Wednesday 24th July
Home - 7:45pm KO
Whites Make A Point As Run Continues
Salisbury City stretched their unbeaten league run to an incredible 17 games in the league, following a battling stalemate with Evesham.
The Whites made the long trip northwards following their 2-0 defeat of Woking in the FA Trophy on Saturday, with several players carrying knocks. Manager Darrell Clarke was ruled out, while there was no involvement for Ryan Tafazolli, and Kayne McLaggon, Jason Silver and Adam Kelly were also ruled out of contention.
The home side came out in confident mood having lost just one in their last nine ahead of the tie. They managed a point away at Truro and recorded their biggest away win in the league last Saturday, winning 8-0 at Halesowen.
Seven minutes into the match, a huge long throw into the box had Tommy Smith needing to be alert – the keeper claimed well but a throw Rory Delap would take pride in was to prove a constant threat throughout the game.
Indeed, it was that long throw that would win Evesham their best chance of the match.
The ball launched into the box from a wide throw-in and the Whites did well to clear, but when it was fizzed back in, the ball struck the arm of Charlie Knight- the winger unfortunate as he had his back to the ball. Penalty to Evesham.
A keeper seemingly growing with every game, Tommy Smith was on hand to produce a fine diving save, stopping the ball with his legs following a low driven shot down the centre of goal. A great save from the Whites number one.
Salisbury took that as a let off and increased their efforts after the penalty, but they came up against a hard working and physical side who regularly looked to hit the long ball into a target man rather than play along the ground.
It wasn’t pretty but it was definitely effective as the Whites continued to face a barrage of long throws and set pieces. The battling Brian Dutton was rarely beaten however, despite receiving a head-bandage and bloodying his shirt due to a knock, and the skipper produced another reassuringly solid game alongside the equally steady Jamie Turley.
It was Turley who nearly had an assist moments later when the Whites were attacking. The centre back’s deft touch displayed as he dinked a chipped ball into the area for Jake Reid to touch and smash at goal – only to be denied by a great save. Reid again tested the keeper well after a fine through ball from Jack Boyle, but the keeper was again equal to it.
Salisbury began to string the passes and as the tempo of the match rose it proved to the Whites’ benefit. When a deep ball into the Evesham box was headed clumsily over his own keeper by the centreback, it bounced agonisingly onto the post. Josh Casey reacted the sharpest however but as he looked to turn and force the ball at goal he was challenged clumsily by the keeper, forcing penalty claims by the Salisbury players and their support behind the goal but no decision.
It was more of the same in the second half with much of the game consisting of long-hit balls and frantic back and forth play that saw the two sides bunch together. Jack Boyle worked the keeper well with a freekick from 25 yards, and again tested the keeper with a fierce low effort after a sharp one-two with Kyle Haynes but chances were at a premium.
The Whites enforced a greater presence in the red half in the final stages of the game with the introduction of Ben Joyce and Dan Fitchettt, but while the play was quick from end to end, neither side could create a clear cut opportunity. Jake Reid looked about to change all that when he found himself clear in acres of space, but the linesman incredibly deemed it offside. Dan Fitchett was in an offside position- but he was running away from goal and had no involvement in the move; Reid was a good three yards on.
0-0 it finished and a hard earned point for both sides proving a fair result.
With the sad news of the folding of Zamaretto Premier side Windsor and Eton, all points won against the side have been removed from the league. As Salisbury had not yet played Windsor – this makes no difference to their points tally, however Truro have had three points removed.
Salisbury City are now second placed in the league and just a single point behind leaders Truro with three games in hand.
They head to Weymouth on Saturday in another enticing league encounter.