Blue Sqaure Bet South
Salisbury City: Puddy, Wilson, Matthews, J Clarke, Hart (c), Lewis (R Sinclair, 66), Wellard (Ademeno, 90), Brett, Frear (Fitchett, 80), McPhee, White.
Subs not used: Udoji, D Clarke.
Sent off: Matthews (90)
SALISBURY City boss Darrell Clarke remains upbeat about his side’s title chances despite slipping to back-to-back league defeats for the first time since March 3, writes Joel Holt.
With 14 games remaining, Tuesday night’s defeat to arch-enemies Eastleigh hasn’t shaken up the league table, as Clarke’s men are still three points clear at the top of Conference South.
But although Salisbury have suffered another dent in their promotion ambitions, fellow chasers Welling United have lost their last two outings as well.
The result has heated up Saturday’s clash with Billericay Town at the Ray Mac (3pm), who are fighting relegation.
Clarke’s side, who last tasted two defeats in a row against Dartford and Dover Athletic, said: “We’ve had no luck in our last two games and maybe we’re having that bad spell.
“I’m obviously disappointed with the result but we have nothing to be worried about as we’re at the top of the league.
“We still have great belief in the squad and we’ll keep on fighting for promotion.
“A lot of people are getting carried away with games, and I’m fairly relaxed about it. “I’ve got the best squad of players in this league and we’ll keep on going.”
Salisbury’s third defeat over the space of two weeks was concluded in the 51st minute at the Silverlake Stadium.
Craig McAllister nodded home Callum Hart’s messy clearance to separate the two sides.
Elliott Frear had chances along with new signing Ricky Wellard, who was making his debut, testing the Eastleigh shot-stopper.
And Jamie White managed to wriggle a few chances as well, but they failed to find a way through, and the defeat also came with a suspension.
In the dying moments former Eastleigh man Robbie Matthews was shown a second yellow for body-checking Dale Binns.
Clarke added: “At least the pitch wasn’t as bad as Saturday’s.”
“I was pleased with our first-half performance and we played the better football. “We tired a little bit after the interval.
“We did have a lot of chances but it wasn’t to be.”