By Pete Martin – Cover image by Roger Elliott

The Whites lost their unbeaten home record as they went down to a 1 nil defeat to AFC Totton. There was a welcome return from injury for Josh Gould in goal, with Ryan Penny also coming in to replace Harry Williams. A 3rd change saw a debut for youngster Richard McIntyre, signed on work experience from Oxford United, replacing Jamar Smith.   

It took just 5 minutes for Gould to show his alertness, making a fine double save. Firstly he pushed away Scott Rendell’s shot before reacting quickly to block the follow up effort from Joseph Turner. After that initial flurry the game settled down into a bit of a dour affair, neither team able to take control of the game and assert themselves. A couple of dangerous balls into the box at either end saw no attacker able to get on the end of them, before on 32 minutes Salisbury saw their 1st sight of goal. Dan Fitchett played in last week’s hat-trick hero Noah Coppin, and the wideman cut inside before curling a right-footed cross/shot wide of the upright.   

Images by Roger Elliott

A minute later the Whites were forced into a change; Aaron McCredie had tried to run off a knock received a few minutes earlier but after going down again he had to go off to be replaced by Zaide Took-Oxley, who had signed alongside McIntyre earlier in the day. The final opportunity of a tepid first half came in time added on when Totton’s Jordan Ragguette got down the left hand side but his cross in was just out of reach of Turner and the teams went in level at the break.   

The second half started off as much of the first had been played, neither team able to take control and goal-scoring chances were few and far between. On 58 minutes a Totton corner was headed narrowly wide by former Salisbury defender Charlie Kennedy, before on 64 minutes the Whites came closest so far to breaking the deadlock. A ball in from the right-hand side by Josh Hedges saw Kennedy attempt to turn the ball back to keeper Lewis Noice but get a little bit to much on the ball and force the custodian to scramble back and claw the ball away from off the line.   

Images by Roger Elliott

On 73 minutes the game’s only goal came and, perhaps fittingly, it came from the penalty spot. Following a bit of a scramble in the Salisbury penalty box, the ball came off the hand of defender Aaron Simpson and, after consulting with his assistant, referee Martin Bloor pointed to the spot. Rendell stepped up to take it and confidently smashed the ball home giving Gould no chance. As the game ticked towards the 90 minute mark the Whites had their best spell of the game; substitute Harry Williams shooting straight at Noice when well placed and then Hedges dragging a shot wide from the angle of the box. As the game entered additional time, Salisbury captain Sido Jombati was carried off with what looked like a concussion injury before in the dying moments Sam Perry headed over from a corner to wrap up a frustrating afternoon for the Whites.   

Salisbury are on the road next, travelling to Beaconsfield Town next Saturday 20th Jan for a 3pm kick off.   

Team: Gould, Simpson, McIntyre(Williams), Jombati, Leggett, Penny, McCreadie(Took-Oxley), Perry, Hedges, Coppin, Fitchett(Harding) Unused Subs: Rutter, Robinson

Ian Pearson
January 14, 2024

Ian Pearson

Media & Website Manager