A CHRIS Shephard hat-trick boosted Salisbury's chances of a favourable play-off draw, helping his side to an encouraging win at the Ray Mac on Saturday.

The Whites needed a win, coming off the back of a defeat to Swindon Supermarine last Wednesday, as well as indifferent league form of late, and it took just four minutes for the home side to take the lead.

A Fitchett shot was parried by the Walton goalkeeper, only for his defenders to switched off, too busy appealing for an offside flag that never came.

Shephard reacted quickest to poke home from close range.

Salisbury and Chris Shephard got their second of the game after a quarter of an hour with an excellent goal.

Fitchett involved again, knocking down a long ball from Benson into the path of Shephard, who collected and controlled superbly, and volleying the ball low in the bottom left hand corner.

Walton did not really threaten Salisbury at all in first half - summed up by a dreadful effort from Sarpong, as the ball sat up nicely for him on the edge of the box.

He scuffed it completely, and it bobbled slowly and harmlessly wide.

A defensive error gifted Shephard the ball, and with it, his hattrick, just before half time.

This was by far one of the best first half performance Salisbury have put in this season.

They were in complete control and rarely looked threatened.

It took just two minutes after the restart for the Whites to extend their lead further.

Dawson was given time and space to cut inside from the right, and from outside the box he placed the ball into the bottom corner.

Casuals's substitute Bamba and Gasson were booked for protestations at play being allowed to continue despite their number eight Beckles being down.

Two goals in five minutes from Bamba gave Walton some brief hope that an unthinkable comeback could be on, but Salisbury managed to hold on for all three points.

Boosted by Metropolitan Police losing to Poole, Salisbury move up to third in the league.

As it stands, they would play Metropolitan Police at home, on Wednesday May 1.