By Pete Martin – Cover image by Michael Berkeley

Salisbury bounced back to winning ways with a comfortable 3-0 win at home to Sholing FC. Brian Dutton made 4 changes to his starting lineup; Jamar Smith, Noah Coppin, Charlie Gunson and Dan Fitchett returning at the expense of Richard McIntyre, Wayne Robinson, James Harding and Harry Williams.

The Whites made a very bright start, moving the ball around with pace and confidence. That start was converted into an early lead on 8 minutes when Smith fired home his first goal for the club. Coppin chased a long ball into the left-hand corner and when he set it back to Smith, the fullback showed great feet for a couple of stepovers before cutting inside and arrowing a right-foot piledriver into the far corner. It could have been even better 3 minutes later but Aaron Simpson was desperately unlucky to see his shot crash against the upright after a good move involving Gunson and Tom Leggett. The first signs of any sort of threat by Sholing arrived on 14 minutes but Dan Mason’s weak shot dribbled straight at Josh Gould giving him the simplest of tasks to gather the ball. Salisbury were continuing to look extremely threatening and should have doubled their lead with 17 minutes on the clock. A clearance from Gould found its way to Gunson on the right-hand side and when his dangerous ball across was only half cleared to the edge of the box, Josh Hedges put his shot inches the wrong side of the post when in acres of space.

Images by Roger Elliott

On 25 minutes there was a small chance for Sholing when Brad Targett’s ball across from an angle needed a touch from Gould but almost straight away the Whites went up the other end and doubled their lead. A neat move saw Fitchett turn the ball nicely around the corner into the path of Coppin who showed good composure to slot home under keeper Ryan Gosney, despite Sholing appealing for an offside flag. Further half chances from Leggett, Fitchett and Ryan Penny all failed to trouble Gosney before on 43 minutes Sholing’s day went from bad to worse. The away side had a corner which was cleared and with Coppin looking to break away from the edge of his own box, he was cynically scythed by Keane Anderson with the referee showing no hesitation in brandishing a red card. Deep into time added on the Whites added a third goal when Gunson’s pressure high up the pitch led to him nicking the ball off a Sholing defender before slotting home from just inside the box to end a dominant half for the home side.

The red card.

The second half saw the pattern of the game continue in much the same vein, lots of Salisbury pressure with Sholing having to dig in and defend. 10 minutes into the half saw 3 chances in quick succession for The Whites; Coppin, Gunson and Smith all drawing saves from Gosney in the same attack, before Gunson then headed over the top following Simpson’s cross into the box. Gosney again needed to be alert just after the hour mark when Coppin set up Leggett, only for him to shoot straight at the Sholing custodian.

Images by Michael Berkeley

The majority of the play was taking place in the Sholing half and on 68 minutes Coppin came close again when he fired wide of the upright from a half-cleared corner, and the Salisbury wideman was causing all sorts of problems for the away defence. He created half chances on 75 minutes for Leggett and 77 minutes for substitute James Harding, before shooting wide himself 2 minutes later. The last 10 minutes saw little in the way of goalmouth action, Sholing happy to keep the score at 3 and Salisbury conserving energies for the tests ahead. In injury time Coppin put one final shot wide before the referee brought a halt to proceedings for a convincing Salisbury win.

Weather permitting, the Whites will be in action this Tuesday 30th January, when they make the short trip to Poole Town for a 7:45 pm kickoff.

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

Man of the Match as selected by Salisbury FC Walking Football was, Jamar Smith. Photo by Roger Elliott

Ian Pearson
January 28, 2024

Ian Pearson

Media & Website Manager