SALISBURY FC were able to get back to winning ways with a comprehensive 5-1 victory at home to Slimbridge FC.

Following last Saturday’s late postponement away at Swindon Supermarine, the Whites had not played since the defeat at Didcot on February 6.

That lose prompted manager Steve Claridge to make two changes to his side; George Colson replacing Eddie Perrett in defence and new signing Cory Simpson making his full debut in place of Danny Young.

The struggling visitors were the first to threaten after just four minutes, Sean Lawson was released through but Charlie Searle was alert to the danger to save well with his feet.

Seven minutes later the home side took the lead with their first real chance.

Good link up play on the right-hand side saw Lewis Benson feed Tom Whelan, whose ball across was well finished by striker Owen Howe.

The away side could have responded almost instantaneously, but after Jake Wannell had dwelt on the ball Max Harper-Emerson could only shoot straight at Searle.

On 17 minutes, the Whites doubled their lead with Howe turning provider this time.

His excellent ball on the turn sent Stuart Green through and the Whites leading scorer made no mistake with a good low finish past goalkeeper Oliver Hall.

Howe could have had his second just two minutes later, but after a fine first touch he could only blaze high over the bar after Benson had set him up.

Just after the half hour mark Salisbury got the third goal that their play deserved.

Some lovely interchanges involving Whelan, Benson and Green ended with Howe blasting a shot straight at goalkeeper Hall who reacted well to push it wide for a corner. The resulting corner saw defender George Colson make a good run across the box and he glanced a header perfectly into the back of the net for his first league goal of the season. The Whites could have scored again straight from the kick off.

A loose ball fell to Benson who in turn put it through to Green but his effort was well saved by Hall.

Salisbury were able to comfortably see out the rest of the half and could have added to their tally in time added on but Howe put his snap shot just wide.

The second half started in much the same vein as the first with Salisbury having plenty of the ball and the hard-working visitors resorting to long balls.

Despite their possession dominance, it took until 55 minutes for the Whites to have their first chance of the half when Wannell headed straight at Hall from Whelan’s corner. Shortly after the hour mark, the Whites got their fourth goal and Green got his second. Some good work on the right from the impressive Benson saw him set up Green and he finished well from 15 yards.

On 69 minutes Whelan found space on the edge of the box and put through Chris Shephard, on as a substitute, but his effort was blocked for a corner.

Five minutes later the influential Whelan put a good ball through to Howe but he found himself blocked out with Claudio Herbert, on for Benson, also unable to force the ball home.

Green had a further two chances to claim his hat-trick but first saw his effort blocked after a good pull back from Shephard and was then unable to cleanly get the ball under control when Shephard again found him making a good run down the middle.

The Whites had a scare on 78 minutes when Wannell gave the ball away to Lawson but he put his shot just wide.

Slimbridge did register a consolation two minutes later and it was not a goal that Whites manager Steve Claridge will be particularly happy with.

A long ball should have been comfortably dealt with but a mix up between Colson and Searle presented Kai Mahon with an unguarded goal to slot the ball into, thus ruining the home side's clean sheet.

The Whites responded straight away and Danny Young’s ball across saw first Herbert and then Whelan have efforts blocked.

The Whites did add to their total with five minutes remaining and it was that man Green who finally claimed his hat-trick.

Some good build up play saw Howe lay the ball off for Shephard who saw two efforts blocked before Green managed to hit the bar from 10 yards.

The ball fell to Young who miscued his shot but fortunately the ball fell at Green’s feet who was relieved to finally claim his third goal and the match ball.

That was it as far as goals were concerned although the visitors could have claimed a second with the last kick off the game but Searle did well to keep out Joe Stokes’s effort after he had beaten three defenders on the edge of the box.

The Whites have now beaten Slimbridge twice this season, scoring 10 times in the process.

Manager Claridge will be pleased with the manor of victory but slightly disappointed not to maintain a clean sheet having dominated the vast majority of the game.

He will also have been disappointed to see Shephard limp off just before the end having only just returned from a long-term injury.

Salisbury are next in action on Saturday when they travel to bottom side Bishops Cleeve for a 3pm kick off.

The Whites will not underestimate their opponents though as they were able to secure a goalless draw when the sides met at the Ray Mac earlier in the season.

Since then however, Salisbury have improved considerably and will look to maintain their promotion push ahead of a tough looking run of games throughout March