By Pete Martin – Cover image by Michael Berkeley

Play off chasing rivals Salisbury FC and Merthyr Town played out a goalless draw at the Ray Mac, with both sides having to settle for a point. White’s manager Brian Dutton named an unchanged side from last week’s win over Chesham United, although Charlie Gunson returned to take a place on the bench.   

Images by Roger Elliott

It was a cagey opening to the game before on 6 minutes the first goal chance arrived. Merthyr’s Tom Handley did well to find a yard of space in the box but was unlucky to see his acrobatic effort bounce back off the frame of the goal. The game was proving to be a scrappy affair with neither side able to gain a foothold and it took until 24 minutes for Salisbury to really threaten, Josh Hedges firing a low shot across goal but narrowly wide of the post. There were no real further goal chances in the opening half with both sides cancelling each other out and unable to turn promising positions into clear chances and the teams were locked in stalemate at half time.  

The 2nd half saw Salisbury start brightly and on 51 minutes Jack Ball headed a free kick wide of the post before 2 minutes later Noah Coppin drew a fine save from Merthyr keeper Will Fuller, the custodian showing strong hands to push his effort wide of the post. The away side threatened briefly on the hour mark, Lewys Twamley drawing a comfortable save from substitute keeper Alex Rutter, on in place of Harry Lee. 2 minutes later Rutter was again called into action, this time it was Ricardo Rees with the shot but it was straight at him.   

Images by Michael Berkeley

On 65 minutes the Whites created another opportunity; good link-up between Hedges and Coppin saw the latter shoot over the top when well placed, before a minute later the visitors were reduced to 10 men with Aneurin Livermore shown a 2nd yellow for a challenge in midfield. Salisbury continued to pressure and on 73 minutes Fuller had to make a superb stop to keep out Coppin’s goal-bound header, the keeper getting down brilliantly to deny the young attacker from 4 yards out. 2 minutes later another Hedges effort was straight at Fuller and, despite plenty of possession and pressure from the home side, they were unable to unlock a compact and organised Merthyr defence who stood firm to ensure they returned home to Wales with a point.   

The Whites are back in action next Saturday 23rd March when they make the short journey to Dorchester Town for a 3 pm kick-off.   

Team: Lee(Rutter), Smith(Irving), McIntyre, Ball, Jombati, Leggett, Dore, Penny(Gunson), Hedges, Coppin, Fitchett  Unused Subs: Robinson, Perez

Josh Hedges received his MOTM award as chosen by Complete Construction Salisbury.
Ian Pearson
March 18, 2024

Ian Pearson

Media & Website Manager