RELEGATION fears have increased for Salisbury Men’s Hockey following a 4-3 home defeat to promotion-challengers Southampton in Hampshire/Surrey Regional Division 2.
The visitors appeared to be cruising at 3-0 at Lower Bemerton but Salisbury clawed three goals back to provide a nervy climax, writes Mike Vimpany.
With five matches remaining, Southampton have a sizeable gap to make up on Basingstoke, who remain seven points clear despite their defeat by Southampton University.
While Salisbury, in contrast, are in trouble and only one point clear of the relegation place - their own worries heightening by wins for bottom side Haslemere and Romsey, the two sides immediately beneath them.
The city side still has to entertain those two rivals at home and clearly those games will decide Salisbury's fate.
Two goals ahead at half time through Will Richardson and Rob O'Brien, Southampton sailed into comfort zone when debutant Dan Wray's cross-shot was deflected for a Tom Morton own goal.
Mark Dunne got Salisbury back in the game, but a crisply worked short corner saw Stu Anderson score his first goal of the season and put Southampton 4-1 up.
Salisbury did manage to launch a late offensive with Morton and Rory McTaggart scoring second and third goals, but by then it was too late and no leveller was mustered.
They go to City of Portsmouth on Saturday.
- Salisbury’s ladies look to widen their 11-point gap at the top of Women’s League Premier Division 2A with the trip to Cirencester on Saturday (1.10pm).
ELLIE Lewis’s brace helped Salisbury under 14s’s girls march to a 4-1 win at Southampton. Ottilie Knight and Alex Dunlop got the other goals.
Also tasting victory was the under 16s boys who beat Southampton in an exhausting seven goal thriller.
A double from Tim Garston and goals from Johnny Bishop and Nick Easterbrook secured the 4-3 victory to take them to the summit.
The under 14s boys made it a trio of victories for the Salisbury side with their 2-0 win over Winchester. Owen Reeman and Henry Smith got on the scoresheet.