SALISBURY Hockey Club Men’s firsts began their second half of the season with a battling 2-1 win against promotion rivals Yateley – a result which takes them up to second in Hampshire Division 1.

The Lower Bemerton outfit looked dangerous early on, creating a few chances on the counter attack. Martin Clark couldn’t get his shot away when he had time at the top of the D, before Jon Powell fired narrowly wide.

And 10 minutes prior to the interval, the hosts found the breakthrough. Tom Morton originally miscontrolled from a penalty corner routine, but eventually recovered the ball and squeezed home at the near post.

After the resumption, Salisbury were penalised following a foul from Jon Powell and the resulting penalty corner was dispatched.

It didn’t take long for the hosts to regain their lead, and it arrived in trademark fashion.

A quick breakaway left the Yateley defence in trouble and Martin Clark squared for Jagjit Marwaha to stroke home for his long-awaited first goal of the term.

Salisbury had to ride out a nervy ending as they finished with nine men following the sin bins of Tom Brady and skipper Andy Renshaw, who said: “We had to be really disciplined tactically and had to work really hard especially after picking up two injuries in the first half.

“The lads gave everything and, with the attacking threat we’ve got, we don’t need a lot of possession to beat sides.”

The win for Salisbury – their first game in five weeks due to the festive break – sees them trail leaders Gillingham by two points.