Wednesday 24th July
Home - 7:45pm KO
Spoils Shared in Local Derby
Salisbury City came away with a point after a hard fought match against local side Chippenham town. Matt Wright putting Salisbury ahead with Sam Allison equalising for the Bluebirds.
Clarke introduced four changes from the side that drew with Hemel Hempstead on Saturday. Kelly, Wright and Brett all started, with Brian Dutton in the eleven havng recovered from injury. Joyce and McLaggon started on the bench, with the manager also opting to play a substitute role. Ben Adelsbury failed to come through the warm up.
Playing in their orange away strip, It was Salisbury who had the better of the first half. Striker Bradley Gray worked hard in the early stages, and his strike partner Matt Wright was a strong aerial presence. Jamie Turley got on the end of a Kelly freekick but the header did little to trouble the blues stopper.
Neither side fashioned a clear opportunity in the opening half hour, but Salisbury gradually strengthened their grip on the game, restricting Chippenham to a long ball game that rarely troubled Giles and Turley. Blues’ leading scorer Lewis Powell did break through on one occasion but was soon crowded out and denied a shooting opportunity.
Making the most of his return from injury, Brian Dutton was dominating aerially and formed a successful partnership with Josh Casey in the centre of the park. With the intensity of the match rising, six yellow cards were issued in total, four to Salisbury, with the first going to Dutton for showing his studs in a challenge.
The Whites continued to press and looked threatening, particularly from set pieces. With Wright, Turley, Giles and Gray all proving troublesome. And It was Wright who broke the deadlock after good work from Giles to put Bluebird Goalkeeper Snoody under pressure. The keeper fumbled the cross, allowing the ball to drop at the feet of Wright, who took his chance. 1-0 Salisbury.
The Whites commanded the remainder of the first half, but a renewed Chippenham attacked after the interval. Not straying from their physical approach to the game, Matt Wright was seemingly pushed in the back by a blue shirt off the ball, with the referee bizarrely booking both players.
Chippenham increased the pressure, but had not been allowed a clear strike at goal until blues striker Sam Allison did well to tip the ball over his man, before running on to smash home a powerful effort. 1-1.
With Salisbury struggling to enforce the pressure they had enjoyed in the first half, Clarke introduced McLaggon, Joyce and Silver to give the Whites an outlay, but little could be created in the face of constant long ball pressure on the back line.
Backed by a large contingent of travelling fans who remained in good voice and enjoyed some strong banter with the Chippenham crowd, Salisbury stood firm and kept chances to a minimum. It was only when Danny Sheehan was caught in possession that Bluebirds’ striker Shaun Benison was presented with a golden opportunity to win the game, but his shot sailed harmlessly over Smith’s bar.
Manager Darrell Clarke commented on two very different halves for his team, “We caused problems in the first 45 and looked like we’d score goals. But we conceded a sloppy goal in the second half and couldn’t find momentum.” After a tough local derby, the team are still undefeated and look to their next home game this Saturday. Clarke added, “Not many teams will come here and get a point, we’ll take the positives as well as the negatives. We came away from home, limited their chances and it’s just disappointing not to get the win.”
Salisbury face Cirencester this Saturday 4th September, 3pm Kickoff.