FOR the second time this season, Salisbury were dumped out of a cup competition to lower league opposition - this time losing 1-0 at home to Bracknell Town, of the Isthmian League South Central Division.

Back in September, there were knocked out of the FA Cup on penalties by Kidlington, who play in the Southern Football League Division 1 Central.

On a bitterly cold night at the Ray Mac, the Whites were second best for most of the evening, and although they will point to a possible handball in the build up play to the only goal of the game, Bracknell deserved the win.

Salisbury keeper Alexis Junior was called into action after just four minutes, with a fine double save, first with his hands from a swerving hit, and the second with his feet from forward Grant, who should’ve scored.

Bracknell were much the brighter of the two sides, and had more chances come and go in the opening 10 minutes, before an enforced substitution - Platt going off with a hamstring complaint.

The visitors took the lead after 17 minutes.

Cries of handball from Salisbury – substitute Moore the alleged offender – fell on deaf ears, as he charged down the left wing. A tackle was then evaded, before a perfectly weighted ball was put on a plate for Rees, who sent the keeper the wrong way from around the penalty spot. A deserved lead.

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Two minutes later, Moore went in the book for flooring a Salisbury full back after a pass back to the keeper. The first card in a fractious affair.

It took 20 minutes for Salisbury’s first meaningful shot to come, which sailed over the bar without troubling the keeper.

Bracknell continued to threaten, with Grant taking down a long ball wonderfully, before hitting his effort into the side netting.

On the half hour mark, an excellent chance came and went for Baker – the frontman was fed in down the right, twisting and turning, putting the centre back on his backside, but found his shot blocked and out for a corner. The corner was collected by the keeper. Four minutes later, Town very nearly doubled their lead, almost squeezing in a corner on the near post, confusion seeming to mean no Whites player picked up the runner. Seconds later, Alexis saved another chance. Half time, and the visitors went in 1-0 up.

First ten minutes of second half was in much the same vein as most of the first, with Bracknell the team on the front foot, looking most likely to score, testing the keeper. Salisbury seemed bereft of ideas and unable to string two passes together.

Salisbury’s best chance of the game so far came after 68 minutes, with Diaz played through on the counter attack, running the length of Bracknell’s half, one-on-one with the goalkeeper to the left of the 18-yard-box, and slicing it very high and very wide with his left – Baker unmarked in the centre.

Brook nearly equalised on 74, with his sides' only shot on target, but a superb diving save from Scott denied him. The corner hit somebody in the melee, over the bar, goal kick. Baker had another chance to score before the final whistle - which came early, the referee choosing not to play the allocated five minutes of added time. In the end, Salisbury can complain about a possible handball for the goal, among other dubious decisions from the referee, but all in all, a deserved win for Bracknell Town.