SALISBURY FC manager Steve Claridge paid tribute to his players after the Whites confirmed their promotion to the Southern League Premier Division after a 2-1 victory over Didcot last Saturday.

George Colson netted the winner with a second half penalty, after top goal getter Stuart Green had opened the scoring and Felipe Barcelos equalised

Claridge said: "I think the players really showed a bit of resolve in the final few games of the season, as it looked like we were going to end up in the play-off. We were ahead for so long and with Taunton so far ahead all the other teams were chasing us."

"They showed their character and got the results we needed and this will hold everyone in good stead going forward."

Looking back on the win, the Whites boss said: "I think we had a couple of slices and luck and I have not said that a lot this season."

After finished second to Hereford last season, the pressure was on the Whites from the opening game as being the side to beat.

Claridge said: "This has been our toughest season to date. We were everyone's cup final so every game was tough for us. I think getting into a league, is so much harder than staying there. I really think we can compete in the Southern Premier next season and I am looking forward to no longer being the team everyone wants to beat."

On Tuesday night, the Whites signed off their home campaign with 1-0 victory over Bideford, as top scorer Green netted their only goal.

They now complete their season with a trip to Bristol Manor Farm on Saturday, against a team who for so long had been right on the heels of the Whites in the promotion race.

However, in the past two weeks they have slipped from third and out of the play-off places.

They are now seventh, one point behind Circencester and two back from Swindon Supermarine, but Didcot and Bideford could also get into the mix with wins on tonight.

Claridge said: "We will go to Bristol Manor Farm looking to enjoy the day, while they will be trying to get into the play-offs. I really enjoy the play-offs as a player and a manager, but this year I am really pleased we are not in them, as they are going to be tough. I think this league is the toughest at this level of football."