Date: 9th September 2013 at 8:29am
Written by:

View from a Salisbury fan that attended the game:

‘Hi Guys just back home after a long old day. I am not coming on here to gloat, but to answer a couple of points which various people have raised. we are full time, not part time. Have been for 6 years I think it is. The BBC has it as 54% possession to you so I am told.

As for our tactics, I was surprised at times in the 2nd half that we kept 2 up at your corners. Yes we first and foremost went to defend, but we only played one naturally defensive Midfielder the whole game. The rest of the midfield were very hard working attacking players who were prepared to put a shift in.

Of course getting a win at your place is massive for a club our size and made the journey home that much better. But in all honesty we could have had 2 or 3 more. the 3 on 1 god knows how we didn’t score that. Yes almost always we attacked on the break, but away from home that is clever play.

Pretty sure come the end of the season you will end up higher than us, but at the moment we will enjoy being 3rd in the form table for the last 4 games

Anyway I look forward to the return at our place.’

And now for the views from our supporters:

‘Very frustrating game, never looked like scoring or breaking the opposition down.

I understand the idea behind passing sideways and backwards but it’s pointless if you pass it back to the keeper for him to then pump it up to the strikers who weren’t winning headers.

I don’t want to be too critical/pessimistic following the good start to the season but today wasn’t good enough and hopefully the team can put it right against Barnet next week.

Salisbury aren’t anything special, but they stuck to their plan and it paid off. But no offence to Salisbury, they are the sort of team we should be beating at home if we’re going to be in the top half/sniffing around the playoffs.’

‘Extremely poor today and we looked devoid of ideas going forward. Salisbury packed the midfield we resorted to pumping it forward with little success. I hope we have a plan B for situations like today. The most frustrating aspect of today was that we had a great opportunity to move forward but somehow pressed the self destruct button again.’

‘Never looked scoring or even putting them under pressure until Sheridan came on and Foster went off. Said it earlier on this season but Foster doesn’t look comfortable to me in midfield. Why we kept lumping long balls forward for Tomlinson and Wade to try to win god only knows as the big Salisbury backline was having the game played right into their hands. A really bad day at the office but I hope its a reality check for some thinking we were going to walk over everyone. Its just one bad result and fingers crossed we can get something from a very tough away game at Barnet.’

‘That was as bad as any performance under Holdsworth. We either played backwards or long. Rubbish. Dixon’s never a footballer in a million years, and Farman’s kicking’s a disgrace, as is Nat Brown’s. Boyce did fairly well, and Mo tried his best to drive us forward, whilst Newton and Miller didn’t do anything wrong between them. Other than that, we were completely devoid of quality and desire to win the game. Nolan’s in the middle ground between ‘keeping us ticking over and making sure we stay on the ball’ and ‘completely bottling taking any responsibility and wanting rid of the ball as soon as he gets it’. Tomlinson had no service at all and Fairhurst should be looking fitter by now. Foster wasn’t at his best today, but he shouldn’t be starting in a game that we’re trying to win anyway. We were stupidly narrow and one-dimensional. There was no need to boo the players off, but everyone of them has a lot more to give than they displayed today. Onwards and upwards!’

‘As good as we’ve been in the opening 6, we were as bad today. The game itself had little going on. I couldn’t really tell you a point when either side put together a decent move or carved out a clear cut chance or even a ‘keeper making a save.

To be fair to Salisbury, you’d probably put it down as a perfect away performance for them. Stuck 11 men behind the ball at times, dug-in on the 18 yard box, rarely ventured forward, slowed the game down and did us on a set piece.

Not one good performance today really.

Nolan, Foster and Fofana obviously did something right playing together last week but we can’t accommodate 3 of them because one, Nolan in this case, gets shoved in a wide position.

Defence was fine other than the set piece but had little to do. In front of them, though, no movement so the ball was going side to side all the time, didn’t pass the ball quick enough, no-one seemed to want to run with the ball either and it was just a very leggy display.

Can’t grumble too much in the bigger picture, though. That was the first poor display of the season and I’d take one of those every seven until the end of the season!’

‘I don’t mind starting with that line-up away, but at home we need to be far more ambitious. Today saw precisely zero creativity in mid-field and with no target-man, punting the ball long was pointless. We never looked capable of breaking them down and it was like watching us against Wrexham, but with us playing the Wrexham role.

Salisbury were very well organised and did what we’ve done to a few teams – sat back, pressed hard and out-battled us. I think they will do OK this season.

We were bound to falter at some point, but Simmo needs to think about his tactics at home. Playing 4 defenders and a very, very defensive midfield is seriously going to limit our chances.’

‘No tempo. No aggression. Appeared as though the players just thought they could knock the ball about and they would win. Appeared to seriously under estimate Salisbury. Not one midfield player appeared to want to or have the ability to drive forward and attack the defence. Square balls and balls played backwards at an incredibly slow pace. Deserved what we got from that performance. Nothing. We just seemed to aimlessly knock the ball about until we played ourselves into a cul-de-sac and then passed the ball back to CBs to hoof upfield or Farman to hoof upfield. Not going to win much playing like that.’

‘To be honest, I could see after the first 5 minutes that we were going to struggle. Given our position in the league, we should expect lots of teams to come and play like Salisbury did and therefore putting in effectively 3 holding midfielders (Nolan, Foster and Fofana) seems slightly daft. It was glaringly obvious that we needed someone in the middle of the park or out wide to turn with the ball and run at defenders to get them at least dropping deeper and be put under a bit more pressure – that is never going to be Nolan’s, Foster’s or Fofana’s game. For those who questioned whether we have missed Power during his suspension, today was ample proof that we have. We only really started to look half-threatening when Sheridan and Dixon came on because at least they were prepared to carry the ball forward and look to take people on. Perhaps Simpson thought Rowe would be the man to be creative in midfield – if that was the case, he was badly let down because I thought he was whatever the opposite of the MoM is!!!

Having said all of this, we’re still in a very good position in the league and a win next week will have us right up there. And I fully expect that some valuable lessons will be learnt from today that we can take into the rest of the season.’

‘Credit to Salisbury, they came and did a thoroughly professional job on us. My bigger concern is the lack of game plan from Simmo, starting and setting up as we did and taking too long to try and change what was quite an evident problem until it was far too late.’

‘Can’t add too much to what’s been said, although I think it highlights our problem is goal scoring/creating. We have a number of what older readers would term inside forwards but hardly any out and out strikers.

As an aside, if we keep thinking we shouldn’t be beaten by teams like Salisbury then we will keep getting beaten. They’re in our division for a reason, this superiority complex some people have for other teams in this division I find completely unrealistic.’