Salisbury lost their unbeaten record as they went down to a 2-1 defeat away at Sholing FC. Manager Brian Dutton made 2 changes from Saturday’s victory against Bracknell Town; Jamar Smith coming in for Aaron Simpson and Josh Squires making his 1st start in place of Dan Fitchett.
There was a fast start by both sides and in the opening 5 minutes, both keepers were called into action. Firstly Sholing’s Ryan Gosney got down well to hold on to Aaron McCreadie’s shot on the turn before moments later at the other end Dan Mason saw Josh Gould do likewise when he shot goalwards. On 8 minutes, however, the home side took the lead. Sholing won the ball in midfield and when they drove forward a fine cross by Jake Hesketh was headed home by an unmarked Wayne Robinson.
Sholing continued to pressure and on 14 minutes Gould had to tip over an effort from range by Jake Cope and then needed to be alert to claim the ball when the resulting corner came in. Salisbury were struggling to play their normal passing game but on 21 minutes Tom Leggett did manage to play a fine ball inside the fullback but from a tight angle, Noah Coppin’s shot was pushed away by Gosney. 4 minutes later Gould again had to be alert to push wide Mason’s shot before Robinson saw his effort blocked wide when a corner fell to him inside the box. On 36 minutes, Salisbury’s best move of the match saw Josh Hedges get away down the right but his dangerous ball across the 6-yard box saw neither Coppin or Charlie Gunson able to get a touch. As the clock ticked around to half-time, both McCreadie and Coppin were unable to get efforts on target and the teams went in at half-time with the home side holding a deserved lead.
The 2nd half saw the Whites start off on the front foot and they saw plenty of the ball. A quick corner on 48 minutes saw Tom Leggett fire the ball over but on 55 minutes, Sholing doubled the lead with their 1st real attack of the half. Hesketh was afforded far too much space in the middle of the park and he was able to pick out Mason just inside the box and he turned and fired the ball beyond Gould and into the net. Despite being 2 goals down the Whites were dominating possession, albeit without being able to test Gosney and his defence. That changed on 68 minutes though as Hedges got down the right-hand side and teed up Coppin who crashed his effort off the bar from 15 yards out. As had been the pattern for most of the 2nd half Salisbury continued to huff and puff but were unable to trouble the Sholing backline. There was an off-target header from Coppin on 79 minutes, and a series of blocked shots as the game entered time added on, but it took until the 98th minute for the Whites to breach Gosney’s goal and it came via an own goal from substitute Sam Pritchard. Hedges got away down the right and when he put the ball across the full-back was unable to sort his feet out in time but it was little more than a consolation goal as the referee soon blew the whistle to signal the 1st defeat of the season for Salisbury.
The Whites will look to bounce back on Saturday 30th September when they welcome National League South side Slough Town to the Ray Mac for an FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round tie, 3 pm kick-off.
Team: Gould, Smith(Simpson), Sommerton, Leggett, Jombati, Penny, Squires(Arnold D), McCreadie, Gunson, Hedges, Coppin Unused Subs: Osei, Bragg, Arnold C