The Skrill Premier
A TEDIOUS Skrill Premier clash between two play-off challengers ended in a goalless stalemate which extended Salisbury City's winless run to four games.
The below-par hosts have now gone more than 400 minutes without a goal, last winning and scoring at Tamworth on February 18, and they didn’t look like halting that drought over 90 minutes.
Despite a marked improvement from the midweek drubbing suffered at Forest Green Rovers and a healthy point gained, the Tynesiders were far more creative. And their imagination was nearly rewarded with a ticket back into the top five after double stabs at goal late on went begging.
One of the defining moments came on 72 minutes which saw a point-blank save from Will Puddy, at his far post, keep out an unmarked James Brown following a decent passage of play.
Then, four minutes from time, James Lester looked like he’d pinched a second successive away win when his tremendous movement allowed him to fire home from four yards but somehow Puddy miraculously smuggled clear.
Before those chances happened, it was a quiet first 45 minutes for Puddy and his opposite number Adam Bartlett as only sniffs at goal were served.
Craig Baxter kept Puddy on alert after pulling a cross past the goal, which Kevin Amankwaah cleaned up and James Marwood had an effort with a 25-yard free kick.
The hosts first steered one goalwards three minutes before the half time whistle when Theo Lewis screwed Jamie White’s pass into the side netting.
There was a better rhythm after the restart but chances were still limited. Dan Fitchett had a shot on goal and Glenn Wilson, against his former club, saw a header saved.
“It’s a little bit concerning we haven’t scored in four games but we’ve been more solid defensively,” said boss Mikey Harris.
“I’m more than confident we have goals in our team. “It’s a point gained and pleased to keep a clean sheet following the four goals we conceded on Tuesday.
“I don’t think we really got our game going and we can do a lot better than what we showed. But I can’t knock the lads’ work rate and desire. It was a case of both teams cancelling each other out.”
Only a point separates the teams locked in ninth and tenth position.
- Salisbury go to Wrexham on Saturday (3pm).
Salisbury City: Puddy, Amankwaah, Clarke, Wilson (c), Hart (Fitchett h-t), R.Sinclair (McPhee, h-t), Brett, Lewis, Wellard, S.Sinclair, White (Frear, 74).
Subs not used: Dutton, Bittner.
Referee: Lee Swabey (Plymouth).
Half time: 0-0.
MATCH FACTS: Shots on: 1/2 Shots off: 3/3 Corners: 4/5 Offsides: 1/4 Fouls: 5/3 Yellow cards: 1 McPhee (50)