Salisbury City 1 Harriers 0
Venue: Raymond McEnhill Stadium
away fans: 131
Dire display from Harriers
Report by Philip Lench
At least it's early in the season and we don't need to worry too much about this defeat at Salisbury. We have plenty of time available to us.
What we do need to worry about though is the fact that we failed to get a single shot on target throughout the entire ninety minutes of this game and that the defence made so many mistakes that City really should have scored more that the solitary goal that they did produce. It was thanks to a secure display from the much maligned Dean Coleman and a top class penalty save early on that kept the Harriers from going down to an even worse defeat.
That penalty came just five minutes in when Duane Courtney went across Rob Sinclair in the area and bought the long maned one down. Matt Tubbs stepped up to take it but a brilliant first stop by Coleman pushed it out and then the new number one keeper made another great save from the follow up.
Tubbs had another chance to score soon after but his long range shot went well wide of its intended target. Tubbs was playing tonight without his usual strike partner Robbie Matthews after the big man phoned in sick. Then again it could have something to do with not playing against his new club. Allegedly!
Tubbs, again, came close to scoring when this time Coleman wasn't too hot with a cross and dropped the ball at the feet of the City striker. Luckily Tubbs was slow to react and Coleman dropped quickly down on it to smother it.
Apart from a couple of hair raising corners that got cleared away neither side did very little to score and they went into the break on equal terms.
HT: 0 - 0
At the start of this half Chris McPhee dropped back into midfield leaving just Matt Barnes-Homer up front to be supported by Darryl Knights. It didn't really make all that much difference because within minutes City had taken the winning lead.
They were awarded a free kick following a foul by Duane Courtney. Sinclair took it and drifted the ball over to Daniel Webb who had run in behind the defence to loop the header over Dean Coleman and into the net.
Almost immediately Mark Yates started to plan changes to the team. John Finnigan and Kyle Hadley were sent out to warm up and within minutes David McDermott and Darryl Knights made way for them.
Things started to look up for a while following the changes and we almost had our first shot on target but Dean Bennetts free kick deflected off a Harriers player when, if it hadn't, it could well have gone in.
Following a yellow card for Martin Riley after a challenge on Tubbs we made our final change of the night with Lee Baker leaving the field to give Tom Sharpe his debut. Probably an admittance by Yates that we weren't going to get anything from this game and also the fact that last season we had a quality bench and this season it's somewhat lighter in quality.
Three minutes from the end and the danger man Tubbs should really have put his side home and dry but his fierce shot from distance was somehow kept out by a reflex save from Coleman when his hand shot out to push the ball away.
So that's how the game ended with just the one goal dividing the teams but a vast difference in application and the will to win.