By Pete Martin – Cover image by Roger Elliott

After 2 defeats on the road, Salisbury returned to winning ways with a 2-1 victory at home to Hendon FC. There were 3 changes in manager Brian Dutton’s starting lineup; Jamar Smith, Aaron McCreadie and Dan Fitchett coming in for Aaron Simpson, Ryan Penny and Noah Coppin.   

It didn’t take long for Salisbury to warm up and inside the opening 2 minutes, Harry Williams drew a save from Hendon’s keeper Bradley House with a near post header from Charlie Gunson’s corner. A few minutes later House was again called into action, this time saving Fitchett’s low shot from an angle after Josh Hedges had played him in. The away sides first real threat came on 10 minutes, Niko Muir drawing a save from Josh Gould after the forward had found himself in room inside the box. After a couple of half chances blocked at either end, on 21 minutes the Whites took the lead with a well-worked goal. It started with Gould arrowing an inch-perfect ball 60 yards to Hedges on the right wing and, when he drove into the final third and played in Williams, it took a fine save from House to deny the striker a goal but Hedges had continued his run and was on hand to smash the rebound high into the net.   

Images by Michael Berkeley

Unfortunately for Salisbury though the lead only lasted 4 minutes as Niko Muir got away down the right-hand side and put in a perfect cross for Joe White to head home unmarked from 6 yards out. In a frantic spell of action, the Whites regained the lead just 2 minutes later. The ball was played into Williams on the edge of the box and he took a couple of touches to set it up and drive a low shot into the bottom corner of the net to put his side back in front. Hendon continued to battle and on 36 minutes it needed a fine save from Gould to push Billy Leonard’s shot around the post for a corner. That set-piece was swung in and found Ethan Light rising highest but his free header went narrowly wide from just 6 yards out. On the stroke of half time, Gould was again called into action, Daniel Matsuzaka drawing a save from the glovesman with another header from a corner just before the referee called time on an entertaining 1st half.   

Images by Roger Elliott

Hendon started the 2nd half brightly and were on the attack from the off. On 47 minutes Leonard put a shot just wide of the post and they had a number of corners as they piled the pressure on in search of an equaliser. On the hour mark they came agonisingly close; a good move down the right ended with Tom Leggett needing to clear White’s effort from off the line before the corner was recycled back to Hamza Semakula who smashed a low effort which needed Gould to be at his best to keep out.   

On 67 minutes the Whites 1st real chance of the half came and it saw Fitchett breakaway down the right-hand side, but Williams was unable to take the ball cleanly in his stride after he’d been played in 8 yards out from goal. Hendon continued to pressure, the away side unable to convert possession into chances though. Salisbury always looked dangerous on the break and on 80 minutes a Hedges breakaway down the right saw him put a dangerous ball in across the 6-yard line, Fitchett unable to convert though with the ball bouncing off him and wide of the goal. As the game entered the final few minutes Hendon pushed hard for an equaliser but the Salisbury defence stood firm and saw out the win which returned the Whites to the top of the table.   

Salisbury’s final game before Christmas comes next Saturday 23rd December when they travel to Hungerford Town for a 3 pm kick-off.   

Team: Gould, Smith, Sommerton, Leggett, Jombati, Perry, McCreadie, Gunson(Penny), Hedges, Fitchett(Coppin), Williams(Robinson) Unused Sub: Harding

Man of the Match as chosen by Match Sponsor, Paul from Southern Spas was, Josh Summerton

Ian Pearson
December 17, 2023

Ian Pearson

Media & Website Manager