ALDERSHOT & FARNHAM 3, SALISBURY 0
The low sun was casting long shadows across the pitch as A&F looked to stamp their authority on proceedings.
Salisbury, struggling for points this season, sat deep and looked to assert themselves in midfield, but this left space for the home defenders to stroke the ball around and probe for an opening.
The wall of white shirts proved difficult to break down and Kevin McCafferty, attempting to link up play in the middle of the park, was consistently being crowded out.
Chris Edwards and Jamie Strachan had more joy down the flanks, while Salisbury attempted to hit on the break and capitalise on any errors.
A mishit pass by Charlie Rickett was pounced upon by Salisbury, but keeper Hamish Hall reacted sharply to rescue the situation.
A near identical error at the other end was seized upon by Marc Hinton who danced between two defenders and drove goalwards until, with just the keeper to beat, he was bundled over in the act of shooting and Jonny Groves stepped up to calmly slot home the penalty flick.
With only a slender 1-0 advantage at the break, A&F came out cautiously in the second half, while Salisbury continuing to play deep and use their pace and skill to counter-attack.
Under no real pressure, the home defence began to pull the strings, with Jamie Weston directing play.
A long corner was won and given back to Rickett who, coming off the line, spotted Ian Metcalfe making a clever run in the box. A powerful delivery picked out Metcalfe’s stick and the deflection left the keeper helpless: 2-0 to A&F.
The league leaders declined to rest on their laurels and continued to hassle the Salisbury defenders.
Hinton tracked his man back to edge of the area, won the ball and laid it off to Phil Rushmere. The two then combined down the left before Rushmere threaded a pass through the eye of the proverbial needle to an unmarked Rob Jervis who had time to set himself and power the ball into the back of the net for A&F’s third goal.
Aldershot & Farnham travel to Hamble this Saturday.