By Pete Martin

Salisbury will be wondering how their trip to Beaconsfield Town ended goalless, in a game in which they hit the woodwork numerous times. Manager Brian Dutton made 2 changes to his starting lineup; Wayne Robinson and James Harding replacing Noah Coppin and Dan Fitchett.

A cautious opening to the game changed on 10 minutes when Robinson was brought down on the edge of the Beaconsfield box. Harding stepped up to take the set piece and saw his fine effort crash back off the inside of the post, the home side able to scramble the ball clear. Beaconsfield’s first chance arrived on 18 minutes; some neat interplay down the right ended with Daniel Roth shooting straight at Whites keeper Josh Gould. 2 minutes later they threatened again, Zidan Akers stinging the gloves of Gould after a ball over the top. In what was a breathless 5-minute spell, Salisbury came close again on 22 minutes; Harry Williams firing wide from 10 yards after a spell of pinball inside the area.

The game calmed down following that intense spell, Akers and Robinson firing shots high over the bar at either end, before in time, the Whites struck the woodwork again. A long ball over the top was hooked across the area by Harding and with both Robinson and Williams challenging, it fell to the latter who stuck a shot on the turn which cannoned into the bar and over the top as the sides went in at half time level.

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The second half saw the Whites immediately on the attack and they could have grabbed a goal inside the opening 90 seconds. Firstly Josh Hedges fed the ball into Williams who saw his shot across goal touched behind by keeper Matthew Rowley, before the subsequent corner was played short and worked across to Tom Leggett on the right-hand side. He drilled the ball across the face of goal where Harding could only direct his header onto the bar from 4 yards out. Salisbury were seeing plenty of the ball in the half, looking to play on the front foot and on 59 minutes some intricate interplay involving Hedges, Harding and Williams saw the former smash a left foot shot wide of the post from 10 yards out, before at the other end Joshua Payne saw a free kick deflected behind via the defensive wall.

On 64 minutes the Whites worked the ball down the right-hand side; Aaron Simpson putting in a fine ball that saw Harding smash it goalwards, only to see the ball bounce back off the woodwork for the 4th time in the match. Despite Salisbury seeing the majority of possession, the home side gave notice of their danger on the break when on 69 minutes Akers robbed substitute Zaide Took-Oxley and bore down on goal. Gould came out to meet him and under pressure, the attacker could only shoot wide of the goal from just inside the area. In an entertaining half of football, both sides had chances on the 72nd minute. Firstly for the Whites, Simpson again got in down the right and played a clever ball into Charlie Gunson who was well placed on the penalty spot. The substitute took one touch too many though and allowed Beaconsfield to break which ended with James Dobson firing a left-foot effort wide. There were more chances for the Whites as the game ticked on, Harding putting a weak shot straight at Rowley before Coppin smashed a free kick straight into the wall from just outside the area. A couple of late shouts for a penalty from Salisbury saw nothing given, before on 88 minutes Akers again broke away with Gould standing up tall and saving well, with Simpson hacking the ball clear. 5 minutes of time added on saw Salisbury continue to try and break down an organised Beaconsfield defence but they were unable to make the breakthrough and went away with just a point following a goalless draw.

The Whites are back at home next Saturday 27th January, welcoming Sholing FC to the Ray Mac for a 3 pm kick-off.

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

Ian Pearson
January 20, 2024

Ian Pearson

Media & Website Manager