ANTONIO Diaz’s first-half goal proved not enough as Salisbury were beaten 3-1 at home against Met Police in Southern Premier South, writes Andy Munns. 

Salisbury welcomed second-placed Police to the Ray Mac with Steve Claridge’s side bolstered by players returning from COVID isolation, injury worries easing and the debut of new loan signing Lewys Twamley.

Salisbury have been struggling for league form, having not won a match since the middle of November with injuries, COVID and postponements disrupting their league campaign.

The game started evenly with neither side able to take the game by the scruff of the neck, though 15 minutes into the game a bright spark from debutant Twamley played in Diaz, who finished smartly from the right-hand side of the box to give the home side the lead.

This sparked the Met into life, and they responded almost immediately when Oliver Robinson reacted quickly to a good save from Patrick O’Flaherty in the Whites’ goal to convert a leveller, following a corner.

A good game of football had now broken out with both sides creating but failing to take their chances and the side’s heading in at half-time level at one apiece.

The second half saw a lively start with both sides creating chances, Salisbury’s best opportunity fell to Sam Ashton with a back-post header from a Charlie Davis cross. Salisbury though were quickly made to regret not taking their chances.

The away side took the lead on 69 minutes when Liam Ferdinand finished well and this seemed to raise their level even further.

The Met now seemed more comfortable and were limiting Salisbury to few chances and they went on to add a third with five minutes of the 90 remaining. Jaspar Mather was the man to apply the finish after a good move down the right-hand side.

It was a battling performance from the home side against a good team challenging at the top of the table and the 452 in attendance had enjoyed an entertaining game of football.

Meanwhile, Salisbury bounced back in midweek cup action with a 2-1 victory over Melksham Town.

A goal from Ashton in the first half and a late own goal gave Salisbury the win and a place in the semi-final of the Wiltshire Premier Shield.