SALISBURY’S automatic promotion hopes are all but over after they drew at home to Chesham United on Saturday.

The Whites, who are now five points behind leaders Weymouth having played a game more, have now only won one of their last four league games, drawing once and losing twice.

The home side started the game poorly, with several errors inside the opening 20 minutes meaning they could not get any real momentum going.

Chesham started much better, and were clearly the better team in the first half.

They opened the scoring in the 32nd minute through number eight Billy Clayton. A cross into target man Louis was knocked down into the path of the midfielder Clayton, who was inside the box and completely unmarked. With plenty of time, he made no mistake in converting the chance, and was no less than Chesham deserved.

A shot from Chris Shephard in the 34th minute gave the Chesham keeper his first save of the match.

Salisbury’s opening 45 minutes was summed up by a Chesham corner on 36 minutes – floated in towards no one in particular, keeper Hallett and Sommerton both went for the ball, but an apparent lack of communication saw the teammates collide, and the ball bobbled out for another Chesham corner.

Benson should’ve equalised eight minutes into the second period.

One-on-one with the goalkeeper, the winger hit his shot straight at keeper. The rebound went to Fitchett, who couldn’t get it out from under his feet quick enough, and by the time he got his shot away, the keeper was back in position and collected easily.

The equaliser came just after the hour mark, when substitute Chris Flood was the beneficiary of a mistake from the Chesham goalkeeper. A cross came in from the right-hand side, only for Goode to drop the ball. Fitchett was the most alert, and poked the ball back into the six-yard box, and Flood was in the right place to tap in.

Both sides made attempts to get the winner, and the final decent chance fell to Chris Flood, who was, in his 30 minute cameo, Salisbury’s most effective player by far, and collected the man of the match award.

Next up for the Whites is Staines away next Saturday. The Whites should be confident of returning to winning ways in Surrey – The Swans lost 9-0 away to Merthyr Town on Saturday, and 5-2 at home to Hendon before that.

Staines are bottom of the table by 21 points, having won just three games all season, and conceding 115 goals.