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Salisbury knocked out of FA Trophy
FA Trophy first round
Cambridge United 1
SALISBURY City’s hopes of an outing to Wembley this season vanished on Saturday after being knocked out by riding high Cambridge United in the first round of the FA Trophy.
The visitors’ side, predominantly consisting of fringe players, included winning hero Nathan Arnold who struck the solitary winner six minutes after the restart to book his side’s place in Monday’s second round hat.
Arnold, 26, playing instead of leading scorer Kwesi Appiah in attack, took Luke Berry’s pass in his stride and unleashed a thunderous angled drive from the left handside, rippling into the far corner, which Will Puddy could only admire.
United edged the first half exchanges, despite both sides causing a threat going forward.
Arnold should have done better when he went through on goal but his cheeky chip inside 21 minutes didn’t come off.
For the Whites, ex-Cambridge midfielder Ricky Wellard, poised on the edge of the area, blazed an effort over the top, and then Clovis Kamdjo forced a good stop from on-loan keeper Jason Brown at the near post with a pounding header.
But the clinical Skrill Premier leaders, showing plenty of conviction this season, went ahead in the 51st minute. The opener woke City up and they dominated play for the remaining stages.
Theo Lewis, Jamie White, Dan Fitchett, debutant Tyler Harvey and Kamdjo all went close but were unable to poke home a leveller.
They even had a massive handball shout turned down with four minutes left as Stuart Sinclair’s drive seemed to hit a Cambridge arm but the referee dismissed all protests.
Unhappy City boss Mikey Harris, whose side have exited the Trophy at the same stage for the second consecutive year, said: “I’m gutted.”
“The FA Trophy is a great competition to be involved in and we’ve had great runs in the past.” But we knew it was always going to be tough against Cambridge.
“We’ve had three really strong penalty shouts turned down and that makes a big difference. If we make individual errors we will get punished, like we did.
“We did look pretty solid but at least the defeat gives us time to focus on Friday’s FA Cup trip to Port Vale and the league.”
Read about Salisbury’s second round tie with Port Vale in our four-page souvenir supplement on Thursday.
•Salisbury’s Skrill Premier affair with FC Halifax Town has been rearranged for Tuesday, January 7 2014 (7.45pm).
Salisbury City (4-1-2-3): Puddy, MacDonald (White, 66), Clarke, Wilson (c), Hart, Kamdjo, Lewis, Wellard (Harvey, 74), S.Sinclair, Fitchett, Frear.
Subs not used: Wright, Brett, Bittner.
Referee: Paul Rees (Portishead).
Shots on: 8/5 Shots off: 5/7 Corners: 5/8 Offsides: 2/2 Fouls: 7/3