SALISBURY City boss Darrell Clarke was beaming with praise for the volunteers who worked tirelessly shovelling the snow from the pitch to get Saturday’s showdown on, writes Joel Holt.
More than 60 volunteers showed utter dedication to the club by arriving at the Ray Mac on Saturday morning from breakfast time, to complete mission impossible.
Seven hours of hard work paid off, as City supporters enjoyed a delightful triumph over Staines Town, who consequently edge even closer to the dreaded drop.
“I’d like to give a big thank you to the fans for clearing the pitch and making the game happen, they deserve the three points. The lads really appreciate it as well,” said Clarke.
“A real good non-league team spirit was showed to get the game on. It’s disappointing not to get many through the turnstiles, but a lot of people thought the game was off. It was important we got the game ahead and to register the victory.”
The 35-year-old instigated an early demolishing, leaving the visitors speechless after the first 20 minutes at Old Sarum.
Jamie White and Elliott Frear put the Whites 2-0 up inside 10 minutes and Chris McPhee finished the job soon after, poking home a satitisfying move, which left Staines’ full backs chasing shadows.
Clarke added how the opening exchanges was the best football he’s seen his players produce this season.
“Our pressure and closing down for the first 30 minutes was probably the best I’ve seen from the lads all season and we got our reward with the three goals," he said.
“It’s a big three points. I said to the boys if we took our chances, then we could have the game wrapped up early on and that’s how it went.”
But Clarke wasn’t so impressed with his men’s showing after the interval.
“I was disappointed with our second-half performance but ultimately it’s about getting the three points. We were sloppy all over the pitch, we lost our shape and discipline, and it’s something we need to work on," Clarke said.
As City head into their next two games, in the space of four days, they have a nine-point gap to defend, due to the weather wiping out Welling United’s fixtures.
“Obviously everyone will tell you the points are on the board but it’s about not getting carried away," he cautioned.
"We’re just happy to be sitting at the top of the table. We’re not nine points clear, Welling are top, because they have got three games in hand, that’s the way we look at it. Theoretically teams have got to catch up with games, and it’s as tight as it’s always been.”