SECOND bottom Barnstaple Town ended Salisbury's seven match winning streak with a 1-0 victory in the Southern League Division One West in front of a crowd of 603 at the Ray Mac on Saturday.

Manager Steve Claridge made three changes to the side which won against Larkhall Athletic the previous weekend, Olly Mehew replacing the suspended Owen Howe, Tom Roberts deputising in goal for the injured Charlie Searle and Rhys Baggridge replaced George Colson as the Whites switched to a back three.

Early on it was clear that the struggling visitors had come with a game plan to sit deep and try to catch the Whites on the break and as result Salisbury saw plenty of the ball early on.

The first chance of note arrived after eight minutes when Tom Whelan’s ball to the left found Danny Young but his cross was blazed over by Aaron Dawson.

The home side continued to try to find a route to goal and on 17 minutes Whelan’s free-kick was met by Rhys Baggridge but the defender disappointingly put his header well over the bar when in space.

Salisbury continued to have the majority of possession with Barnstaple limited to balls over the top of the defence, although not causing Salisbury any serious trouble.

Claudio Herbert, Mehew and Stuart Green all then had half chances for the White’s but the next big chance arrived after 38 minutes when good work from Mehew on the left found Green in space but his effort was pushed over the bar by goalkeeper Robert Holmes.

Just before half-time there was strong shouts from the home side for a penalty, but referee Martin Bloor waved away the shouts and booked Mehew for simulation.

The second half started much as the first had been with Salisbury seeing plenty of ball and on 49 minutes Green released Kane O’Keefe down the right, but the Salisbury captain’s pull back was easily cleared.

Salisbury kept pressing without testing the Barnstaple goalkeeper, so it was somewhat of a surprise when the visitors took the lead on the hour mark with their first chance of note.

A ball down the middle saw goalkeeper Roberts come out to clear but his miskick allowed Billy Hopcroft the simplest of tasks to slot home into an empty goal from 25 yards.

The home fans would have been hoping for this setback to spur the Whites on, but despite seeing plenty of the ball and forcing some corners and half chances, the only real chance that came saw O’Keefe put a header just past the post when well placed.

A combination of some solid, organised defending and wasteful passing by the home side meant that the away side hung on for just their fourth win of the season.

Salisbury will look to bounce back on Saturday (3pm) when they host mid-table side Yate Town.