By Pete Martin – Cover image by Roger Elliott
A battling performance from Salisbury saw them maintain their unbeaten home record as they ran out 2-1 winners against Plymouth Parkway. There were 2 changes from the win at Didcot on Saturday; Tom Bragg and Sam Ashton replacing Josh Sommerton and Charlie Gunson.
It was Salisbury who saw the most of the ball in the early period, but it was Parkway who had the first 2 chances. On 4 minutes, Jack Crago dragged a shot wide from inside the box, before 2 minutes later, the Whites were indebted to Aaron McCreadie hacking the ball away on the line after Reece Thomson was able to nick the ball past keeper Josh Gould when a free kick came into the box. In an entering opening 10 minutes, Salisbury had a good opportunity of their own; Jamar Smith drawing a save from Plymouth keeper Adam Parkes when he had been found by a fine cross-field ball from Bragg. On 12 minutes though the Whites had an even better chance to open the scoring when they were awarded a spot kick. Josh Hedges picked up the ball deep on the right-hand side and, following some great skill, drove into the box where he was bought down by Oscar Halls. Captain Sido Jombati stepped up but could only put the ball wide of the upright to spoil his 100% record from the spot.
Images by Michael Berkeley
The game started to settle down, with goalscoring chances proving harder to come by. On 16 minutes, a long-range shot from Thomson was comfortable for Gould to deal with, whilst at the other end Ashton put a 1st time volley high and wide when Tom Leggett had put in a dangerous-looking cross. There wasn’t too much action in the middle part of the half until on 37 minutes when the visitors were reduced to 10 men. A quick break from Salisbury was halted by Halls using his hand and, having been booked when conceding the penalty earlier, he was shown a 2nd yellow and given his marching orders. The Whites looked to make the man advantage pay and deep into time added on they did just that. A free kick into the box was initially cleared, but recycled to the back post where Smith saw his header pushed away by Parkes with Dan Fitchett on hand to smash home the rebound and send the home side in a goal to the good at half time.
The 2nd half saw Parkway come out determined to get back into the game and some early pressure bought them a couple of chances. Sloppy play at the back by the Whites allowed Crago to get in and his shot needed blocking, before on 58 minutes Gould needed to get a touch on a shot from Shane White when he was well placed in the box. On 64 minutes the home side saw their 1st real sight of goal in the half; Ashton shooting wide from inside the box before 2 minutes later Plymouth grabbed an equaliser. A long throw from the left-hand side was flicked on and Callum Hall came sliding in to bundle the ball home and restore parity.
Images by Roger Elliott
Salisbury started to see a bit more of the ball and on 70 minutes Gunson, on as a substitute only seconds before, curled a free kick narrowly wide of the post before 2 minutes later a good move down the right ended with Fitchett putting the ball just wide at the near post. On 78 minutes the Whites twice came close to restoring their lead; firstly Noah Coppin cut inside from the left and stung the palms of Parkes before the ball was worked to Hedges and from just outside the area he unleashed a thunderbolt that came crashing back of the crossbar and into the grateful hands of Parkes. 3 minutes later, Parkway had the ball in the back of the net from a corner, the linesman’s flag denying them the lead though, before on 84 minutes the Whites grabbed the winning goal. A long ball was thrown out by Gould and 2 passes later Hedges found himself in on goal where he showed great composure inside the area to slot it beyond Parkes and into the net. Salisbury were able to see out the remainder of the game and secure the 3 points that sees them 2nd in the league table.
With scheduled opponents Chesham United in cup action, the Whites have no game this coming Saturday so return to league action on Tuesday 31st October when they make the short trip to Poole Town, now managed by former Salisbury City legend Matt Tubbs, for a 7:45 pm kickoff.
Team: Gould, Leggett, Smith, Bragg, Jombati, Penny(Lewis), McCreadie, Hedges(Squires), Coppin, Ashton(Gunson), Fitchett Unused Subs: Osei, Roocroft.