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Salisbury City 1-1 Braintree Town
Salisbury City 1
Braintree Town 1
THERE was sadly not a repeat of Saturday’s curtain raiser but a soft draw in Skrill Premier with Braintree Town has stretched Salisbury City’s unbeaten run to six successive games – last losing almost five weeks ago at Alfreton Town.
Dreary probably sums up a miserable Tuesday night at the Ray Mac between two sides who have history, with the last meeting being at Stevenage for the Conference South play-off final in 2007 where Matt Tubbs’ strike promoted Salisbury.
But they’ve each come a long way since that day. Braintree, in their tangerine strip, who are now in their third season alongside the non-league big guns, found themselves defending their territory early on.
An intelligent piece of link-up play between Ryan Brett and Chris McPhee ended just past a post. But their next effort on goal broke the deadlock with 12 minutes on the clock.
A well-timed run by Elliott Frear allowed him to outpace Ryan Peters and deliver a looping cross, which England C custodian Nathan McDonald – recently returning with the squad from Latvia – misjudged, and Dan Fitchett cleaned up on the error at the far post.
The opener certainly woke the visitors up as they looked revitalised after that. Good work from James Mulley left Salisbury scrambling after a fabulous shot, from the tightest of angles, pinged against the upright.
Salisbury, who have encountered various defensive issues over their opening fixtures, where left with a similar taste in their mouths as they failed to stop a needless equaliser 16 minutes before the half-time whistle.
Sam Habergham’s initial cross wasn’t properly hooked away, letting Ryan Peters tee-up Sean Marks who on the spin provided a ruthless strike beyond Will Puddy.
The game was up for the taking in the second half and despite a few Braintree crosses, which Puddy managed superbly, it was the hosts who could have pinched it.
Clovis Kamdjo was left holding his head in dismay when he headed Ryan Brett’s cross agonisingly wide. Minutes later, the Cameroonian played in Fitchett whose snap-shot forced a good save from McDonald in mid-air.
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Salisbury: Puddy, Belezika, Clarke, Wilson (c), Brett, Kamdjo, McPhee (Wright, 79), S.Sinclair (Lewis, 60), Wellard, (Thomson, 60), Frear, Fitchett.
Subs not used: George, Dutton.
Scorer: Fitchett (12).
Referee: Adam Bromley.