Salisbury FC development squad succumbed to their first defeat of the new season to a Laverstock side which based on their first half performance thoroughly deserved their victory.

The Whites were without skipper Alfie Hawke, centre backs Owen Davis and Tom Feest, as well as full backs Williams and Tulk all of which have played vital rolls in the whites 100% start to the season.

This was a game of two halves it is fair to say. The first was all the Bulldogs as the young Salisbury squad just could not get started. The local rivals had the Whites rattled time and time again, and on 13 minutes they took the lead. Somehow they didn’t build on that lead, mostly it has to be said, because of poor finishing and last ditch defending. At this point the players in white and black did not resemble the side that had gained 6 from 6 points versus Totton and Ealing and Petersfield Town within the last week.

The whites had another let off when the officials awarded the visitors a penalty towards the end of the first half. The majority of those 105 people plus coaches in the Ray Mac were relieved to see it fired high and wide. The first half whistle though couldn’t have come a minute too soon for the home side.

The 2nd half was a vast improvement from the Salisbury side, but then it had to be. Suddenly the visitors looked the rattled side and their chances in the 2nd half were minimal compared to the first 45 minutes of this game. It has also to be said that for all the Whites new found endeavour, apart from a Waterson one on one opportunity that given his scoring record over the last 12 months, all on the bench expected to see the net bulge, but a good save, or a tame shot depending on your perspective denied the home side an equaliser.

Lichowe down the right and David down the left flanks were causing Laverstock problems now, the introduction of Cooper in midfield also had an immediate impact with his dinks into the channels helping to get the home side in behind the defence. Some tasty crosses though unfortunately didn’t find a white’s striker though. But the hosts did have a chance to level things up when the barrage of pressure being applied to the bulldogs defence, eventually resulted in the home side being awarded a penalty. Up steps Lichowe to take it, he had netted one from the same spot just 7 days before. Unfortunately this time his shot was saved by the diving keepers legs and as the ball sat up nicely for the taker to make amends, his headed effort into an almost empty net bar the stopper was again saved and the chance was gone.

Laverstock held on for the 3 points and the Whites 2nd string now move on to their 4th game in what will be 14 days this Saturday when they visit AFC Stoneham’s brand new 3G stadium in Southampton.

Managers comments: ‘This Salisbury squad is all about developing young players for the future and every game is a learning curve for them all.

As ever in life and especially in football, you make mistakes and at this age they don’t really matter. The only thing that’s important is they take on the advice and try to eradicate the same mistakes by learning from making them. Our biggest opportunity to learn something tonight, is that when sides come to the Ray Mac, especially local sides like Laverstock tonight, they are going to be well up for the game. We have to start on our game from the 1st whistle. You can’t get put on the back foot like we did in that 1st half, it is so difficult to change it. The boys reacted in the 2nd half and looked a totally different side. But you have to credit Lavy they did defend well and real chances were few and far between.


Mark Winter
September 16, 2020