By Pete Martin.

A late for Swindon Supermarine saw them deny the Whites victory as the points were shared following a 3-3 draw in North Wiltshire. There was 3 changes to the Salisbury lineup; Ryan Penny replacing Charlie Gunson in midfield whilst there was a welcome return from injury for Josh Sommerton, as well a debut in goal for new signing Ryan Gosney.   

It was Salisbury who started the game on the front foot and dominated the early stages. On 5 minutes fullback Aaron Simpson had a sight of goal, his 30-yard effort sailing narrowly wide, however. The away side continued to pressure and on 10 minutes Supermarine keeper Fiachra Pagel needed to be in the right place to keep out Noah Coppin’s shot on the turn from the edge of the box before 3 minutes later Josh Hedges smashed a shot wide of the upright after his initial effort had been blocked. Despite the early Whites pressure, it was Swindon who took the lead after 19 minutes; a long ball straight down the middle from Pagel was not dealt with by the defence, allowing Dave Sims-Burgess to stride through and slot the ball home beyond Gosney. Salisbury continued to push forward, Penny shooting straight at Pagel following a good attacking move before on 24 minutes the home side doubled their lead. The ball was given away in the right back area and picked up by Micheal Fernandes, who had a brief loan spell at Salisbury last season, with the attacker having time and space to finish into the back of Gosney’s net.   

Despite finding themselves 2 goals down, Salisbury continued to see the lion’s share of possession and just after the half hour mark they pulled a goal back. Coppin fed the ball wide to Jamar Smith and, despite his initial touch being heavy, he was able to squeeze the ball across to Penny who took a touch before smashing the ball home from the edge of the box. It should have been a quickfire double for the Whites but just a minute after the 1st goal Hedges fired well over the bar when in acres of space inside the box, although they didn’t have to wait long for an equaliser. On 34 minutes a well-worked move on the right-hand side saw Sido Jombati clip the ball into Dan Fitchett inside the box and his driven cross/shot was converted from 2 yards by Coppin. The remainder of the half was mostly Salisbury; the Whites seeing plenty of the ball although perhaps being slightly guilty of overplaying in the final 3rd. As the half ticked towards the end Salisbury thought they’d completed the turnaround with Fitchett bundling the ball home at the back post from Smith’s cross; only for the referee to consult with his assistant and decide he was offside, despite appearing to have come from behind the defender, to ensure that the teams went in level at half time.   

The 2nd half saw both teams come out looking to take the lead and after Supermarine’s Joe Tumelty fired a left shot wide, the Whites went ahead on 51 minutes. A fine ball through by Fitchett saw Hedges baring down on goal and his cleverly clipped finish over the keeper nestled in the back of the net to put Salisbury in front for the first time in the match. The period following the goal saw plenty of possession for the away side although they were unable to turn that into clearcut goal chances. It wasn’t until 71 minutes that either keeper was called into action in the half; Gosney being well placed to hold an effort from Fernandes, before a sustained spell of Salisbury pressure saw Hedges’s shot from the edge of the area deflected wide and then on 79 minutes a similar fate befell Aaron McCreadie when he worked himself space for a shot from a similar position.   

The final 10 minutes saw Salisbury have a number of opportunities to carve out an opening and seal the game but neither Hedges nor Coppin could find the correct final ball when well placed, with Pagel relatively untroubled despite the Whites having plenty of possession. As the game ticked towards 90 minutes Supermarine pressed for an equaliser and Salisbury were made to pay for not killing off the game on 91 minutes when Sam Turl was on hand at the back post to scramble the ball home following a left wing cross.  The Whites had 1 final chance to win the game when, after substitute Gunson had been hauled down outside the area, Richard McIntyre curled his free kick against the woodwork and moments later the referee brought an end to proceedings with the points shared.   

It’s a quick turnaround for Salisbury as they are back in action on Easter Monday, welcoming in-form Basingstoke Town to the Ray Mac for a 3pm kick off.   

Team: Gosney, Simspon(McIntyre), Smith, Ball, Jombati, Sommerton, McCreadie, Penny(Perez), Hedges, Coppin(Gunson), Fitchett Unused Subs: Rutter, Robinson

Ian Pearson
March 30, 2024

Ian Pearson

Media & Website Manager