SALISBURY will be hoping to get back to winning ways on Saturday after losing their first home game of the season last weekend, going down 1-0 to Totton. 

There was a welcome return from injury for Josh Gould in goal, with Ryan Penny also coming in to replace Harry Williams. 

A third change saw a debut for youngster Richard McIntyre, signed on work experience from Oxford United, replacing Jamar Smith.

Salisbury Journal: Josh Gould in action. Picture by John Rose photographyJosh Gould in action. Picture by John Rose photography (Image: John Rose)

It took just five minutes for Gould to show his alertness, making a fine double save. 

Firstly he pushed away Scott Rendell’s shot before reacting quickly to block the follow-up effort from Joseph Turner. After that initial flurry the game settled down into a bit of a dour affair, neither team able to take control of the game and assert themselves. 

A couple of dangerous balls into the box at either end saw no attacker able to get on the end of them, before on 32 minutes Salisbury saw their first sight of goal. Dan Fitchett played in last week’s hat-trick hero Noah Coppin, and the wide-man cut inside before curling a right-footed cross/shot wide of the upright. 

A minute later the Whites were forced into a change; Aaron McCredie had tried to run off a knock received a few minutes earlier but after going down again he had to go off to be replaced by Zaide Took-Oxley, who had signed alongside McIntyre earlier in the day.

On 58 minutes a Totton corner was headed narrowly wide by former Salisbury defender Charlie Kennedy, before on 64 minutes the Whites came closest so far to breaking the deadlock.

A ball in from the right-hand side by Josh Hedges saw Kennedy attempt to turn the ball back to keeper Lewis Noice but get a little bit too much on the ball and force the custodian to scramble back and claw the ball away from off the line.

On 73 minutes the game’s only goal came and, perhaps fittingly, it came from the penalty spot. Following a bit of a scramble in the Salisbury penalty box, the ball came off the hand of defender Aaron Simpson and, after consulting with his assistant, referee Martin Bloor pointed to the spot. Rendell stepped up to take it and confidently smashed the ball home giving Gould no chance.

As the game ticked towards the 90-minute mark the Whites had their best spell of the game; substitute Harry Williams shooting straight at Noice when well placed and then Hedges dragging a shot wide from the angle of the box.

As the game entered additional time, Salisbury captain Sido Jombati was carried off with what looked like a concussion injury before in the dying moments Sam Perry headed over from a corner to wrap up a frustrating afternoon for the Whites.   

The defeat means they are second in the Southern League Premier South five points behind top-of-the-table Chesham United, but comfortably inside the play-off places. 

They travel to Beaconsfield on Saturday for a 3pm kick-off.