Salisbury Match Report
The Wright stuff for Salisbury but Stags suffer defeat
Attendance – 662
TOMMY Wright’s hat-trick for Salisbury earned them a derby win against AFC Totton, overpowering the Hampshire side 4-0 on Monday.
Both sides knew it would be a tasty encounter from the outset, and the crowd at the Testwood Stadium were not disappointed. Within seconds of the whistle being blown, Salisbury forward, Wright, was on dangerous form striking the ball from inside the box. A warning sign of things to come for Totton.
And the breakthrough came in the sixth minute – Kieran Parselle’s through-ball to Wright was inch-perfect, before the prolific striker struck across the face of goal, leaving defender Adam Pearson no option but to bundle the ball into his own net.
It may have been an unfortunate start for the Stags, but they began to dominate play for the following 20 minutes, creating chance after chance: the best coming from ex-Saints player, Pedro Monteiro, who had two headers cleared off the Whites’ line at point blank range.
However, Salisbury were getting into their stride as well, forcing Stags keeper, Steve Mowthorpe, into three powerful punches in the closing stages of the half which he was equal to.
Just as Steve Hollick’s Totton side seemed to have a strong foothold in the game, a rare mistake from Patrick Wilson gave Salisbury a chance to double their advantage – Curtis Angell brought down the ever-present Wright in the box, with the referee blowing straight away for the penalty. Wright stepped up and sent a diving Mowthorpe the wrong way to make it 2-0 at the break.
It was a fairly even start to the second half, with both sides testing the goalkeepers, leaving new Whites manager, Steve Claridge, getting more riled up on the touchline. But his impatience was about to be rewarded.
Wright claimed his first hat-trick of the season with a curling effort into the bottom corner of Mowthorpe’s goal, and was subsequently substituted on the hour mark by Claridge to be rested, being replaced by Justin Bennett.
The Stags’ strike force of Dave Allen and Mike Gosney were working hard in midfield, but it was Nathaniel Sherborne who was finding a nemesis in Salisbury goalkeeper, Alex Bass, who is on-loan from Portsmouth.
Throughout the match, Sherborne found himself in four one-on-one situations with Bass, but couldn’t find a way past the impressive keeper, showing off his ability in front of Pompey manager, Paul Cook, who made the trip down to the Testwood.
Bennett rounded off the scoring with two minutes left on the clock, finding the back of the net with a storming header, after Brandon Mundy’s dangerous cross.
Salisbury’s first away win of the campaign moves the newly-promoted side into the play-off positions, but yet another defeat for the Stags leaves them precariously close to the relegation zone in 20th.
Totton starting line-up: Mowthorpe, Hibberd, Angell, Williams***, Wilson, Pearson, Watts*, Monteiro, Allen**, Sherborne, Gosney.
Substitutes: Hunt, Roberts, Burgess*, Haynes***, Munday**.
Report by Talia Jones.