SWINDON Town reached the final of the Wiltshire Premier Shield on Tuesday night after beating Southern League Premier South Salisbury 3-2 with 10 men.

Swindon – whose side featured a handful of first-team squad members and several academy prospects – were flying in the first half at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium after a goal from Tomi Adeloye was added to by Dylan Kadji’s brace.

But the second half belonged to Salisbury as Dan Fitchett struck twice himself either side of Abu Kanu’s straight red card.

Nevertheless, the north-Wiltshire outfit hung on and will face Southern League Division One South side Westbury United in the final at the County Ground on Tuesday, May 9.

Gav Gunning – taking charge of the semi-final contest for Town – selected Kadji, Aguiar, Roberts, and Adeloye among the senior faces, while Harrison Minturn took the captain’s armband.

Despite Town’s significant professional advantage, it was Salisbury who should have opened the scoring on home soil after Devon Arnold scampered to the by-line and cut back into the middle for Brandon Goodship in the 11th minute.

But, somehow, the Whites’ striker scuffed wide of the left post with the goal at his mercy.

Swindon used that scare as motivation and turned the pressure up three minutes later. Adeloye found Aguiar on the left, and the winger thumped a fierce effort off the bar from the angle after cutting in onto his right.

The goal arrived second later anyway after Kadji – who was fouled as he passed – fed Adeloye through one-on-one down the left of centre, and the striker rolled it into the bottom right corner.

After Adeloye had nodded over, Town doubled their lead through Kadji as roles were reversed. Adeloye slotted a pass through to Kadji down the right, and the Bristol City loanee took a touch before finding the net via Mark Smith’s hand.

Roberts almost added a third for the Robins but thrashed over at the end of a skilful dribble, meanwhile, Goodship hit Jack Copland’s right-hand post from a close free-kick just before the interval.

There was still time for the visitors to add another goal, though, and Kadji was the man who netted it. Adeloye’s initial shot was parried out by Smith, and the midfielder reacted quickest to turn it home.

But after a dream first 45 for Swindon, the second half was something of a nightmare as Salisbury twice found a way past Copland midway through.

Fitchett had missed a superb chance shortly after the restart, but the Whites’ captain made up for it in the 62nd minute. Fitchett received the ball from substitute Harrison Mealing on the right, and after switching the ball onto his right, he struck low into the bottom left hand corner, leaving Copland rooted to the spot.

Salisbury’s comeback quest was boosted further moments later as, barely more than five minutes after coming on as a substitute, Kanu was shown a straight red card for a poor challenge on Seung Yang.

To make matters worse for Town, Salisbury reduced the deficit further seconds after the incident, with Fitchett poking in at the near post from Mealing’s right-side cross.

With Salisbury tails up, Copland was forced to produce a string of excellent saves to maintain the League Two side’s lead inside the final 20 minutes.

First he denied Calvin Brooks, before foiling both Aaron McCreadie and Joshua Sommerton in the space of 60 seconds 17 minutes from time when their respective powerful efforts from inside the area looked destined for the back of the net.

But after Goodship crashed a late free-kick wide, the 28-time winners progressed into the final for the first time since 2010.

SFC starting XI: Smith, Bosma, Sommerton, McCreadie, Zabeli, Ogundega, D Arnold, Yang, Fitchett ©, Goodship, Brooks.

SFC substitutes: Mealing, C Arnold, Roocroft, O’Callaghan.

STFC starting XI: Copland, Fox, Harries, Minturn ©, Cowmeadow, Aguiar, Brown, Kadji, McGregor, Roberts, Adeloye.

STFC substitutes: Adams, Milne, Hamilton, Kanu, Keyes, Evans, Hubbard.

Referee: Adam Gregory

Attendance: 275