SALISBURY’S FA Cup run came to an end at the hands of higher league opposition on Saturday, with Steve Claridge’s men unable to upset National South outfit Oxford City.

After defeating league and local rivals Poole in the first qualifying round, the Whites were handed a home draw against Oxford, who sit 11th in the division above.

A tight first half led to a deadlock that was broken by a quickfire double from the away side around the hour mark, with Oxford’s Oliver Sanderson and Lewis Coyle netting to put their team into what proved an unassailable lead.

Salisbury substitute Dan Fitchett clawed a goal back for the hosts late on, but they were unable to complete the turnaround.

Boss Claridge made four changes from the side that fell to midweek defeat to Merthyr, with Josh Carmichael missing out due to being cup-tie, whilst Marvin Brooks dropped out of the squad entirely.

Captain Darren Mullings was restored to the starting XI, with Antonio Diaz, Brandon Goodship and Ben Thomson replacing the aforementioned Brooks, Carmichael, and attackers Seokjae Lee and Sam Ashton.

Whites came close early on via Devon Arnold and Goodship, but were unable to convert their first efforts of the game. The away side responded when Klaidi Lolos fired a powerful shot just over the bar, but there was little action of note in the first half.

The game burst into life around the hour mark, when the away side struck twice in two minutes to effectively win the tie.

A long ball over the top was finished off by a calm Sanderson, before his teammate Coyle quickly doubled City’s lead. Some slick passing play eventually saw midfielder Zac McEachran tee up Coyle, who made no mistake to make it 2-0.

Now chasing the game, Salisbury were unable to find a quick response to the two goal deficit.

Although they kept on knocking, they were only able to breakthrough deep into stoppage time, when Fitchett popped up to knock home a Mullings cross.

Salisbury: Benfield, Gillela, Diaz, Roberts (Fitchett, 81), Sutcliffe, Wakefield, Davis, Mullings, Arnold (Lee, 72), Goodship (Ashton, 72), Thomson

Unused subs: Matthews, Fox