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Salisbury Hill

Salisbury City v Tiverton Town

Saturday, January 6

Pitching In Southern League, Premier Division South

 

SALISBURY were the league pacesetters going into December and had only lost once. Now, after three further losses during last month, the chasing pack has closed and, although they head into this game in second place, others are hovering to overtake them.

 

In the reverse fixture under the lights at the Ian Moorcroft Stadium, Tiverton led at the break and the first half was pretty even. However, the visitors pulled away comfortably to enjoy a 3-1 success in the second period and, in all truth, it was pretty much one-way traffic: Brian Dutton’s team were a very well drilled and cohesive unit on that evening.

 

The Whites are led by Sido Jombati, the Portuguese defender who made almost 300 EFL appearances for the likes of Wycombe Wanderers, Cheltenham Town and Oldham Athletic. Now a veteran at 36, Jombati has looked after himself and is a sizeable influence on his team-mates. 

Sido Jombati

Midfielder Josh Hedges, a summer signing from Didcot, has attracted the attention of National League sides, and players such as strikers James Harding and Noah Coppin, who was playing his football at Willand as a Weston-super-Mare loanee last season, demonstrates Dutton’s ability to blend promising players with more established ones. Harding, who missed the first ten weeks of the season, has good goalscoring figures at this level.

 

There will be keenness within the squad for a return to winning ways. With that in mind, Leigh Robinson’s team will perhaps have to surpass the good standards set at Plymouth Parkway to come away with all three points. The recall of Bailey Kempster by Weston will be disappointing to his many admirers amongst the Tivvy faithful, and it is nothing more than his eye-catching displays deserve.

Bailey Kempster

Two games in quick succession on heavy pitches for the Yellows in December may have left the players feeling fresher than they would have been had the New Year’s Day fixture at home against Dorchester gone ahead after the constant rainfall in Tiverton.

 

Tivvy have not played a side of Salisbury’s calibre since facing Chesham in early December. Aside from the loss of Kempster, Robinson and first team coach Ben Gerring should once again be able to pick from a crop of players who have repaid the faith which they have been shown by them.

 

Can Tiverton stretch their unbeaten run to five games in the Cathedral City or will their hosts take maximum points from them this season? A draw at mid-table Basingstoke was the Whites’ last encounter and Yellows of course drew at a resurgent Plymouth Parkway on Boxing Day.

 

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