AUTOMATIC promotion is still on the cards for Salisbury Hockey Men's firsts after picking up a crucial 2-0 win away at Trojans seconds in Hampshire 1.

And it was done without skipper Andy Renshaw and leading scorer Tom Morton as the Lower Bemerton outfit kept on the coat-tails of leaders Gillingham, who are three points clear with two games in hand.

Stand-in captain for the day Jagjit Marwaha and his midfield partner, Tom Brady, caused the hosts all kinds of trouble, winning turnovers and creating counter attacks.

And it wasn't long before the opener arrived. Brady found Rory MacTaggart, back after a spell at City of Bath, who cut inside and found Martin Clarke whose wayward shot was deflected home by a full-stretched Will Alvis.

The visitors continued the pressure and it wasn't long before they doubled their lead prior to the interval.

Mike Spice played a long ball into MacTaggart, who then beat three defenders and offloaded to centre back Steve Booth at the top of the D to calmly slot home.

In a less eventful second half, Mike Spice was yellow carded and Salisbury conceded a few short corners that Lewis Gunstone-Grey kept out.

A third goal nearly arrived through Jon Powell's drive that found MacTaggart, and the striker unleashed a ferocious volley towards goal that was superbly kept out.

"Trojans are always strong at home, so the lads did brilliantly to come away with all three points," said Renshaw.

"It keeps the pressure on at the top, but we can't afford to drop points between now and the end of the season if we're to gain automatic promotion."

Salisbury host lowly Haslemere seconds on Saturday (1pm).