By Pete Martin – Cover image by Mike Boss
The first Wiltshire derby of the season saw Salisbury send Swindon Supermarine home empty-handed after an entertaining 3-2 win at the Ray Mac stadium. There were 2 changes to the team selected by manager Brian Dutton; Aaron Simpson replacing Josh Sommerton, whilst up front Dan Fitchett dropped to the bench with James Harding, signed from Supermarine in the summer, coming in for his first start for the Whites.
A bright summer’s evening saw Salisbury get off to a strong start and they took the lead on 9 minutes. A fine move involving Theo Lewis, James Harding and Josh Hedges saw the latter in on the right-hand side, with his powerful shot pushed wide by former White, Charlie Searle in the Supermarine goal. Although the first corner was dealt with by the visitors, the subsequent set-piece saw Sido Jombati rise high at the far post and his header back across goal was fired home by Harding for his first goal in a White shirt. Just 4 minutes later his 2nd came, albeit in a fairly bizarre fashion. A deep cross into the box from the right saw a Swindon defender attempt to head clear and, although his header had plenty of power, he could only head it straight into the White’s striker, with the ball bouncing into the back of the net to double the advantage.
Images by Roger Elliott
As the half went on Salisbury were much the dominant side, the visitors unable to get a foothold in the game and struggling to make much impact in the final third of the pitch. The Whites continued to look dangerous at the other end; on 22 minutes a strong burst into the box from Charlie Gunson ended up with Noah Coppin flicking the ball just wide from an acute angle before on 32 minutes Supermarine gave notice of their attacking prowess for the first time all game. Henry Spalding, who had a brief spell at the Ray Mac 2 years ago, got free down the left-hand side and put in a dangerous low cross which Jombati did well to put out for a corner with Levi Irving lurking just behind him. As the half went into injury time, Hedges again worked Searle, a drive into the box from the right drawing a save from the keeper and it was the Whites who went in at half time much the happier side.
Images by Michael Berkeley
Whatever was said in the Supermarine dressing room had an effect on their players as they came back out for the 2nd half looking much more likely and pulled a goal back after 52 minutes through Joe Tumelty. A good move forward saw Spalding drive into the box and draw a good save from Josh Gould, another to join the Whites in the summer from their opponents, but the ball fell for the midfielder who calmly stroked it home to get his side back in the game. 2 minutes later, Harding had a chance for his hat-trick but was denied by Searle at his near post following a good ball through by half time substitute Ryan Penny. Despite Swindon looking the more likely side, it was Salisbury who got the games next goal. On 64 minutes a long ball from Gould into the channel was well chased by Fitchett and, with Searle rushing out, he showed great composure to find Gunson who was equally as calm as he slotted it home from around 20 yards out. 3 minutes later Gunson could have grabbed his 2nd of the night but another good save from Searle saw him push away his free kick which looked destined for the bottom corner. With the 2 goal advantage restored, Salisbury again looked the most likely; firstly Coppin hitting a low shot straight at Searle before on 84 minutes a quickly taken throw in saw Fitchett in space inside the box but his effort was blocked out by the Marine defence. With just 2 minutes of the 90 left Swindon set up the possibility of a grandstand finish as they pulled another goal back. This time it was George Dowling who saw a shot well saved by Gould and Irving the player in the right place to tap it home. Despite this Supermarine were unable to fashion any further chances and it could have been 4 deep into injury time when a quick break saw Charlie Wooding play a fine reverse pass to find Hedges with once again Searle denying him, but he was unable to deny Salisbury the win and the Wiltshire bragging rights.
The Whites are on the road this Saturday 19th August as they travel to Hendon FC for a 3 pm kick-off.
Post-match with Coppin, Harding and Callum Hart.
Team: Gould, Simpson(Wooding), Smith, Leggett, Jombati, McCreadie, Lewis(Penny), Gunson, Hedges, Coppin, Harding(Fitchett) Unused Subs: Osei, Lahan