A MAN of the match performance from Zack Kotwica gave Salisbury FC a much-needed 3-2 victory against Staines Town.

With Salisbury sat in 15th before the game on six points, this was an important three points for an improved Whites, which saw them move up to 11th in the table.

Kotwica bagged a brace with a goal either side of half-time, and right back Bay Downing scoring the other, on his debut.

The Whites flew out of the blocks. An excellent pass from captain Kane O’Keefe to Darren Mullings saw the midfielder through on goal.

The number eight unselfishly laid the ball off for Downing, who made no mistake in putting his side 1-0 inside two minutes.

A very open first quarter of an hour saw plenty of chances for both sides. August’s player of the month Josh Sommerton, from a corner on six minutes, set an early pattern, with Salisbury have several good chances from set peices throughout the game.

The advantage was doubled after 26 minutes, with another superb ball from O’Keefe upfield for Kotwica, who beat Staines’s Mbangu for pace, took the ball into his stride and buried into the bottom right hand corner.

The second goal seemed to be something of a wake-up call for the visiting Swans, who finished the half strongly. They responded quickly through full-back Ryan Khanye on 32 minutes, with a direct free kick, which dipped over the wall into the bottom corner.

Salisbury started the second half as strongly as they started the first, with a good chance for Kotwica after just 20 seconds, following a mistake in midfield.

The strong start for the Whites was rewarded with Kotwica restoring their two goal cushion, with his second the game.

The goal came from excellent work from Whelan, who threaded a reverse pass through the Staines backline, and Kotwica slotted home.

Staines again recovered well and looked to respond immediately, and after 73 minutes got their reward. Sommerton made a rare mistake at the back, slipping over to allow space for Staines to attack.

Hamilton was played through and beat Hallett at his near post.

As the final 20 minutes of the game played out, the Whites had plenty of opportunities to put the game to bed. Kotwica could have reached his hat trick on several occasions, and was denied with good saves from Agboola.

The Swans also played the last five minutes with 10 men, as goal scorer Ryan Khanye limped off and they had already made all three substitutions.

“It was a lot more stressful than it should’ve been,” said boss Steve Claridge, “We made it harder than it needed to be. We don’t seem to know how to put games to bed.

“We got there in the end, that’s the most important thing, and I think people have seen a good game of football”.