By Pete Martin

Salisbury came away from their trip to fellow promotion contenders Gosport Borough with a share of the points as 2 late goals saw the game finish 1-1. Manager Brian Dutton made 3 changes to his starting lineup; Owen Dore, Richard McIntyre and Wayne Robinson coming in for Jamar Smith, Charlie Gunson and Dan Fitchett.  

There was an early chance for the Whites inside the opening 90 seconds, Noah Coppin heading over the top from Josh Hedges’ cross. On 5 minutes the home side were perhaps lucky not to be reduced to 10 men; debutant Kristian Campbell putting in a poor tackle on Hedges which was deemed only a yellow card despite looking like the punishment could have been stronger. With both teams showing good defensive organisation, chances were few and far between with neither side able to get on top for any length of time.

On 25 minutes Salisbury were forced into a change in goal; Harrison Lee picking up a knock when bravely punching the ball clear, with Alexander Rutter coming on to replace him for his debut. In what was a cagey affair, White’s midfielder Ryan Penny put a weak shot straight at home keeper Toby Steward, before on 40 minutes Robinson’s cross/shot landed on the roof of the net with the keeper beaten. 2 minutes before half time the best chance of the half arrived as good pressure high up from Coppin and Robinson saw them win the ball back before the latter’s shot was smothered close in by Steward and the sides went in level at the break.  

The 2nd half started in much the same cagey manner as the 1st had been played; neither side was able to create much until Dore shot well over the top from a half-cleared corner. On 57 minutes came Gosport’s best chance so far. A quick and incisive break saw Dan Wooden play the ball across to Rafa Ramos and he swept it goalwards from the edge of the box, but Rutter was well placed to push clear the powerful effort. The home side were starting to get more of a foothold in the game and after Wooden fired over the top from inside the box, Rutter was needed to make another good save on 66 minutes. A corner into the box saw the ball bounce rounding, before landing at Campbell’s feet but his smash towards goal was smothered by the keeper and the ball bundled clear.   

Following half chances at either end for Penny and Gosport’s Corey Jordan, the goals arrived as the game ticked into time added on. For Salisbury, it came when substitute Gunson found some space in the left-hand channel and was able to play the ball across the 6-yard box to the onrushing Hedges who turned it in for what looked like being the winning goal. The home side had other ideas though and 2 minutes later they won a corner which was converted at the back post by Brad Tarbuck to snatch a late point for his team.  

Salisbury are back at home next Saturday 24th February when they welcome bottom side Didcot Town to the Ray Mac for a 3 pm kickoff.   

Team: Lee(Rutter), Simpson, McIntyre, Leggett, Jomabati, Perez(Smith), Dore, Penny, Hedges, Robinson, Coppin(Gunson) Unused Subs: Harding, Lewis.

Ian Pearson
February 19, 2024

Ian Pearson

Media & Website Manager