Wednesday 24th July
Home - 7:45pm KO
Chelmsford City 2-1 Whites: Match report
SALISBURY CITY suffered a slight set-back as they lost their first game of the new campaign at Melbourne Park.
The visitors got off to a good start after Dan Fitchett steered home Jamie White’s cross.
But they found themselves on level terms when Anthony Church scrambled home from close-range.
And the Whites will feel extremely hard done by after a last-ditch challenge from Brian Dutton on Anthony Cook gave the hosts a penalty in the 60th minute and Jamie Slabber stepped up to steal the points.
Full of confidence – after being unbeaten in their opening four games – the visitors got off to a dream start.
On a counter-attack, White played a clever one-two with Fitchett and he nodded home the return to register Salisbury’s first goal in the first half of the new season.
And the opening goal scorer was denied a huge chance to double City’s lead from the spot when he was wrestled to the floor by Justin Miller, but the referee shook his head and waved play-on.
The decision was the turning point and played a significant part in what happened next.
The visitors were caught sleeping at the back and Craig Calver’s dangerous cross was cleared off the line by Stuart Sinclair in a compact box, but he could not prevent Church on his debut from scoring the equaliser inside 16 minutes.
In a well-contested opening, both sides had clear chances to edge in-front. White sent a decent effort past a post and Slabber tipped a header off target.
But it was the Clarets’s Calver whose long cross nearly found the net as it bounced off the woodwork.
Disaster struck Salisbury in the 60th minute as Dutton’s fair challenge on Cook, somehow led to a penalty. Slabber calmly approached the spot and planted the ball into the bottom corner.
The visitors continued to chuck numbers forward and Fitchett on two occasions came close to producing a leveller, but two inviting low crosses were untouched at the far post.
Ryan Brett fired a long-range effort wide, and in the dying stages Ugo Udoji delivered a deep cross but Chris McPhee’s header sailed over the top.
Clarke said: “I’m not going to be to harsh on my players. I thought we came to a side which will be pushing for a play-off spot and we were the better team.”
“I don’t like talking about officials, but it’s a big changing point when Dan was denied a penalty when we were ahead.
“I said to the boys we’re going to get frustrating games like this but it’s the way we bounce back.”
The whole squad wore black armbands in memory of a life-long supporter who died at the Ray Mac on Thursday night and there will be a minute silence during Tuesday night’s home game against Bath City (7:45pm).
Whites: Puddy, Udoji, Dutton (c), Hart (Baggridge 61), Brett, Lewis (Clarke 70), McPhee, Clark, Sinclair, White, Fitchett
Subs not used: Scott, Hough, Roberts
Scorer: Fitchett (7)