28 May 2024

Two late goals put Salisbury into playoff final

Salisbury left it late against Gosport Borough in the playoff semi with a Noah Coppin penalty, which sent Salisbury through to Monday’s play off final.

After an even first half, Gosport dominated the second half and took the lead through Wassmer before Josh Hedges levelled in the 87th minute.

Noah Coppin then stepped up to take a 92nd-minute penalty after Fitchett had been fouled, sending the Salisbury supporters wild.

The first half was a largely cagey affair in which neither side dominated or fully tested either keeper.

Charlie Gunson almost capitalised when Toby Steward was forced to head away from the edge of his own penalty area in the 14th minute.

The ball fell kindly for Gunson, who tried his luck, but Steward had repositioned well and plucked the ball out of the air as it headed goalward.

There were some nervous moments at the back for Salisbury. Da Costa Ramos got into the box on the left-hand side, but his effort from a tight angle went behind.

Salisbury’s probing got them in behind again on 44 minutes after a spell of good football from Salisbury. Noah Coppin got free of his man and was behind the Gosport defence. He slid the ball into the middle trying to find Josh Hedges, but Kristian Campbell slid in to intercept with the ball rolling behind for a corner just outside the post, giving Gosport fans a nervous few seconds.

Salisbury probably had the best chance of the half from the resulting corner when Sido Jombati got on the end of a well-worked corner on the stroke of halftime. He rose highest but headed just wide from 8 yards out.

Salisbury Radio spoke to Brian Dutton after the game:

Gosport pushed back in the dying embers of the half, and Campbell almost caused a problem when he collected a freekick and looked to get in behind Salisbury’s highline. Gosney was aware, though, and collected the ball at the feet of Da Costa Ramos.

The sides went in level at halftime – 0-0.

Gosport came out of the blocks fast and dominated the majority of the second half, but they were limited to half-chances until the 69th minute.

Gosport thought they had the ball over the line after a goal-mouth scramble. Finley Walsh Smith thought he had done enough, but the referee and his assistant said no,

Gosport kept the pressure on, and in the 71st minute, Harry Kavanagh swung the ball in from the lefthand side. Gosney did well to save the first effort, and Charlie Wassmer was adjudged to get the last touch as Gosport forced it over the line.

Salisbury were struggling to get their game working and then a moment of magic from Josh Hedges gave the home supporters hope.

Hedges twisted and turned on the left-hand side of the box, he cut inside on his right foot and drilled the ball low into the bottom left-hand corner to level things up at 1-1.

There was more controversy in injury time as Dan Fitchett was fouled right on the end of the box. Referee Steven Smith judged that it was inside the box, awarded the penalty, and sent off Wassmer.

Noah Coppin stepped up calmly and slotted home from the spot in front of the Salisbury supporters to win the game for Salisbury at the death.

Attendance 2234

Salisbury will play AFC Totton in the playoff final on Monday, kick off at 3pm at The Snows Stadium.

Written by
Andy Munns
View all articles
Written by Andy Munns