SALISBURY Men's Hockey firsts picked up a precious point in Hampshire Division 1 after holding fellow title challengers Southampton University to a 2-2 draw.

The students took the lead when Steve Booth's pass was intercepted by a lurking attacker and he raced through to dispatch his shot past Lewis Gunstone-Gray.

Salisbury hit back through returning Rory MacTaggart whose effort from a penalty corner trickled over the line.

The hosts restored their lead before the break through a penalty corner.

In the second half, captain Andy Renshaw played in Jagjit Marwaha who unselfishly squared to MacTaggart who fired wide with the keeper left stranded.

But the Lower Bemerton outfit finally got their equaliser, some great work between Tom Morton and Akram Ghauri down the left resulted in the latter’s pull-back finding Marwaha who finished neatly into the bottom corner.

Gunstone-Gray was again called into action late on with a quality double save after a University penalty corner, as both sides pushed for the winner.

“It was really hard work, they’re a young fit side with some good players," Renshaw told JournalSport.

"We showed that when we kept our shape in the second half we can be a difficult team to break down.”

“We’re disappointed with the two goals but the rest of the game was really pleasing, even though we couldn’t get a winner at the end."

Salisbury have dropped to third and are two points adrift of Southampton and three of new leaders Gillingham, who they face in their penultimate fixture next month.