By Pete Martin – Cover image by Roger Elliott

Salisbury returned to winning ways with a hard-fought victory at home to in-form Basingstoke Town. Brian Dutton made 2 changes from Saturday’s draw with Swindon Supermarine; Tom Leggett and Richard McIntyre replacing Sido Jombati and Jamar Smith.   

It could have been a dream start for the Whites as on 4 minutes they saw 3 efforts cleared from within yards of the Basingstoke goal line. Firstly Josh Sommerton’s back post header was clawed away by keeper Simon Grant before Noah Coppin’s attempted follow-up was blocked on the line, and finally, Josh Hedge’s attempt was similarly blocked with Basingstoke finally able to scramble the ball clear. As the game developed the away side started to see more of the ball and built some pressure. That pressure told on 15 minutes when they took the lead. The ball was worked to Bradley Wilson inside the box with his low attempt blocked behind for a corner by keeper Ryan Gosney. From that set piece Curtis Angell saw his attempt kept out by a combination of Gosney and the post before the 3rd attempt was finally converted as Stefan Brown got across the near post to head the ball unchallenged into the back of the net. Basingstoke were buoyed by going in front and on 18 minutes Gosney needed to be on hand to tip over a long throw before William Upton headed the subsequent corner wide of the post.   

Images by Michael Berkeley

Shortly after there was a brief stoppage in play for an incident in the crowd and the break seemed to benefit Salisbury more as they began to see more of the play and move the ball around. On 34 minutes a glorious opportunity was spurned to draw the game level as Dan Fitchett managed to turn the ball wide from only 3 yards out, following a fine run down the left-hand side by McIntyre which had seen his ball flicked on by Coppin at the near post, but the Whites did manage to ensure they went in level at half time though as on 42 minutes they were awarded a penalty when Coppin was taken out in the centre of the goal mouth. The young attacker dusted himself off and confidently dispatched the spot kick high into the back of the net to send the teams in locked at 1-1.  

It was Salisbury who came out strongest in the early stages of the 2nd half, dominating possession however unable to conjure anything to test Grant. Despite their dominance, they could easily have found themselves behind again on 59 minutes when Basingstoke substitute Daniel Rowe saw his poked effort strike the base of the post when the ball fell nicely to him inside the penalty area. The Whites kept moving the ball around in an effort to open up a compact defence and on 65 minutes they nearly succeeded as a good move down the right involving Aaron Simpson and Ryan Penny saw the ball pulled back to Hedges but his effort from the edge of the box went wide of the goal.   

Images by Roger Elliott

With 11 minutes left on the clock, Salisbury’s efforts were rewarded as the best move of the match saw Simpson play in Hedges down the right and his ball into the area was cleverly converted by Coppin for his 2nd goal of the game. The visitors weren’t going to lay down quietly however and an attacking move down their left-hand side ended with Liam Ferdinand shooting straight at Gosney as they battled to find a late equaliser. With the game entering time added on the Whites could have sealed the game when Jombati, bought off the bench to help see the game out, headed straight at Grant when well placed before in the dying stages of the game Salisbury were indebted to Gosney for denying Brown his 2nd of the game with Charlie Gunson on hand to scramble the ball away and seal a valuable 3 points for the Whites.  

Salisbury are on the road next Saturday 6th April when they travel to newly crowned champions Chesham United for a 3pm kick off.   

Team: Gosney, Simpson(Jombati), Leggett, Ball, Sommerton, McIntyre, Penny, McCreadie, Hedges(Robinson), Coppin, Fitchett(Gunson) Unused Subs: Rutter, Perez

Man of the Match, Jack Ball as chosen by OSJCT Avonbourne Care Centre – Image by Roger Elliott

Ian Pearson
April 3, 2024

Ian Pearson

Media & Website Manager