Salisbury FC Development 10 v 0 Ludgershall Sports FC

Ever since the new score board was installed at the Ray Mac supporters have been asking can it show 10? Well the young whites ended that conversation for good in the 88th minute when the youngest of them all 16 year old Kai Gowing rounded the keeper to fire into the empty net, to make it 10 v 0.

Despite the final score line the dev didn’t really start well, with some sloppy passing all over the pitch and in fact it was the visitors that carved out the most half chances but didn’t trouble Dan McCarthy in the home goal. In truth it wasn’t until the drinks break on 25 minutes or so, were the coaching staff had a chance to get into the lads that the whites started playing as they are capable of doing.

2 minutes later pretty much from the restart Salisbury forced a set piece and Jonny Timperley (Mr Assist) got his first assist of the night when his brother Ed got on the end of his cross to sneak it in at the back post. Owen Davis claims he got the last touch, but the goal went down as a 4th in the opening 4 games for Ed, usually a no 9 but playing on the wing at present.

Just 5 minutes later the pressure was seriously mounting on the visitors goal and a what looked like a good goal was disallowed. But it took just another 7 minutes of constant pressure before that man Jonny broke down the left wing and crossed for Dan Fitchett to score. 2 v 0. Dan in the side tonight to get some match sharpness and he certainly worked hard for the cause and helped the younger players out immensely.

At this stage the floodgates were opening and the dev started to hit top gear and you felt for the Sports players that where chasing the ball for much of the game. On 43 minutes a run from Fitch into the box saw him just to quick for the defender and a clear and obvious penalty was duly awarded. Up stepped striker Devon Arnold to score his first of the night from the spot to make it 3 v 0 at half time.

The Whites were forced into a half time change when Owen Davis who is one of those coming back from a long layoff couldn’t shake off the effects of a knock he took in the first half. With no central defender on the bench, Reece McSorley came on at right back and Owen Taylor the RB in the first half was switched to centre back.

Ludgershall started the 2nd half trying what had in the first half given them some hope they could break down the Whites defence, with a few long balls over the home teams defence to try and get runners onto chances, but the move of pushing pacy Owen Taylor back in the defence completely ended that hope. And when on 52 minutes of a pretty one sided 2nd half skipper Alfie Hawke and Devon Arnold worked a quick short corner routine which took Ludgershall by surprise Arnold beat the 1st defender on the outside and struck a sumptuous strike from a near impossible angle into the top corner. 4 v 0 and now any hope the visitors had of getting back into it was understandably broken.

The goals then came flooding in. On 57 minutes great work from Dan Fitchett set it up on a plate for Devon to notch his hattrick goal on his Ray Mac debut, but as it transpired he was just getting going!

On 60 minutes the Whites made their 2 final changes when 16 year old Kai Gowing replaced Ed Timperley and Rob Jones 17 years on his comeback replaced LB Max Allan. Jonny Timperley moved to LB.

On 71 minutes the youngest player on the pitch Kai who had started as we would expect IE on the front foot and up for the battle showed his class by cutting open the defence to put Fitch through, a twist and turn in the box was too much for the defender and as expected Dan slotted it past the keeper to make it 6-0.

On 71 minutes came the single best move of the night, a goal which was closer to how the dev normally play when we are all on top of our game. A driving run from Aiden Savage (MOTM v Devizes on Saturday) left a few players in his wake, but the perfectly weighted pass into the left channel for LB Jonny to run onto and play a one touch pass across the box in behind Ludgershall defence was what strikers dream of, and Arnold wasn’t going to turn down this sitter, and he didn’t. 7 v 0.

On 80 minutes the sports keeper pondered too much with the ball and Devon Arnold’s scary pace caught him out, he nicked the ball off the keeper on the edge of the box and as the keeper tried to back track he simply dinked it over his head and into the net. 8-0.

Being honest at this point I stopped taking notes and I can’t remember how the last Arnold goal (his 6th) was scored. Well if you score 6 and their not recorded on video what do you expect!! Anyway Arnold completed his double hattrick and at 9 v 0 the games was long over and my thoughts didn’t even turn to the scoreboards capability of showing 10, but Kai Gowing, who when he went on said to me ‘I just want to score’, well he did score his second in 2 sub appearances for the Dev after a decisive goal against Devizes at the weekend.

There are a good number of very good U18’s in our new under 18 side at that age, so as the current development players hopefully progress to 1st team football here, or elsewhere the talent is within the club to keep developing the next generation.

Man of the match in this game could only have one name on it, Devon Arnold.

A big shout out to to Dan Fitchett who got some valuable minutes on the pitch Tuesday night and put in a real shift.
Next up the Dev have an entirely different proposition when 2nd in the table Calne Town come to the Ray this Saturday.

Written by Mark Winter

Mark Winter
September 9, 2021