SALISBURY took the scalp of National League South side Eastbourne on Tuesday night to book a place in the FA Trophy second round proper for the second year running.

Last season the Whites made their exit at his stage of the competition when beaten 4-1 at Carshalton Athletic.

This Saturday, they will hope to go one better when they travel to Essex to take on Chelmsford City at the Melbourne Community Stadium.

The Clarets are currently ninth in National League South, which is five places above Eastbourne, who the Whites beat 1-0 on Tuesday night in a first round replay.

In a game of few chances Lewis Benson forced a save out of Eastbourne’s goalkeeper Scott Chalmers-Stevens in the first 45 minutes.

After the break, Bay Downing fired a superb over head kick just went over the bar.

Whites’ goalkeeper Marcus Beauchamp then produced a brilliant double save to keep the score at 0-0 with 10 minutes left.

It proved vital as with three minutes left, Dan Fitchett scored the winner to send Salisbury into the second round.

Salisbury manager Steve Claridge was pleased to see his side make it into the next round, but admitted Tuesday night's game was not a classic and said: "We had seven players out and they did as well which meant it was a game between too tired goals which was decided by a horrible goal."

"I need to get a couple of players in for Saturday and we know it will be a tough game, but despite having so many player out I would rather get a replay back at our place on Tuesday night, than go out. I know the players would prefer to play than to train

The victory is the club’s fifth on the trot and already their third of 2020. This followed on from a 3-2 win over visiting Chesham United last Saturday which saw Ollie Knowles, Toby Holmes and Bay Downing.

The year had started with a 4-2 success at lowly Yate thanks to Bay Downing, Dan Fitchett, Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick and Daniel Young.

Salisbury are currently sixth with 39 points from 21 games, which puts them a point outside the play-offs.

" We were fantastic on Saturday against Chesham, but every game so far this year has not be comfortable.

"I don't think we are playing that much better, but things are certainly going for us in the big moments during games."

Their next league game is at home to play-off rivals Swindon Supermarine a week on Saturday and then three days later Beaconsfield are the visitors.