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Double strikes move Salisbury into play-off places
CAMEROONIAN midfielder Clovis Kamdjo and Angus MacDonald fired Salisbury City to the play-off zone and secured their second league double with victory over rivals Woking.
The crucial second half strikes returned Salisbury to fifth spot in Skrill Premier for the first time this year and recorded back-to-back clean sheets.
It was far from a smooth start for City, who, on a frosty night, were wobbling in the opening exchanges after soaking up a mouthful of Woking pressure.
Dangerman Kieran Murtagh was Surrey side’s lively outlet, nearly getting the better of Will Puddy from a launched attack. And soon after, Jack Marriott curled one at the keeper following a fluent Woking move.
Salisbury, still struggling to find their rhythm at this point, managed to create an intelligent piece of play, which allowed Ryan Brett to trot down the left wing and whip in a tasty cross for the leaping Fitchett who, in midair, couldn’t touch home.
Down the other end, Woking had a clear-cut chance to break the deadlock minutes before Adam Bromley signalled half time.
John Goddard, from an acute angle, left the far post shaking after steering an effort towards goal, which somehow didn’t trickle over the line. City’s feeble clearance fell to a lurking Murtagh, but his strike was well handled by a crouched Puddy.
Kevin Betsey, formerly of Premiership club Fulham, pulled the trigger five minutes after the interval and then teammate Murtagh skewed Goddard’s cheeky chip wide, leaving a gaping hole in the City defence.
Loose defending forced Mikey Harris into a change, with the straight swap in midfield of Stuart Sinclair for Chris McPhee.
Minutes after, Harris had no alternative but to make a second substitute as assistant manager Warren Feeney suddenly dropped to the floor with a suspected long-term leg injury, and was replaced by Jamie White.
After the disastrous blow it looked like it wasn’t going to be City’s night until the 63rd minute when their luck changed. Elliott Frear cut back for the bursting Kamdjo who stroked home his first goal since October.
The points were wrapped up three minutes from time when MacDonald’s ferocious set-piece bounced off a yellow shirt and flew into the top corner.
“Everyone put in an incredible amount of effort and we got our rewards,” said Harris, celebrating his side’s six match unbeaten roll at Old Sarum.
“I’m delighted to pick up the win and complete a double over them.
“Being in the top five is a nice place to be and it’s just a case of doing our level best to stay there with the resources we have available.
“We were just about able to fill the bench and we’ve got a thin squad, which is even more credit to the players.”
With many games in the division losing out to the weather, the ground staff at Salisbury, once again, worked tirelessly to get two games on in the space of three days.
“The lads behind the scenes working hard on the pitch deserve a huge amount of respect and gratitude from us for getting games on,” Harris added.
“Playing these matches gives us the momentum to push forward.”
Salisbury: Puddy, MacDonald, Dutton (c), Wilson, Brett, McPhee (S.Sinclair, 55), R.Sinclair (Wellard, 75), Kamdjo, Frear, Fitchett, Feeney (White 62).
Subs not used: Bittner, Flint.
Scorers: Kamdjo (63), MacDonald (86).
Referee: Adam Bromley (Plymouth).
Star man: Will Puddy.
Half time: 0-0.