion it might well have hit the back of the net. Rovers will probably say “great defending!”
A single goal deficit at the break seemed a reasonable scoreline, reflecting the work put in by the home side and if the first half chances were ignored, and for 15 minutes or so after the interval Salisbury to show what they could do, moving the ball slickly and more quickly than before, but as is often the case a good spell was "rewarded" when Rovers got to the other end where a very fortunate ricochet put Rory Gaffney not only onside but also one-on-one with Ball. Gaffney dithered and delayed and made his task much more difficult by creating the narrowest of angles as he tried to round Ball, but having done so he then did the difficult bit to give his side a second goal. Football can be a cruel game and sometimes there seems to be little justice – this was one of those times.
With 10 minutes remaining Ball did well to keep out a 12 yard right foot effort from Ollie Clarke, but once again the Whites reacted well and following some changes Flavio Tavares and Lawrence Larbi joined the action, both being lively up front in the company of the irrepressible Stuart Green (who later had a half chance). The additional movement caused problems for the Rovers defence for a short time and on 85 minutes more pressure resulted in a free kick just outside the box with a 20 yard Tavares free kick curling narrowly over the bar.
Three minutes before the end another Tavares set piece curled into the far post where Larbi somehow got round the back to the byeline but could not force the ball home through a forest of defenders’ legs, and that was quickly followed with another Tavares assist when his corner found Kane O'Keefe whose looping header forced Smith to touch the ball over the bar, with some difficulty. That ended the goalmouth action but must have left supporters with memories of some good moments which, again on another day, could have produced a better result and one that was deserved in return for the Whites' efforts.
On Monday evening the last of the League Sides involved in our friendlies, Swindon Town, are the opponents, (note kick-off 7 PM), and whilst more league opposition is always good, the following game on Saturday at home to Gosport Borough may serve a different purpose in restoring players' confidence, if that is indeed needed.
Just in case you thought that was all the football on offer, there is a friendly at Andover on Tuesday 18th July, and just two days later our Youth Team entertain Poole Town at the Ray Mac in the FA Youth Cup - and the season doesn't really start until 12 August!
Salisbury: Ball, Colson, Mundy, Whelan, Wheeler, Wannell, Benson, Roberts, Brooks, Francis, Young, Herbert, O'Keefe, Green, Flint, Tavares, Bola, Larbi, Gould.
Bristol Rovers: Smith, Leadbitter, Brown, Lockyer, Menayese, Hall, Sinclair, Clark, Gaffney, Ebbutt, Hassane, Jones, Morgan, Ellington, Armstrong (GK).
Att: 570 Referee: I Parsons (for the 3rd time in succession – 4th time on Monday)
Whites finish the season away to newly promoted Bristol Manor Farm on Saturday April 28th.
Salisbury FC is pleased to announce that prior to the pre-season friendly against Bristol Rovers this coming Saturday (July 15th), at approximately 12.45pm, 15 minutes before kick-off, we will be signing the Armed Forces Covenant. The Covenant recognises the value Service Personnel (Regular and Reserve), Cadets, Veterans and military families contribute to our country.
The club is based near to the Salisbury Plain military training area as well as numerous military barracks such as Bulford, Larkhill and Tidworth. As a result, it was decided that we should show our commitment to the Armed Forces through the signing of the Covenant. Hopefully the weather will allow us to conduct a small signing ceremony on the pitch.
Said Salisbury FC chairman Ian Hammond: “Salisbury as a city has a long and proud tradition of association with our neighbouring military, who make such a wonderful contribution to the nation. The new club of Salisbury FC echoes that pride and is delighted to be associated with this initiative and host this ceremony.”
Chichester City 3 Salisbury FC 3
Thursday, 6 July 2017
By Alec Hayter
In most cases friendly matches are reasonably forgettable affairs but this one will stick in the mind because of DSP. To explain, this acronym stands for “dog stopped play” as this particular Churchill insurance type specimen literally left its “mark” pitch causing the referee to take the necessary action by calling in the owner to clear up the mess! There was a marked absence of sliding tackles from that point on! This animal is obviously connected in some way to the Club as it visited the away dressing room before the game, presumably with the aim of putting off Chichester’s opponents. Just joking, Chichester!
More seriously though, the Sussex County League side, as last year, gave a good account of themselves and whereas last season's game ended in a 2 – 2 draw, this time 6 goals entertained the "crowd" of about 70. The Whites' side contained only Charlie Searle, Adam Flint, Elliot Wheeler and Sam Roberts from the first-team squad with the others on show from the Development squad in addition to triallists Flavio Tavares, a wide player, and Tom Roberts, a goalkeeper.
The home side started well with the excellent Charlie Rayfield being forced to clear a Scott Jones header from the line in the first minute, and it was only 3 minutes later before they took the lead when Jones rifled a low shot past Searle, having found himself some space on the edge of the box.
Salisbury's first threat came on 17 minutes when Sam Roberts hit a swerving right foot effort from 25 yards which caused home keeper Anthony Ender to parry and 3 minutes later Tavares' through ball found Charlie Cooper who snatched his effort wide
Another chance fell to the home side on 23 minutes when a long ball was misjudged by Max Whittaker and Jones failed in his attempt to lob Searle, before the same player wasted a further chance in a one-on-one just before the half-hour mark.
On 31 minutes, the lively ex-Tonbridge Angels wide man Tavares got just reward for his efforts when he clobbered a 25 yard right foot free kick past the home keeper to equalise, and the scores stayed level at the break.
Straight after the restart a poor clearance allowed Chichester's Dan Heggarty to surge forward before hitting the ball over the top, but 4 minutes in Nathan Connolly's ball to Sam Roberts saw the midfielder attempt a placement which went wide of the mark.
The home side regained the lead on 50 minutes following a good move when Jones' step-over fooled the Whites' defence for Rob Hutchings to score off the post, but the lead was only temporary as, 6 minutes later, Tavares added to his stock with a wonderful left foot strike from all of 30 yards. On the hour Jones hit the Salisbury woodwork and the ball eventually came out to him again, but this time he was foiled by a point-blank Searle save.
On 65 minutes Whittaker's close range header was scrambled away and Salisbury made the only change they could with Tom Roberts replacing Searle in goal. Roberts (T) looked competent in the little action he saw as Wheeler tried his best to get on the scoresheet at the other end, bringing a brilliant save from the home keeper on 68 minutes and then a further good save when Sam Roberts stepped over a Charlie Cooper ball for the defender to try his luck with a first-time right foot effort.
Tavares' hat-trick arrived with 10 minutes remaining from a freekick which maybe he was not best pleased with, but which fooled the keeper, and had it not been for a poorly conceded free kick at the other end, Salisbury might well have come away with a win, but as it was, with 3 minutes remaining, Harry Williams dispatched his own brand of free kick around the wall to even things up and provide just reward for Chichester's efforts.
As last season the game was a valuable work out in the hot conditions and also gave Steve Claridge the chance to see some of the up and coming players from the Development squad. It must be said however that the exciting Tavares stuck in the memory, perhaps making me forget the Churchill dog!
After training on Monday the more serious stuff starts with the visits of Oldham Athletic and Bristol Rovers in quick succession, and in case the news has escaped you, we now entertain Swindon Town on Monday 17th to complete a quartet of difficult games against league opposition. These games are all very good for the coffers though, so please come along.
Chichester City: Ender, Sharp, Smith, Way, French, Martin, Matthews, Heggarty, Jones, Horbert, Hutchings, Williams, Lee, Kanjanda, Pashley, Hooker, Barry, Hards (GK).
Salisbury FC: Searle, Rayfield, Flint, Wheeler, Whittaker, Mills, Cooper, Roberts (S), Connelly, Matthews, Tavares, Roberts (GK)
Attendance: 70 (approx)
The Southern Football League has announced that the upcoming 2017/18 League Challenge Cup will be sponsored by www.bigfreebet.com, a leading online sports predictions, news and tips site.
Proceeds from the deal will contribute to developing the league and the growth in grassroots English football that has seen players such as Jamie Vardy and Chris Smalling rise through the ranks to become elite European football athletes.
Don Gillies, Director of BigFreeBet.com, said:
“We are very happy about sponsoring the cup and providing funding to help nurture local English talent. Long term, we hope to see more home-grown talent breaking through to Europe’s top leagues and sponsorship of this cup will be one small step to achieving this goal.”
Founded in 1894, the Southern Football League exemplifies the heritage and strength of local grassroots football in the UK.
The League Chairman has thanked BigFreeBet.com for their agreement to sponsor the League Cup for Season 2017-2018.
League Chairman Terry Barratt said, “I am pleased that BigFreeBet.com share the same views that Non-League football is full of players with potential that could make it at a higher level. We are the shop window of opportunity”.
The BigFreeBet.com League Challenge Cup will run from October to April and will be available to watch through YouTube channels and on a selection of Club websites.
Last season saw newcomers to the League’s Premier Division, Hayes & Yeading United defeat St Ives Town 4-2 on penalties following a 1-1 draw after normal time.
There are a number of ex-Professional players now plying their trade in the Southern Football League who are due to appear in this year’s competition, including Jamie Cook, Jamie Cureton, Barry Hayles and Andy Sandell to name a few.
The club have announced that admission for the friendly against Oldham Athletic next Wednesday (July 12th, 7.45pm) will be on a pay what you want basis.
In making the decision, the club has taken into consideration the financial implications of three home friendlies in six days next week, which including matches also against Bristol Rovers on Saturday 15th (1pm) and Swindon Town on Monday 17th (7pm).