SALISBURY FC’s recent indifferent form continued with a surprising defeat at home to Cinderford Town.

The Whites team sheet showed three changes from the Easter Monday loss at Wimborne Town as Claudio Herbert, Luke Hopper and Tom Roberts replaced Rhys Baggridge, Danny Young and an unwell Charlie Searle.

The home side were the first to threaten when Jake Wannell’s long ball saw Hopper go through, but his shot was high and wild.

Cinderford took the lead after 10 minutes and it was a goal that will not have pleased White’s manager Steve Claridge.

George Colson failed to clear the ball inside his own box and after Tom Roberts had initially denied the away side, the ball was played across to Craig Norman at the back post who buried his shot into an empty net.

Following the goal Cinderford grew in confidence and saw plenty of possession, although Salisbury’s Owen Howe did have a snapshot on 15 minutes that was comfortable for keeper Cameron Clarke.

The Whites were not playing with any fluency, not helped by their visitor’s effective game plan, so it was a slight surprise that they found themselves level just after the half hour mark.

Salisbury were awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal and as he has so often this season, Lewis Benson stepped up to curl the ball into the back of the net past a poorly positioned Cinderford wall.

This helped settle the home side and they could have taken the lead shortly before half time when Howe and Stuart Green linked up to see the latter’s shot blocked and then from the resulting corner George Colson put his header over when well placed.

Salisbury made a change at half time, bringing on Zach Kotwica to replace Luke Hopper.

They started the second half as they had ended the first and with Howe winning plenty of balls in the air, it wasn’t long before someone would get on the end of a flick on, although Green was denied by a good save from Clarke.

Despite starting the half the better team, Salisbury again found themselves behind after 58 minutes and it was Norman who got his second.

With Salisbury pushing on there was plenty of space at the back and Norman exploited this to score with a well-placed shot. Salisbury’s responded well and just a minute later Kotwica put his effort straight at Clarke following another good flick on from Howe.

The Whites continued to press to look for the equaliser and saw lots of chances go to waste in a 10-minute spell of sustained pressure.

Howe’s header hit the bar from a Benson free kick, Wannell then did the same with O’Keefe unable to convert the follow up before Wannell had two more headed chances that he was unable to convert.

Salisbury were made to pay for missed chances with 15 minutes remaining when Richard Greaves was able to convert a third for Cinderford after another break.

Again Salisbury responded well with Green and Colson both seeing shots saved by Clarke, and they were rewarded with a second goal after 84 minutes.

It was Benson who got it and again it was a free-kick that he curled into the top corner from 25 yards.

With 10 minutes left Salisbury sensed an opportunity to grab a point, but some wasteful play and resolute defending from Cinderford ensured that the three points headed back to Gloucestershire.

Salisbury will look to bounce back on Tuesday night when they welcome Winchester City to the Ray Mac for the cathedral derby, and they will look to pick up the points to help maintain the cushion between themselves and the chasing pack for the last remaining promotion place in the Southern League Division One West .