SALISBURY maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a win in sweltering conditions on Saturday.

They took on Walton and Hersham - who were also unbeaten going into the fixture at the Ray Mac.

There was just one change made to Brian Dutton’s starting lineup from last week’s FA Cup win, Jamar Smith coming in to replace Theo Lewis.

It was a fairly cagey start to the game, both sides looking to feel the other out on a baking hot afternoon. There was plenty of good possession from both teams, but very little in the way of goal-mouth action in the opening quarter of an hour.

The first real sight of goal came on 14 minutes when Salisbury’s Charlie Gunson fired a long-range shot well over the bar, with Walton’s first effort on 19 minutes a first-time shot from Stan Flaherty straight at keeper Josh Gould.

Salisbury Journal: Keeper Josh Gould in actionKeeper Josh Gould in action

On 38 minutes a good move from Salisbury worked the ball wide to Aaron Simpson and his pinpoint cross saw Gunson unable to make clean contact, with the ball bouncing off his shoulder and into the hands of Walton keeper Liam Allen.

There were no further chances for either side in the half, with neither keeper having been properly tested despite some neat and tidy football from both sides.

The second half followed much the same pattern as the first; plenty of comfortable possession for both sides but no one able to quite make the breakthrough that would seriously test either keeper.

Salisbury Journal: Aaron SimpsonAaron Simpson

With five minutes left of normal time, the Whites did take the lead and it was a goal of real quality. Great link up down the right-hand side between Simpson and Arnold saw the full-back win the ball in midfield and feed it to Arnold outside him.

Great composure from the substitute saw him look up and cut it back to Simpson, who had continued his run into the box, to sweep the ball home for the game’s only goal. Salisbury were able to see out the remaining minutes without alarm and secure a hard-fought three points against decent opposition.

Salisbury Journal: Brian DuttonBrian Dutton

Manager Brian Dutton told the Journal he is "very pleased" with the start his side has made to this campaign.

"Walton and Hersham was also going to be a standout test for us. They are a side that has been together for a few years and are coming off of three promotions on the bounce.

"For us to win and deservedly so, I think it has given me and hopefully the boys too renewed confidence in what we are doing."

Especially pleasing was the clean sheet.

Dutton added: "Walton were top scorers in the league coming in the game with 21 goals. The clean gives everybody defensively more confidence".

Salisbury Journal: The crowds look on

But there is no time to rest on their laurels, said Dutton.

Salisbury take on Tiverton Town away on Wednesday night before travelling to Mousehole for the Second Round Qualifying of the FA Cup on Saturday, September 16.

"It's a very gruelling week, with three fixtures crammed in", said the manager.

"Tiverton always ask you questions, and they roll their sleeves up and the game is going to be a scrap", he said.

After that there is a "very important game" for the club, with a trip to Cornwall for the cup fixture.

"Physically and mentally we need to be ready and we cannot be feeling sorry for ourselves", he said, "and I believe we will be".