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Salisbury spoiled the party at AFC Totton’s home opener with a pair of penalties giving the visitors the victory.

With a strong crowd at the Snows Stadium, there was a real buzz around the ground with both sides keen to begin the match strongly after relying on late goals last weekend. Both sides made early forays forward but without much incision, trying to convert early pressure into goals. The best of the opening chances fell to Benny Read, the right back finding a pocket of space just outside the area, but he could only fizz his shot wide of the post.

The first goal came half an hour in when Josh Carmichael was maybe unfortunate to concede a penalty. Captain Sido JOMBATI was ice cool from the spot, slotting into the bottom left corner. Totton came on strongly after the opener, but were unable to make it count, and Salisbury collected themselves to pile on the pressure, and after seeing a goal chalked off for offside, continued to plough forward, earning another penalty in the process. Sido JOMBATI repeated his technique, hit the exact same spot, and gave the visitors the 2-0 lead going into the break.

The game took on a different pattern after the interval, with Salisbury much happier to sit deeper, inviting Totton towards them before looking to hit on the counter-attack, and they could well have grabbed a third early in the second half, with both Hedges and McCreadie missing the target. As the visitors tired the Stags created an increasing number of chances, and were it not for the heroics of Joshua Gould in the away net would surely have pulled one back. First Gould produced an acrobatic effort to palm a shot around his right post, before displaying lightning quick reactions to pull off a stunner to deny Luke Hallett’s close range header from a set piece.

Salisbury defended resolutely to repel wave after wave of home endeavour, and when the referee’s whistle blew after eight minutes of additional time could consider themselves worthy winners, having executed the game plan perfectly after the interval.

Final Score:

Goalscorers: Jombati 30(p), 43(p)
Star Player: Joshua Gould (Salisbury)
Entertainment Value: 3/5
Attendance: 1,285
Author: Benjamin Rees
Photos: Craig Hobbs Photography

The LONG READ: AFC Totton 0-2 Salisbury

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